Cities across nation brace for another night of protests

  • In US
  • 2020-05-30 23:48:22Z
  • By NBC News

Protests against racial injustice erupted around the country Saturday as cities braced for another night of unrest.

Mayors issued curfews and pleaded with residents to stay home, but thousands of protesters were already taking to the streets and facing off against police in riot gear.

Demonstrators in Los Angeles' Fairfax District and Beverly Grove neighborhood stood off with police as three Los Angeles Police Department vehicles went up in flames and a city bus was all but destroyed by vandals on a warm afternoon.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an 8 p.m.-to-5:30 p.m. curfew Saturday night for downtown, where businesses were damaged, looted and vandalized Friday night.

"People need to go home, and if they don't go home they will be arrested," he said.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday a vehicle drove through a police skirmish line downtown, resulting in an officer-involved shooting, they said. At least one person was arrested, and it was unclear if anyone was injured.

"We had shots fired last night and we could have had a dead officer or a dead protester," Garcetti said. "That is unacceptable."

The LAPD called in additional officers and detectives to prepare for Saturday's expected demonstrations, sources told NBC News. But Garcetti said he would not ask for help from the California National Guard.

"This is not 1992," he said, referring to the city's riots in the wake of the unsuccessful prosecutors of officers involved in the Rodney King beating.

Some protesters headed west to Beverly Hills City Hall Saturday. The city closed tony Rodeo Drive as a precaution and urged residents to stay home.

Initially peaceful protests in Philadelphia took on a different tone later Saturday afternoon after a car was set on fire and a crowd tried to gain access to a municipal building in one of many new demonstrations to emerge across the country during the day Saturday - only hours after violence rocked cities coast to coast on Friday night.

A demonstration in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday led police to declare an emergency.

At the White House, protesters pushed security barricades and could be seen standing on top of Secret Service vehicles.

And, in Austin, Texas, demonstrators gathered in the street in front of officers in riot gear. A photo showed a protester holding a sign that read "your uniform is not a license to kill."

The demonstrations come days after a video was posted on social media showing a Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee for more than eight minutes as Floyd said, "Please please, please, I can't breathe."

Derek Chauvin, the since-fired officer who detained Floyd, was arrested and charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers were also involved in Floyd's detainment.

The Philadelphia protest on Saturday appeared at first to be peaceful, but video showed a car on fire in the vicinity of demonstrators, NBC Philadelphia reported.

Then, at around 5 p.m., police were seen pepper-spraying a group of protesters who were climbing onto an armored truck near a municipal services building.

Social media posts showed police guarding the building from a crowd of people holding signs with messages such as, "He couldn't breathe " and "Justice for the people."


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