Several American cities on Saturday introduced exceptional measures such as a curfew or deployment of soldiers to try to prevent the demonstrations in connection with the death of George Floyd from degenerating again. In vain.
The escalation continues in the US. Conflicts between protesters and police shook several major cities on Saturday evening, May 30, to curb the anger that has gripped the country since George Floyd’s death.
President Donald Trump has pledged to “stop collective violence” after several nights of riots in Minneapolis, where the 46-year-old black American died on Monday at police hands.
In this northern Minnesota city, riot police charged protesters who defied the curfew and dismissed them with smoke bombs and stun grenades.
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Shortly before, the protesters announced their determination to remain. “They give us no choice, there’s so much anger,” said Deka Jama, a 24-year-old woman who came to “demand justice” for George Floyd.
Collisions have also taken place in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Atlanta, leading officials from the two latter cities, as well as Miami and Chicago officials, to announce a curfew.
The 13,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers were mobilized
Donald Trump, who has repeatedly condemned George Floyd’s “tragic” death, said the riots shook his memory. “We must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to destroy our cities,” he said, attributing emissions to “radical left groups” and especially “Antifa” (anti-fascists).
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz also condemned parts outside his state that he thought could be anarchists but also white supremacists or drug dealers.
To regain control of the situation, he announced the mobilization of the 13,000 soldiers of the State National Guard, a first, and requested support from the Department of Defense.
>> Read: George Floyd: a case of racism, “but also about violence and politics”
Military police units have been set up to intervene in Minneapolis within four hours, the Pentagon says. Military police can only legally intervene on US territory in the event of a riot.
During the day, the inhabitants, armed with brooms, tried to give a different picture of their city. Minneapolis “hurts, burns,” said 28-year-old Kyle Johnson. “All I can do is clean up.”
Others had prepared for new emissions by shortening their business with large wooden signs. “We install them, we cross our fingers and we hope it will work out well,” said Nicole Crust, owner of a beauty salon that was already vandalized the previous night.
Molotov cocktail launched in New York police car
But in Minneapolis, as elsewhere, the tension increased rapidly. The crowd of protesters gathered in Dallas, Las Vegas, Seattle, Memphis, etc. And even in Washington under President Trump’s window, where tear gas and fires have fled the horizon.
In New York, more than 200 people were arrested for mixtures that injured several people in the police force. A Molotov cocktail was launched inside an occupied police car. “It’s a miracle that no police officer was killed,” said Chief of Police Dermot Shea.
>> See: George Floyd’s death: “Don’t shoot, our hands are in the air,” protesters protest in Minneapolis
Police patrol vehicles were burned in Atlanta and Miami. In Los Angeles, five police officers were injured and several hundred people were arrested when a peaceful demonstration degenerated, again with burned stores and looting, especially in the luxury stores in Beverly Hills.
Protestants everywhere condemned the police mixers who disproportionately hit blacks. In Houston, the hometown of George Floyd where he is to be buried, Chavon Allen said he was “tired, sick” to see his “brothers and sisters die in police hands”. “My brother was taken care of by the Houston police by mistake and justice has never been done,” the mother said.
>> Read: George Floyd dies in Minneapolis: Police charged with murder
Protesters want police to be held responsible for the deadly arrest of George Floyd, whose disturbing images have been seen all over the world.
White police Derek Chauvin, who in this video holds his knee for long minutes in his forties, was arrested Friday and charged with “manslaughter”. But for many Americans this is not enough: they demand his indictment for deliberate murder and the arrest of the other three agents involved in the drama.