Protest live updates: ‘If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing,’ mayor faces comments backlash

Officers involved in arresting George Floyd were fired and could still face charges

Minneapolis protestors were out in the streets for another night despite a mandatory curfew.

The death of George Floyd, a black man who was seen pinned down in a video by a white police officer and later died, has caused outrage in the city of Minneapolis and across the United States. What started as mostly peaceful protests at the beginning of the week has turned into chaos.

City leaders have pleaded with communities to voice their outrage in a lawful manner, but the widespread escalation of protests continued Friday night into Saturday.

Murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, one of the four officers at the scene who were all fired. The Department of Justice has said a full investigation of the incident is a “top priority.”

Prosecutors said Chauvin, who was the officer seen in video pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck, had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd was unresponsive for two minutes and 53 seconds of the encounter.

This story will be updated as protests continue throughout the country. Please check back for updates. All times Eastern.

4:29 p.m.: Denver announces curfew this weekend

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced an 8 p.m. curfew for this weekend.

Hancock said the National Guard has been activated by Gov. Jared Polis to help enforce the rule.

Essential travel is exempt.

These measures come in the wake of two straight nights of intense, and sometimes violent, protests in the city regarding the death of George Floyd.

4:11 p.m.: 2 NY sisters arrested, 1 charged with attempted murder

Two sisters from the Catskills, New York, are charged with throwing a Molotov cocktail at a police vehicle with four NYPD officers inside near Brooklyn Museum Friday night.

Samantha Shader was charged with four counts of attempted murder, attempted arson, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. Darian Shader was charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, both misdemeanors.

The Shader sisters are awaiting arraignment at Brooklyn Criminal Court on Saturday. If convicted, 27-year-old Samantha Shader faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Attorney information was not available.

In this photo provided by Khadijah, flames erupt from a New York City Police… moreIn this photo provided by Khadijah, flames erupt from a New York City Police Department van set ablaze, Friday, May 29, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York, during a protest of the death of George Floyd in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.Khadijah/AP

3:52 p.m.: Minneapolis police’s protest plans kept under wraps

After 27 arrests, 23 fires and 131 calls to police for shots fired, Minneapolis police have not announced any new plans on how they will handle the ongoing protests any differently.

“We are not going to let a group of people hijack this city,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Saturday.

Arradondo made the promise to residents, but did not share any new tactics his officers will be using tonight to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“Over the last 72 hours, so much has been occurring,” said Arrandondo, adding, ‘We were overwhelmed, quite frankly.”

A man confronts a National Guard member as they guard the area in the aftermath of a… moreA man confronts a National Guard member as they guard the area in the aftermath of a protest against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 29, 2020.Carlos Barria/Reuters

Since Thursday evening, there have been widespread violence, destruction and fires throughout the Twin Cities. Over 380 people called to report burglaries, business alarms and damage to property.

Arrandondo said they are working with legitimate community groups who are holding peaceful protests in order to help separate those designed to incite violence.

Arrandondo seems to be hoping the National Guard will secure areas that have been the site of much of the destruction so MPD officers can go back to answering other calls throughout the community.

3 p.m.: 533 arrests, 6 police officers injured in Los Angeles

Six police officers were injured and 533 people were arrested during protests throughout Los Angeles, California, Friday and early Saturday morning, police said.

The hundreds of arrested were charged with burglary, looting, probation violations, battery on a police officer, attempted murder and failure to disperse, police said. All but 18 of the arrested have been released on their own recognizance.

The officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries ranging from lacerations to impact wounds.

“While more protests are slated for various locations throughout the city today, we remain hopeful those demonstrations will be peaceful. The Department will be deploying additional resources to maintain order and ensure the safety and security of not only individuals exercising their first amendment rights but also the residents and businesses in our community,” said Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michael Moore.

2:15 p.m.: Attorney General Barr comments on ‘radical’ protests

Attorney General William Barr warned protesters with ANTIFA and radical ties that they are committing a federal crime.

“Peaceful protests are being drowned out by violent radical elements,” said Barr at a brief press conference on Saturday.

Barr noted that there are people with what he called, ‘ANTIFA-like tactics,’ who are traveling from outside of the area, to participate in protests coordinated as peaceful demonstrations.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced that they are investigating whether outsiders, including white supremacists, are inciting riots.

“It is a federal crime to cross state lines to participate” in these violent crimes, said Barr.

1:56 p.m.: Public safety alert issued for Ohio

The Columbus Ohio Police Department issued an emergency alert on Saturday afternoon urging people to stay out of the downtown area for their “safety and the safety of others.”

The alert comes a day after at least five people were arrested, five officers were injured and several businesses were destroyed during protests, WSYX reported.

1:35 p.m.: Atlanta’s mayor denounces protests that turned to ‘destruction’

“What we saw overnight was not a protest, and it was not Atlanta … We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a statement on Saturday.

Friday night’s protest in Atlanta, Georgia, started out as “a peaceful demonstration, quickly turned into mayhem and unnecessary destruction, and ultimately an assault on businesses that are already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lance Bottoms.

The protests were a result of the most recent police-involved killings of African Americans across the country as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery who was shot while jogging on Feb. 23 in Satilla Shores, Georgia.

The city’s Department of Public Works have been cleaning up the streets, the Department of Transportation is removing graffiti and the National Guard has been contacted for assistance in order to “help our city recover,” said Lance Bottoms.

“If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism,” said Lance Bottoms.

1:16 p.m.: A federal officer died, another injured in California

One Federal Protective Service officer has died, and another was wounded Friday night, the FBI said in a statement to ABC News.

