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The Latest: Trump says will not allow mob violence to rule

1 month 1 week 2 days ago Saturday, May 30 2020 May 30, 2020 May 30, 2020 3:43 PM May 30, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By The Associated Press

The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck (all times Eastern):

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla - President Donald Trump says he will not tolerate mob violence during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The president made the comment as he spoke in Florida after watching the successful launch of a SpaceX rocket Saturday. He turned his attention to the unrest in American cities following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis before he congratulated NASA and others involved in the space mission.

Trump says the rule of law is the crown jewel of the country and that “my administration will stop mob violence and we’ll stop it cold.”

Trump says that “I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace, and I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace. Healing, not hatred. Justice not chaos are the missions at hand.”

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has sent more than 1,500 state troopers to various Texas cities to help control protests over the death of Houston native George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Abbott said in a news release Saturday that troopers are being sent to Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says on Twitter that nearly 200 people were arrested Friday and most will be charged with obstructing a roadway as several protesters blocked an interstate and a highway.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Austin on Saturday outside police headquarters and then marched along Interstate 35.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A television news reporter in Columbia, South Carolina, has been injured by rocks thrown during protests outside the city's police headquarters over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

WIS-TV anchor Judi Gatson tweets that reporter Miranda Parnell was being taken to the hospital to be “checked out” after Saturday's incident.

The tweet says Parnell reported that “a person wearing a MAGA hat showed up at the rally, protesters confronted that person & then rocks were thrown."

Several hundred people participated in the demonstration, tearing down the U.S. flag and the South Caroline state flag in front of the police The State newspaper reports that some protesters swarmed a police car, breaking its windows.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

LAS VEGAS - Police in Las Vegas say 80 protesters were arrested and 12 police officers injured during violence Friday that followed a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd after he was restrained by Minneapolis police.

According to police, the protest on the Las Vegas Strip began with up to 300 people gathering peacefully. But police say rocks were thrown at police and property was damaged several hours later when officers tried to disperse the crowd as tensions mounted.

Police said the arrests were made when protesters refused to disperse. Police initially said at least 31 people were arrested.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

DENVER -- Denver’s mayor has ordered a nighttime a curfew as demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis entered a third day.

Mayor Michael Hancock said Saturday that the Colorado National Guard will help enforce the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

Downtown Denver has been the scene of clashes between protesters and police the past two nights. Some protesters broke windows and police fired tear gas, flash grenades and pepper pellets.

Thousands of people are expected to return Saturday night. A protest organizer is urging people to be safe and not put others in harm’s way.

Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes, leading to protests in cities across the U.S.

TALLAHASSEE, Florida - A pickup truck drove through an intersection where protesters were demonstrating Saturday in Tallahassee, Florida, causing people to run screaming out of the way as the vehicle stopped and started and at one point had a person on its hood, according to witnesses and video posted on social media.

Tallahassee Mayor John E. Dailey tweeted later that the driver was taken into custody after hitting the crowd at a low rate of speed. He says no one was seriously injured.

Video shows the truck stopped at a traffic light, and protesters walking around and near it while appearing to speak to the driver. The truck then suddenly accelerates.

Lucas von Hollen, an instructor at Florida State University, said he saw the incident as protesters were chanting and marching as in a standard demonstration, but then he heard a distinct scream of fear. He looked out a window from a second-floor work building and saw the burgundy pickup. He described it slowing down as it had driven up toward the protesters, who didn’t move.

“Then the truck revved its engines … a couple people got out of the way, but some people didn’t, and it just drove straight through the crowd.”

He said people followed the car to prevent the driver from getting away.

BOSTON - The mayor of Boston hosted a prayer vigil with clergy and the city’s police commissioner to honor the memory of George Floyd.

Protests, some turning violent, erupted in cities around the country on Friday and Saturday over Floyd’s death. The officer was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh says the prayer vigil, streamed live on the Boston government website, was to honor Floyd and to reflect “on his murder.”

Walsh says, “If there‘s ever a moment to acknowledge injustice and re-commit our nation to eradicating it, it’s right now ... This is our moment in time to change as a nation.”

INDIANAPOLIS - Crowds angered by the death of George Floyd clashed with police in downtown Indianapolis overnight, prompting officers to fire multiple volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds that shattered storefronts.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says hundreds of city residents peacefully exercised their right to free speech to protest the horror of “the needless killing of George Floyd.” But he was saddened a smaller group turned violent and damaged businesses and caused injuries.

Fires were set in trash cans and a CVS store was set ablaze after protesters broke in and took items. Other stores were ransacked.

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says it has received no request from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to provide federal forces, but several active-duty military units have been put on higher alert to deploy in case Walz makes a request.

The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, says Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have spoken to Walz twice in the last 24 hours and told him they are ready to provide help to local and state authorities as needed. Hoffman says Walz has made no request for military help.

Defense officials say there is no intention to send federal forces to Minnesota without a request from Walz. If he does ask for military help, the units that would deploy would not get involved directly in law enforcement, the officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss planning, unless President Donald Trump ordered them to do so by invoking the Insurrection Act.

