Protests Spread Nationwide On Fourth Night After Minneapolis Death Of George Floyd

Protests Spread Nationwide On Fourth Night After Minneapolis Death Of George Floyd

11:34pm May 29, 2020
Police officers and protesters clash on Friday near CNN Center in Atlanta, in response to George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
Police officers and protesters clash on Friday near CNN Center in Atlanta, in response to George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
Mike Stewart / AP

Angry protests nationwide on Friday followed the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Clashes erupted between activists and law enforcement in many of locations.

In most cases the demonstrations began peacefully, but as the day unfolded and night fell, they became increasingly violent.

"They are telling our stories and you are disgracing their building"

That was true in Atlanta, where a crowd of protesters outside of an entrance to CNN's headquarters on Friday evening repeatedly threw rocks at officers attempting to keep them from rushing into the building. Armed with riot gear, more than a dozen officers braced as they endured attacks from protesters with rocks, smoke grenades, and apparently BB rounds. At one point protesters threw a flashbang that detonated in a small lobby.

Earlier in the day a police vehicle was set on fire. An act of vandalism reporters have cited as a turning point in the day's activities.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pleaded with those marching in the streets to stop rioting.

"You are burning cars, you have defaced the CNN building. Ted Turner started CNN in Atlanta 40 years ago because he believed in who we are as a city. ... They are telling our stories and you are disgracing their building," Bottoms said in a televised interview.

Others who had surrounded CNN's headquarters, smashed the building's windows and sprayed graffiti on the network's logo.

The messages scrawled on the building included insults to Trump, along with #Love and "no cops."

Los Angeles crowd descends on uniformed officer

In Los Angeles, an angry crowd rushed into the streets amid oncoming traffic.

At one point, an officer grabbed a male activist in an attempt to restrain him. But after a brief tussle, a throng of protesters pulled the officer to the ground. They descended on the uniformed officer, kicking and hitting him with protest signs. Eventually, a man in civilian clothing pulled him out of the melee.

Dozens of people later marched onto the 110 Freeway blocking all of the northbound lanes.

White House on lockdown

On Friday afternoon the U.S. Secret Service temporarily locked down the White House, after demonstrators gathered in protest outside the gates. Many took a knee while others chanted, "Don't Shoot."

Shortly afterward, Secret Service officials said "personnel are currently assisting other law enforcement agencies during a demonstration" in the park across from the White House. Law enforcement struggled with protesters over metal barricades that form one of the layers of protection around the White House.

New York Protests Turn Violent

More protests broke out in New York, peacefully at first, in lower Manhattan area and then with spurts of violence at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Protesters threw water bottles and chanted insults at police.

In a video captured by a local reporter, police can be seen wielding batons and beating several protesters to the ground, at one point spraying a crowd with a repellent, and making arrests.

"Our police officers have been given a very clear instruction: as always, respect peaceful protest. We in this city have a long history of respecting every kind of viewpoint, that is the essence of New York City," NYC mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference Friday.

The AP reports in Brooklyn, at least one NYPD van was set on fire by demonstrators two separate times.

At least 200 demonstrators were arrested Friday and a dozen NYPD officers injured, according to local reports. Seventy protesters were taken into custody on Thursday.

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