MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota -- Tense protests over the death of George Floyd and other police killings of black men grew Saturday night from New York to Tulsa to Los Angeles, with police cars set ablaze and reports of injuries mounting on all sides.
Protests erupted in at least 30 U.S. cities as the country convulsed through another night of unrest after months of coronavirus lockdowns.
The National Guard was activated in Washington D.C. to help protect the White House. In addition to the District of Columbia, at least eight states also activated the National Guard to assist local law enforcement.
Overnight curfews were imposed in 25 cities across 16 states, including Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle.
Few corners of America were untouched, from protesters setting fires inside Reno’s city hall, to police launching tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, North Dakota, to shattered windows at police headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.
— In Indianapolis, police were investigating “multiple shootings” downtown late Saturday night, including one that left a person dead, amid the protests. Police gave few details but said no officers were involved.
— In Washington, the National Guard was deployed outside the White House, where chanting crowds taunted law enforcement officers. Dressed in camouflage and holding shields, the troops stood in a tight line a few yards from the crowd, preventing them from pushing forward. President Donald Trump, who spent much of Saturday in Florida for the SpaceX rocket launch, landed on the lawn in the presidential helicopter at dusk and went inside without speaking to journalists.
— In Philadelphia, at least 13 officers were injured when peaceful protests turned violent and at least four police vehicles were set on fire. Other fires were set throughout downtown.
— In Salt Lake City, protesters defied a curfew and National Guard troops were deployed by Utah’s governor. Demonstrators flipped a police car and lit it on fire, and another vehicle was later set ablaze. Police said six people were arrested and a police officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat.
— In Los Angeles, protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter,” some within inches of the face shields of officers. Police used batons to move the crowd back and fired rubber bullets. A graffiti-covered police car burned in the street.
— And in New York City, dangerous confrontations flared repeatedly as officers made arrests and cleared streets. A video showed two NYPD cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators who were pushing a barricade against one of them and pelting it with objects. Several people were knocked to the ground, and it was unclear if anyone was hurt.
Back in Minneapolis, the city where the protests began, police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in soon after an 8 p.m. curfew took effect Saturday to break up protests, firing tear gas and rubber bullets to clear streets outside a police precinct and elsewhere.
Minneapolis’ streets steadily grew calmer as the night went on, and Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said the tough response would remain as long as it takes to “quell this situation.”
The show of force came after three days when police largely avoided engaging protesters, and after the state poured in more than 4,000 National Guard troops to Minneapolis and said the number would soon rise to nearly 11,000.
More than 1,300 people have been arrested in 16 cities across the nation in recent days, including over 500 in Los Angeles.