AP: Protesters return to the streets as President Trump decries ‘lowlifes’
1 year ago Web Desk 0
But most protests passed peacefully, and while there were scattered reports of looting in New York City, the country appeared calmer by late Tuesday than it did a day earlier, when violence swept through multiple cities.
The president, meanwhile, amplified his hard-line calls from Monday, when he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.
One day after a crackdown on peaceful protesters near the White House, thousands of demonstrators massed a block away from the presidential mansion, facing law enforcement personnel standing behind a black chain-link fence. The fence was put up overnight to block access to Lafayette Park, just across the street from the White House.
The crowd remained in place after the city’s 7 p.m. curfew passed, defying warnings that the response from law enforcement could be even more forceful. But the protest lacked the tension of the previous nights’ demonstrations. The crowd Tuesday was peaceful, even polite. At one point, the crowd booed when a protester climbed a light post and took down a street sign. A chant went up: “Peaceful protest!”
On Monday, law enforcement officers on foot and horseback aggressively drove protesters away from Lafayette Park, clearing the way for President Donald Trump to do a photo op at nearby St. John’s Church. On Tuesday, pastors at the church prayed with demonstrators and handed out water bottles.
Protests ranged across the U.S., including in Los Angeles, Miami, St. Paul, Minnesota, Columbia, South Carolina, and Houston, where the police chief talked to peaceful demonstrators, vowing reforms.
More than 20,000 National Guard members have reportedly been called up in 29 states to deal with the violence. New York is not among them, and de Blasio has said he does not want the Guard.
Tuesday marked the eighth straight night of the protests, which began in Minneapolis, where Floyd died, and quickly spread across the country.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that among the victims of the unrest was a retired St. Louis police captain checking on his friend’s shop. Another was the beloved owner of a Louisville barbecue restaurant who provided free meals to officers. Yet another was a man known as “Mr. Indianapolis,” a former star football player.
They are among those killed as protests have roiled American cities in the week since the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis officer jammed a knee into his neck, The Associated Press said.
The deaths, as well as widespread peaceful protests, have reportedly at times been overshadowed by the shocking images of heavy-handed police tactics, vandalism and arson. Dozens have been injured in the chaos.
Many of the people killed were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black communities.
Nearly 8,000 people nationwide have been arrested, according to a count by The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the BBC says Washington’s Catholic archbishop has strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s visit to a shrine as civil unrest continues in the US over the death of a black man in police custody.
Tuesday’s visit “manipulated” the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Archbishop Wilton D Gregory said.
The archbishop reportedly also condemned the forceful clearing of protesters outside the White House on Monday to allow Mr. Trump to visit a church where he held a Bible in front of gathered media.
Source: Asia Plus