Protests defy curfews across U.S.; 700 rioters arrested in NYC

A worker cleans broken glass Tuesday from a window at a Manhattan store after a night of unrest in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

June 2 (UPI) — Curfews failed to rein in violence during a seventh night of protests in major U.S. cities, which led to a number of injured — including multiple law enforcement officers.

At least four police officers in St. Louis received gunshot wounds and a man in Las Vegas was killed during mass demonstrations. Officials said a Las Vegas officer is also on life support with critical injuries.

Activists nationwide defied curfews in some of the larger cities late Monday and early Tuesday, just hours after President Donald Trump threatened in a national address to send the U.S. military into cities that don’t control the violent demonstrations.

“If a city or a state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” he said.

Tuesday, he said tensions were calming in and around Washington, D.C.

“D.C. had no problems last night,” he tweeted. “Many arrests. Great job done by all. Overwhelming force. Domination. Likewise, Minneapolis was great.”

Trump also called on his hometown of New York City to call up the National Guard for help.

“The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart,” he tweeted. “Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!”

Trump also criticized New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not activating the National Guard.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio extended a curfew of 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the rest of this week after a night of looting and violence during which police officers were targeted.

The New York City Police Department arrested more than 700 protesters overnight. Looters damaged the flagship Macy’s department store in midtown Manhattan, emptied a Nike store and broke storefront windows near Rockefeller Center.

Violence, fires and looting spread into the Bronx, where police said an officer was targeted in a hit-and-run attack.

“That is wholly unacceptable and does not represent the people of this city,” de Blasio said. “Anyone who attacks a police officer attacks all of us.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized de Blasio on Tuesday morning for not deploying enough police officers to handle the outbreaks of violence.

“I believe the mayor underestimates the scope of the problem. I believe he underestimates the duration of the problem, and I don’t think they’ve used enough police to address the situation,” the governor said.

Cuomo said the mayor didn’t accept his offer to send the National Guard to the state’s largest city. The governor threatened to override the mayor.

“Can you displace a mayor? Yes. A mayor can be removed. It has not happened. I can’t find a precedent. But theoretically it is legally possible,” Cuomo said.

“It is a bizarre thing to try to do in this situation. I think it would make a bad situation worse. Also, I don’t think it’s necessary, because I believe the NYPD can do this, because the NYPD has done this.

Two autopsies issued Monday agreed that Floyd’s death was a homicide, but they differed on the precise cause.

An independent autopsy said he died from mechanical asphyxiation, while the county coroner said Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”

The county’s autopsy said Floyd also had “other significant conditions” including arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and “recent” methamphetamine use.

Tuesday, Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington. They observed a moment of remembrance near the statue of Saint John Paul II and visited the Luminous Mysteries Chapel, the John Paul II blood relic and the Madonna icon.

The Trumps also laid a wreath at the site before departing.

Trump later plans to sign an executive order for religious freedom.

Floyd’s funeral is scheduled for June 9 in his hometown of Houston. Monday, Terrence Floyd visited the site of his brother’s death in Minneapolis and urged for calm amid growing national unrest.

“I know he would not want you all to be doing this,” he said, asking angry demonstrators to get out and vote for change and demand justice peacefully.

“If I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community — then what are y’all doing?” he added. “That’s not going to bring my brother back.”

In Denver, authorities charged a 37-year-old man with striking three police officers and a civilian during a hit-and-run late incident over the weekend.

Demonstrations in Denver were mostly peaceful Monday night as thousands gathered at the State Capitol and knelt to honor Floyd.

Tuesday, the European Union’s top diplomat called Floyd’s death an “abuse of power.”

EU High Representative Josep Borrell told reporters that such abuses must be denounced and condemned.

“We here in Europe, like the people of the United States, are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd, and I think that all societies must remain vigilant against excessive use of force and ensure that all such incidents are addressed swiftly effectively and in full respect of the rule of law and human rights,” Borrell said.

The EU, he added, supports “the right to peaceful protest and we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and we call for a de-escalation of tensions.”

U.S. protests death of George Floyd

An American flag with a portrait of George Floyd is seen during a protest outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles on June 1. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo


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