Hours after a message from Donald Trump in which he threatened to send the army to control protests for the murder of George Floyd, American cities were engulfed in more violence and destruction, after several peaceful mobilizations.
Chicago rose in a call for justice to have peace. “There will be no peace without justice,” was the refrain from the protesters who also put it on posters in response to the complaints from other sectors of society that have condemned the protests due to the violent tone they have played in the past few days.
In New York, demonstrations were interrupted by people who smashed shop windows near Rockefeller Center and the doors of the famous Macy’s store on 34th Street, leaving Manhattan’s main avenue littered with broken glass. A vehicle hit a group of officers at a rally in Buffalo and two officers were injured.RELATED
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters marched down a highway in the heart of the city of Philadelphia to Atlanta, where authorities used tear gas against the crowd.
In Nashville, more than 60 National Guard troops lowered their riot shields at the request of peaceful protesters who had gathered in front of the Tennessee State Capitol in memory of Floyd.
Sean Jones, a pedestrian who watched people loot luxury stores in Manhattan’s posh Soho neighborhood, explained the destruction: “People are doing this so next time, before they think about trying to kill another African-American person, think ‘heck, we don’t want them to go out there and do this … again.’ “
Police arrested a man in Manhattan hours after a protest to demand solidarity over the death of George Floyd. (AP)
In Minneapolis, the riots seemed to stabilize on the same day that Floyd’s brother made an impassioned call for peace at the place where a white police officer pinned the African-American man to the ground last week by putting his knee around his neck until stopped breathing.
The number of people killed in the protests rose, including two people who were killed in a Chicago suburb.
Yesterday the protesters tended to place themselves as a kind of fence to prevent the police from advancing in their path. (AP)
Additionally, an agent was shot shortly after midnight near the CircusCircus casino in Las Vegas, where authorities made 338 arrests in three nights of altercations following peaceful protests during the day. Police did not immediately have information on the agent’s condition.
As if that were not enough, the police, under federal command, used tear gas to disperse a peaceful protest of African-Americans in Washington D.C so that Trump could walk to a church near the White House, through Lafayette Park.
Moment the shock force makes way for Donald Trump to cross from the White House to a church. (AP)
The visit prompted the rapid condemnation of diocesan Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde.
“The president has just used a bible and one of the churches in my diocese as the setting for an unethical message with the teachings of Jesus and all that our church represents,” he said.
The protests come after years of seeking police reforms over repeated cases of minority deaths in the custody of authorities, and at a time when the country is recovering from a coronavirus outbreak and an unemployment rate never seen since the Great Depression.
A computerized military deployment by Trump would be a surprising federal intervention, unusual in the country’s modern history. The situation drew comparisons to 1968, when Richard Nixon ran for law and order after the riots over the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.
Former President Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate in the election, promised to tackle institutional racism in his first 100 days in office. Hate emerges “when they have someone in power who breathes oxygen into hatred,” he said.
In the past week, more than 5,600 people have been detained across the country for crimes such as theft, highway blockade and curfew violation, according to a count by The Associated Press.