Military police units and perhaps engineering troops could help with non-law enforcement duties like transportation, communications and logistical assistance.

WASHINGTON - Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lashed out at President Donald Trump for his tweets criticizing her and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department after protests near the White House on Friday night.

Trump warned in a tweet Saturday that the Secret Service was ready to unleash “the most vicious dogs and the most ominous weapons I have ever seen” if protesters had managed to breach the security lines.

Bowser called Trump’s remark’s “gross,” saying the reference to attack dogs conjures up with the worst memories of the nation’s fight against segregation.

She says, “I call upon our city and our nation to exercise restraint, great restraint even as the president tries to divide us. I feel like these comments are an attack on humanity, an attack on black America, and they make my city less safe.”

Bowser say the MPD stood ready to coordinate with the Secret Service if the protests continue Saturday night.

She says people are desperate for change and “leaders who recognize this pain,” instead of “the glorification of violence against American citizens. What used to be heard in dog whistles, we now hear from a bullhorn.”

VATICAN CITY - A top Vatican cardinal is calling on U.S. pastors to plead for calm amid violent protests over the death of George Floyd in the United States.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is from Ghana, says the death of Floyd was “disgracefully inhuman & sad enough.” In appealing for a message of restraint to be delivered at Sunday services, Turkson tweeted: “Let us not add to it, making it & memory of Floyd ugly with violence.”

Turkson heads the Vatican office responsible for social justice and development issues. He is one of only a handful of African cardinals and one of only two to head a major Vatican department.

The leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church has strongly condemned Floyd’s killing, saying racism is a “real and present danger that must be met head on.” The U.S. bishops conference says while the church always seeks non-violence, “we also stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged.

HARTFORD, Conn. - Demonstrators rallied in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and other Connecticut cities for a second day Saturday to protest the Floyd’s death.

Hundreds walked the streets of Hartford and gathered outside city police headquarters, shouting “no justice, no peace,” “black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.”

The rallies followed similar demonstrations in several cities in the state Friday. There were no reports of violence or major property damage.

“We’re seeing people of color being just being murdered down in the streets,' New Haven resident Remidy Shareef told WFSB-TV. “This is a tragedy. People of color and everyone with a heart and soul needs to know we cannot let this happen. Everyone has the right to leave their homes and come home safely.”

Four men have been killed by police on Connecticut this year, including three in January. A fifth man who lost consciousness in police custody died a natural death from heart disease, officials say. The four fatal police shootings remain under investigation.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland officials say they’ll track down those responsible for the damage to police headquarters, a shopping mall and many businesses.

Police arrested at least 13 people before dawn. Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone, who is African-American, says the anger and violence is not only about the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but a system that allows people of color to “feel fear every day.”

She says, “This is a moment of reckoning. We are going forward to create an actual community, where respect and dignity are our core values.”

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler imposed a State of Emergency and a curfew, which resumes Saturday at 8 p.m. and lifts at 6 a.m. Sunday.

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump is urging Minnesota officials to get tougher with protesters who are destroying property and looting.

Trump spoke at the White House on Saturday after protests turned to rioting in some cities around the country. He says by getting tougher, political leaders in Minnesota would be honoring the memory of George Floyd.

Trump says the U.S. military is “ready, willing and able” to assist. He says “we can have troops on the ground very quickly if they ever want our military.”

Trump specifically called out the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey. He says the mayor “is probably a very good person, but he’s a radical, left mayor.” He then described how he watched as a police station in the city was overrun.

He says, “for that police station to be abandoned and taken over, I’ve never seen anything so horrible and stupid in my life.”

CINCINNATI -The mayor of Cincinnati has announced a 10 p.m. curfew Saturday and Sunday in areas of the city following damage to businesses during protests over the Floyd’s death.

Mayor John Cranley said hundreds of people had demonstrated peacefully, with no major issues before 11 p.m., but those who engaged in criminal activity ’’were not part of the protest.” Eleven people were arrested and more arrests will come as suspects are identified, he says.

Cranley says the businesses targeted were just “trying to earn a living, and be active and productive members of our community.” The curfew in the downtown and Over-The-Rhine areas will allow police to clear the streets and more easily arrest the few who might commit criminal acts, he said.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported when many protesters began to disperse Friday night, other groups began to break windows and steal from stores. Some windows at the county justice center were broken and some restaurants and shops were broken into. About 50 businesses reported damage, officials say.

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump has fired off a series of tweets ridiculing people who protested outside the White House and praising the Secret Service who used shields and pepper spray to push them back.

Hundreds gathered late Friday to protest the police killing of a black man in Minneapolis and Trump’s response.

The president tweeted Saturday he watched from inside the White House as officers “let the ‘protesters’ scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone .... got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard - didn’t know what hit them.”

Trump said if the protesters had managed to breach the White House fence, “they would ... have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

Trump ended the last of five tweets by saying, “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???”

