Wednesday, April 14, 2021

At least five people dead and millions of dollars in property damage after George Floyd’s death

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Dozens of American cities were nervous Monday night when protesters clashed with police for the seventh consecutive night since George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. Curfews were ordered in New York City and across the country in an effort to stop the number of deaths, injuries and vandalism that have accompanied protests that turned violent.

Odessa Riley, in red, the mother of David McAtee
Odessa Riley, in red, the mother of David McAtee, the owner of a barbecue restaurant who was killed in an officer-involved shooting, approached the site of his death surrounded by family on Monday, in Louisville, Ky.Credit…Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

The clashes echoed on the streets of at least 140 cities, and at least five people died when the country entered another long night. An untold number more, including protesters and police, have been injured. Thousands of people have been arrested, and fires, looting and vandalism have caused millions of dollars in damage to buildings and businesses.

Amid protests by California beach communities to the park just outside the White House, President Trump warned Monday that he would order the military to enter American cities if officials were unable to control its streets. “We will finish it now,” he said.

“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming presence until the violence is quelled,” the president said in a short speech from the Rose Garden. “If a city or state refuses to take the necessary steps to defend the life and property of its residents, then I will deploy the United States Army and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Before walking outside the gates of the White House, where the streets had been cleared by authorities, Mr. Trump stated: “I want the organizers of this terror to know that they will face severe criminal penalties and long prison terms.”

The marches in response to Mr. Floyd’s violent death ended in injury and the death was a deeply felt contradiction by those close to the people who died. “She would not have wanted this act of violence to instigate more violence,” said Amy Lynn Hale about her niece, Italy Kelly, 22, who was shot in her car in a Walmart parking lot in Davenport, Iowa, as she was leaving a manifestation. late Sunday night.

The growing number came when a curfew was established starting at 11 p.m. in New York City, just the last of dozens of cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and Minneapolis, to order people to stay in home as the fighting increases. About 20,000 members of the National Guard have been summoned in 23 states.

On Monday in Minneapolis, Floyd’s brother Terrence made an emotional visit to the place where he was detained, at a time kneeling silently in front of a monument of flowers and signs. Terrence Floyd expressed concern about the destruction that had developed because, he said, “that is not going to bring my brother back.”

In Washington, where windows of prominent buildings were broken, cars overturned, and fires were lit, Attorney General William P. Barr expanded the response, increased federal law enforcement in the city, and ordered the Bureau of Prisons to send Teams of Special Operations Response.

Flowers and a package of beef tenderloin were left as a memorial for David McAtee
Flowers and a package of beef tenderloin were left as a memorial for David McAtee at the feet of officers of the Louisville Police Department on Monday. McAtee, the owner of a local BBQ restaurant, was killed in an officer-involved shooting.Credit…Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Determining the human cost of what happened after Floyd’s death is difficult and imprecise because protests have erupted in many places. Much is still under development or unknown. At least five deaths have occurred amid riots, while other deaths have taken place nearby, but their links to the protests are uncertain.

In Louisville, David McAtee, 53, the owner of a well-known barbecue business, was shot dead Monday morning. Authorities said Louisville Metro Police Department officials and National Guard soldiers opened fire in response to a shot while trying to disperse a large crowd after the curfew took effect. It was not immediately clear if Mr. McAtee had been killed by police or someone in the crowd, authorities said.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a press conference Monday afternoon that he had fired city police chief Steve Conrad after learning that officers’ body cameras were not recording during the shooting. . The events further fueled anger among the protesters.

In Davenport, Iowa, after a weekend of large and peaceful protests, two people, including Ms. Kelly, who had been at a protest, were shot dead. City Police Chief Paul Sikorski blamed the shooting on people in a group of vehicles wandering around the city on Sunday night.

Davenport, Iowa Police
Davenport, Iowa Police

In Omaha, a 22-year-old black man was shot dead by the owner of a white bar, a murder the local district attorney announced on Monday that it was determined to be an act of self-defense.

And in St. Louis, a man was dragged to death Saturday morning under a FedEx truck that was apparently trying to get away from protesters, authorities said.

Other deaths in recent days have weaker links to the protests, links that in some cases have become a matter of debate.

Outside of a federal building in Oakland, California, a security officer was killed on Friday night. Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, linked the shooting to protests across the country, describing “a direct assault on our law enforcement community.” But other officials, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, suggested links to the protests were less clear and said the reason for the death was unknown.

In Indianapolis, two people were shot dead over the weekend within a few blocks of a protest. Initially, authorities appeared to link the deaths to the protests, but a department police spokesman later said authorities had “no investigative information at this time to lead us to believe these shootings have anything to do with the protests. ”

Across the country, injuries are on the rise.

A reporter was hit in the eye by a rubber bullet. A police officer experienced a skull fracture. Protesters have been hit by cars and people who guard businesses have been beaten. Incalculable numbers of people have been sent to hospitals with broken bones or more serious injuries. Experts say there is a possibility of a spike in coronavirus cases after days of gathering in large numbers.

Over the past week, arrests have reached thousands. The number of arrests in just a few major cities in the past few days gives an idea of ​​the scope: nearly 500 people have been arrested in the Twin Cities, more than 2,000 in Los Angeles and more than 1,200 in New York City. On Sunday alone, nearly 700 people were arrested in Chicago. Hundreds more have been arrested in cities large and small, including Philadelphia and Duluth, Minnesota.

 

 

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