Battered cities clean up, brace for more unrest

By Ashraf Khalil, Aaron Morrison and Matt Sedensky | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A country convulsed by violent protests picked up the pieces Monday and braced for more trouble amid a coast-to-coast outpouring of rage over police killings of black people. President Donald Trump demanded the nation’s governors crack down harder on the lawlessness, telling them: “Most of you are weak.”

After six straight days of unrest set off by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a new routine was developing: residents waking up to neighborhoods in shambles, shopkeepers sweeping up broken glass and taking stock of ransacked stores, and police and political leaders weighing how to address the boiling anger.

“We are a country that is scared,” said Sam Page, county executive in St. Louis County, Missouri, where the city of Ferguson has been synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement since the 2014 death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, during a confrontation with a white officer. “We are country that is angry. And we are a country that is holding out for the promise of justice for all.”

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was considering imposing a curfew on the nation’s biggest city after a night in which groups of people broke into Chanel, Prada and Rolex boutiques and electronics stores.

At the same time, the mayor said the law-breaking in the city of 8.6 million people was being “fomented by a very small number of violent protesters. That is not what everyday community people are doing.”

While many of the demonstrations around the country have been peaceful protests by racially diverse crowds, others have descended into violence, despite curfews in many cities across the U.S. and the deployment of thousands of National Guard members in at least 15 states over the past week.

On Sunday, protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police in Philadelphia, set a fire near the White House and were hit with tear gas or pepper spray in Austin, Texas, Atlanta and other cities. Seven Boston police officers were hospitalized. In some cities, thieves smashed their way into stores and ran off with as much as they could carry.

Police officers and National Guard soldiers enforcing a curfew in Louisville, Kentucky, killed a man early Monday when they returned fire after someone in a large group shot at them, police said. In Indianapolis, two people were reported dead in bursts of downtown violence over the weekend, adding to deaths recorded in Detroit and Minneapolis.

In hard-hit Minneapolis, thousands marching on a closed freeway Sunday were shaken when a tractor-trailer rolled into their midst. No serious injuries were reported. The driver was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Floyd died last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against the handcuffed black man’s neck for several minutes, pinning him to the pavement, while Floyd gasped that he could not breathe.

Officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder, but protesters are demanding the three other officers at the scene be prosecuted. All four were fired.

Racial tensions around the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

      

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