MINNEAPOLIS - The law firm representing the wife of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd says she has filed for divorce.

Sekula Law Offices says in a release that Kellie Chauvin is devastated by Floyd’s death and her “utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone else who is grieving this tragedy.”

Derek Chauvin, who was fired from the police force after Floyd’s death, is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd died after the officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

The release says while Kellie Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she is asking for privacy for her extended family during this difficult time.

RICHMOND - Protesters in Virginia responding to the death of George Floyd earlier this week in Minneapolis smashed windows at police headquarters and briefly shut down a major highway.

In Richmond, a Friday evening protest began at Monroe Park, near Virginia Commonwealth University, and drew hundreds of people who marched through the streets chanting “no justice, no peace.”

News outlets reported a police cruiser and a dumpster near Richmond Police headquarters were set on fire. A Richmond television reporter covering the protests was struck by a thrown bottle and a city bus was set ablaze.

Police responded by spraying chemicals. Virginia Capitol Police says Capitol Square will remain closed Saturday.

HOUSTON - Houston police say about 200 people were arrested and four officers were injured during protests over the death of Houston native George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Police Chief Art Acevedo says on Twitter most of those arrested will be charged with obstructing a roadway as several protesters blocked an interstate and a highway Friday night.

In Dallas, protesters also blocked an interstate and one officer was injured. Police in both cities used pepper spray and tear gas to disperse crowds that numbered in the hundreds.

NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says protesters and police officers will be held accountable for acts of violence at a demonstration in Brooklyn that left people bloodied and vehicles burned.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea says more than 200 people were arrested and multiple officers were injured.

One demonstrator was charged with attempted murder for allegedly tossing a homemade firebomb at a vehicle occupied by several officers, who escaped without harm.

The protest, one of many around the country over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, started peacefully in the late afternoon in Manhattan. Problems flared after several thousand people faced off with officers on the streets around a sports arena.

Speaking Saturday, de Blasio, a Democrat, expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset about police brutality, but says there will be a full review of what went wrong.

He says he was upset by videos of the confrontations “where protesters were handled very violently” by police and by reports that at least two elected officials were among the people sprayed with irritating chemicals by officers at the scene.

“That’s unacceptable, and we need to understand exactly why that happened,” the mayor said.

But he added some protesters had come “with an agenda of violence and incitement, and they meant to harm police officers, and they did harm police officers.”

Many people in the crowd threw bottles at police. A group set fire to a police van and battered several other police cruisers with clubs.

CHICAGO - Police Superintendent David Brown says the peaceful protests that began Friday afternoon turned more confrontational as the night wore on, resulting in 108 arrests.

Protesters blocked traffic along major streets, threw bottles and other objects at police vehicles and shattered the windows of downtown businesses. About a dozen squad cars were damaged and some officers suffered minor injuries, including broken wrist.

He called the property damage “minimal” and joined some other police chiefs around the country in empathizing with the protesters. He criticized the actions of the police involved in the death of George Floyd.

He says, “We don’t want our officers treating anyone like that.”

St. LOUIS - Protesters blocked a downtown St. Louis interstate for three hours on Friday, set a fire in the road and broke into trucks in a demonstration over the death of a black man in Minneapolis.

Protesters blocked I-44 for nearly three hours after taking to the streets Friday night, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

A protester who died had climbed between two trailers of a Fed Ex truck and was killed when it drove away, according to reports. Police say they were investigating.

The crowd dispersed after a few gunshots were fired. Police did not report any arrests.

Tensions between police and minority residents have lingered in the St. Louis area since the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

In Kansas City, Missouri, police used pepper spray on people marching through its Westport bar-and-entertainment district Friday night, The Kansas City Star reports. Police say a window was broken and protesters appeared ready to use a police barricade to do more damage.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Protesters in Charlotte responding to the death of a black man in Minneapolis looted stores, kicked and stomped on police cars and engaged in confrontations that led to multiple arrests.

News outlets report protests in the city Friday night began peacefully but turned violent as the night wore on. A grocery store and a cell phone store were looted, and protesters threw rocks at police, smashed a police bicycle, slashed the tires of a police car and stomped on other police vehicles.

Officers responded by deploying tear gas canisters. Police say they made several arrests but did not provide an exact number.

One of those arrested and charged with failure to disperse was City Council member Braxton Winston. He was released several hours later.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told WBTV in Charlotte that protests began peacefully and police were prepared to accommodate that, “and then it turned on us.”

He added the police, “showed restraint, but they took care of business.”

MINNEAPOLIS - The governor of Minnesota says he plans to fully mobilize the state’s National Guard and promised a massive show of force to help quell civil unrest following days of protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Gov. Tim Walz says he also spoke with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley about getting federal assistance to help stop the violence.

Walz blamed much of the destruction in Minneapolis on Friday night on well-organized, out-of-state instigators whose goal was to “destabilize civil society.”

Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington vowed a stronger police presence and a change in tactics “because this is intolerable and we are coming to stop it.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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