George Floyd: violence flares in cities across US as protests spread – live

Posted by on May 31, 2020 8:25 am
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Categories: Global Stories

1.25pm BST

Donald Trump had a busy Saturday, travelling to Florida for the SpaceX launch from a White House that was the scene of violent protest on Friday and Saturday nights.

He found time to make news wherever he went, lambasting and threatening protesters and, on his way back from Florida, announcing that this summer’s scheduled Camp David G7 conference is off, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but that he would like to invite Russia, Australia and India – all led by allies, of course – whenever the event is staged.

By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.

He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV and tweeting.

Related: Fire, pestilence and a country at war with itself: the Trump presidency is over | Robert Reich

1.03pm BST

…and welcome to another day of coverage of what is now extensive civil unrest in the US, over the killing by Minneapolis police of George Ford, a 46-year-old African American man, not quite a week ago.

The officer who kneeled on Ford’s neck has been charged with murder but that has not quelled protests which have spread around the country and deteriorated into violence.

The violence happened across America from coast to coast and from big cities to small ones. Beyond the major metropolitan areas, protesters clashed with police in cities including Tulsa, Oklahoma; Little Rock, Arkansas; Albany, New York; Fargo, North Dakota; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

Near Union Square, in the heart of Manhattan, a police vehicle was on fire, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. In Brooklyn, protesters and police clashed for hours in Flatbush. In Los Angeles, a police post was burned in a shopping mall while nearby shops were looted. In Nashville, Tennessee, a historic courthouse was set on fire and in Salt Lake City, Utah, vehicles were burned and a man with a bow and arrow was arrested after he aimed it at protesters.

Chanting “I can’t breathe”, “Black Lives Matter” and “Fuck Donald Trump!”, hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday circled the White House grounds, which have come to resemble a fortress more than at any time in recent memory…

…protesters overcame the barriers near the White House and entered the park in front of it, but were driven out by police wielding shields, batons and pepper spray. Demonstrators damaged several Secret Service vehicles and threw themselves against officers’ riot shields, the Washington Post reported.

Related: Dispatch from Minneapolis: the night the city cracked down on George Floyd protests

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