Hours after fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was taken into custody for the murder of George Floyd, demonstrators across the United States continued to take to the streets in protest against police brutality, demanding the arrest of the three other officers involved in Floyd’s death.
From Los Angeles to Atlanta and from New York City to Portland, protesters showed up in mass to their local city halls and police departments, demanding justice for all police abuse victims. In many cases, the clashes became violent with protesters showing no signs of backing down.
The United States Army is also preparing to send active-duty military police officers to Minneapolis at the request of President Donald Trump under the Insurrection Act of 1807 which allows the president to deploy active-duty troops within the country to “restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident.” It was last used during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.
If deployed, the troops would join the National Guardsmen who have already been deployed in Minneapolis. It was only Thursday night that demonstrators in Minneapolis took over the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct in an unprecedented act of insurgency. Soldiers from Fort Bragg and Fort Drum are ready to deploy in four hours, according to The Associated Press.
The nationwide protests appear to be a tipping point in American history as well as this generation’s version of the Rodney King uprising. The protesters are young and diverse, a mixture of black, brown and white people taking a stand against the Blue Code of Violence.
On Friday night, Minnesota’s Twin Cities and the Metro Area County instilled an 8 p.m. curfew in hopes it would deter protesters but that went ignored by protesters who dared police to arrest them.
In one video captured by independent journalist Rod Webber, protesters were recorded getting face-to-face with the National Guard, asking them if they were nervous in Minneapolis.
As tensions got hotter throughout the night, protesters got bolder, including one man who was struggling with multiple National Guardsman who appear to be seizing his SUV, according to comments made by witnesses. After the Guardsmen drive away with what apparently is his SUV, he hops on their armored car as it drives away with him on top and people cheering him on.
After setting fire to the 3rd precinct Thursday night, Minneapolis protesters moved their demonstration to the 5th precinct.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter activated 1,000 National Guardsmen Friday night, doubling the number from the night before. Today, they plan on activating 1,700 guards, which would be the largest amount of guards activated in Minnesota’s history. And as mentioned above, they may be joined by U.S. Army military police officers.
Floyd’s final words, “I can’t breathe,” were chanted by demonstrators as they clashed with cops everywhere from Atlanta, San Jose, Knoxville, Pensacola, DC, Milwaukee, NYC, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, Brooklyn, Detroit, Las Vegas, Savannah, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, Santa Clara, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Louisville, San Francisco, Oakland, Columbus and Charlotte.
In Houston, nearly 200 protesters were arrested. In San Jose, police used live ammunition against protesters. Dozens of protesters were arrested in New York City.
In Oakland, two Federal Protective Service officers were shot with one dying. Portland’s rally was deemed a riot by police and ordered to disperse.
A 19-year-old man was killed in Detroit after someone in a van shot him before driving away.
The Los Angles rally was declared an unlawful assembly after an officer was injured.
Georgia has declared a state of emergency in hopes to protect the “people & property in Atlanta.”
The new generation of protesters appear unafraid to confront the cops which is a marked difference from the peaceful protests of the past that made little progress.
When protesters kneeled, they were told that was not the correct way to protest. When protesters stood still in a silent protest, they were told that is not the correct way to protest. When protesters peacefully chanted ‘I can’t breathe’ after Eric Garners death, they were told that is the wrong way to protest. When protesters began to block traffic, peacefully, they were told that was the wrong way to go about their concerns.
Now they have turned to violence and destruction in the hopes to instill change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.”
Gov. Tim Walz called the protests “reckless” and that that order needs be restored in order to battle real issues.
History has shown that sometimes pressure needs to be applied to the government for them to take action.
After the massive protests in Ferguson, police across the country started talking and using body cameras. In the late 1960s, there were riots in Newark and Detroit against police brutality. President Lyndon B. Johnson later formed a commission to address the issue.
Amid all the protests across the nation, Officer Derek Chauvins bond has been placed at $500,000, according to ABC7. Chauvin’s wife also filed for divorce.
The summer months always bring a sharp increase in police abuse incidents caught on camera but with tensions already running high due to high unemployment over Covid-19, this summer promises to be more violent than usual.
Carlos Miller contributed to this report.