George Floyd protests and riots across America: Nashville, Portland...
The death of George Floyd in police custody has sparked protests and riots across the country and further afield, with numerous violent incidents.
The United States has seen thousands of people peacefully protest across the country over the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. But as those stances have been taken to try to bring further emphasis on the need to deal with racial discrimination in the US, and specifically demand justice in this case, there have also been sizeable pockets of violence with some areas being affected more than others.
Protest and riots cover America
For this reason, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver and Philadelphia have ordered a curfew for their citizens, which took effect from 20:00 on Saturday 30 May and ran until Sunday 31 May at 05:30. In the case of Denver, the curfew will also take place on Sunday night running from 20:00 through till the next morning at 05:00. We will see what other steps are taken in this regard.
The protests in downtown Denver have drawn attention due to the degree of intensity and damage that have been reported so far. This is why the United States government has made use of the National Guard, as well as the tactics team, SWAT, to support local police forces.
More than 30 people have been reported arrested in Denver with those confirmation expected to push that even higher after the latest confrontations. Punishment for those who do not keep to the curfew range from time in prison of up to 300 days and up to $999 fines.
The 21 protest hotspots in the United States
Much of the country has joined the cause to demand justice for the death of George Floyd, and according to NBC data, 21 hotspots have been identified. These are: Portland, Eugene, Oakland, San José, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Austin, Kansas City, Denver, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Dallas, Chicago, Louisville, Detroit, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Richmond, Washington, New York and Boston.
Saturday's "I Will Breathe" rally was scheduled from 15:00-17:00 and proceeded largely without incident as thousands of demonstrators crowded into the Legislative Plaza. Police held the perimeter as protesters began marching downtown at around 16:40 on Charlotte Avenue, with organisers urging participants to remain peaceful.
Tensions grew as night fell and protestors started a fire at the Nashville's Metro Courthouse and windows were smashed. Riot police arrived and another incident saw a statue outside the state Capitol of Edward Carmack torn down. There were reportedly 28 people arrested and 30 buildings or business damaged.
Portland protests lighter
The protests in Portland on Saturday night did not match the scale of Friday, when rioters set fire to the Multnomah County Justice Center, set fires in the streets, and looted downtown shops, nor did it match, in terms of size or violence, the showdowns with police seen in Los Angeles, Seattle and Philadelphia, among other cities where people are protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A crowd of 200 people on the street outside Lloyd Center was soon met by police. Riot police holding long weapons chased protesters at a dead run down Northeast 9th Avenue. The crowd soon dispersed. Flash-bangs could be heard along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard after 22:00, as police continued to break up small gatherings of protesters.