The nation’s streets were filled with protesters Friday night, as angry reaction to the death of George Floyd continued to spread to at least 30 major US cities.
Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody on Monday, and a day later activists began protests in that city. Things have since escalated there and elsewhere throughout the nation, with some locations seeing angry people attacking police and damaging cars trapped on freeways. Authorities are bracing for more as the weekend unfolds.
The White House was on lockdown Friday because of an estimated crowd of 200 people who gathered outside its gates. CNN headquarters in Atlanta was vandalized, and in New York City, a police cruiser was set on fire.
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Today, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said the National Guard has been “fully deployed” to quiet the rampages in Minneapolis, which has seen numerous stores and other establishments looted and vandalized. It was believed to be the first time since World War II that the state guard had been deployed. About 2,500 National Guard personnel will be deployed.
“The situation in Minneapolis is no longer about George Floyd. It’s become about attacking civil society,” Walz said.
In Southern California, nine protesters were arrested in Fontana, Calif. on Friday after throwing rocks that damaged buildings. The city is located just East of Los Angeles.
In downtown L.A., protesters walked onto the 110 Freeway and sat down to stop traffic. California Highway Patrol shut down the major artery in both directions as authorities worked to clear the gathering.
Bail for former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been set. Chauvin was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck during Monday’s confrontation. Chauvin’s bail is at $500,000, according to the criminal complaint filed in the 4th Judicial District Court of Minnesota. No conditions were set for his release and there are no indications he has been released on bond.
Chauvin was arrested Friday and faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter.
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