As an arm of the Department of Homeland Security., FPS officers are responsible for protecting federal buildings across the country.

A car pulled up to the building and started firing, according to the FBI.

The agency doesn’t say if the incident was related to protests in the city.

22 people were arrested during demonstrations in the Oakland Friday night, according to authorities.

The Department of Homeland Security has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment

12:18 p.m.: A mayor in Mississippi faces backlash for ‘breathe’ comments

The mayor of Petal, Mississippi, is facing backlash and calls for him to resign after justifying former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for keeping his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

“If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing,” Mayor Hal Marx wrote on his now deactivated Twitter account on May 26 — the same day Chauvin was seen on a 10-minute video kneeling on Floyd.

Similar remarks were made after former NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo was seen on video using an alleged unauthorized chokehold to allegedly kill Eric Garner in 2014. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe” became a national rallying cry against police violence.

Marx defended his remarks on Twitter, and his deactivated Facebook page as misinterpretations.

The Petal Board of Aldermen held a special meeting on Thursday, voting unanimously to ask for Marx’s resignation, The Clarion Ledger reported.

Marx has refused to step aside.

10:58 a.m.: NYPD arrested over 200 during protests

Demonstrations throughout New York City Friday night resulted in the arrest of over 200, including one person in Brooklyn who had a loaded gun and a woman who was armed with a lit Molotov cocktail.

More than 3000 demonstrators gathered in Foley Square and outside Barclays Center, police said.

At the height of the protests, 37 patrol cars were vandalized with graffiti and broken windows, a police van was set on fire and a Molotov cocktail was thrown into an occupied police car — the officers inside were not hurt.

There were more than a dozen officers injured, ranging from teeth knocked out to shoulder and head injuries.

“Anyone, anywhere who has witnessed what they believe to be police misconduct can — and should — report it to the CCRB. The Agency already has begun to receive complaints related to incidents that took place last night. As always, our staff is committed to investigating all allegations of misconduct thoroughly and impartially,” said New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) Chair Fred Davie.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that Attorney General Letitia James will review all actions and procedures used during last night’s protests and will issue a report in 30 days. “We are asking anyone with information about last night, including visual evidence, to please share it with our office so we can take it into account as we proceed with this investigation. Please email Complaints@ag.ny.gov,” said James.

10:47 a.m.: 1,000 more National Guard service members activated in Minnesota

Governor Tim Walz announced on Saturday morning that an additional thousand members of the National Guard will be deployed to “support civil authorities” during protests over the murder of George Floyd.

“Our communities of color, our business community were out front fighting hand in hand to save businesses it took a decade to build,” said Walz during a press conference Saturday morning.

Protests turned violent with fires set across the city, objects were thrown at the police and dozens have been arrested, officials said. Over 700 soldiers and air service members’ duty were activated overnight.

What’s happening in the city is in “no way about the murder of George Floyd it’s about attacking civil society and installing fear,” said Walz.

“We cannot as members of the community tolerate that,” said Minneapolis Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington at a press conference on Saturday.

Officials said only about 20% of the rioters are Minnesota residents.

Walz noted that practicing First Amendment rights should also involve practicing COVID-19 guidelines, but “the folks that are gathering out there … the masks were worn to disguise, to cause confusion and take advantage of that situation.”

“The Minnesota National Guard is prepared to protect life, protect property and restore order,” according to a press release by the state’s National Guard.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey along with other local officials, said that the violence and destruction are from outside elements. “We are now confronting white supremacists, members of organized crime, out-of-state instigators, and possibly even foreign actors to destroy and destabilize our city and our region,” Frey tweeted on Saturday.

9:24 a.m.: FBI director calls George Floyd investigation “a top priority”

ABC News has obtained a message to FBI employees sent by FBI Director Chris Wray, on Friday. In it, Wray said the investigation into the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death “is a top priority, and experienced prosecutors and FBI agents have been assigned to the matter.” He said the investigation “will determine whether the actions by the former Minneapolis police officers involved in this incident violated federal law.”

He also wrote about how damaging the failure to honor the rights of citizens, particularly those in custody, can be.

“Law enforcement officers have indispensable and often dangerous jobs, but that doesn’t diminish the crucial, overarching role we play in society – to protect and serve all citizens no matter their race, creed, orientation, or station in life. This, of course, includes those citizens who are in law enforcement custody,” Wray said.

“When we fail to honor their rights, we not only tarnish the badge we wear, we completely erode the trust so many of us in law enforcement work so hard to build, particularly within minority communities. The events this past week in Minneapolis clearly illustrate just how quickly that trust can be lost,” the message stated.”

8:41 a.m.: White House protesters would have been met with ‘most vicious dogs,’ ‘most ominous weapons,’ president tweets

President Trump fired off a series of tweets Saturday morning praising the Secret Service after protesters marched in front of the White House Friday night.

“They were not only totally professional, but very cool,” he president tweeted. “They let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted…” he wrote.

The president also wrote that if protestors had become “too frisky” or “got out of line,” “they would quickly come down on them,” he wrote. He also tweeted that if protesters had breached the White House fence, they would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”

He also took a jab at D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!,” the president tweeted.

8:19 a.m.: FBI issues statement on Oakland shooting

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a statement after one person was killed, and another injured in a shooting at that took place while protests were happening in Oakland, California. FBI San Francisco and Oakland police are investigating, but it is unknown yet if the shooting is connected to the protest.

“FBI San Francisco and the Oakland Police Department are investigating a shooting that occurred at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building at 1301 Clay Street in Oakland, California.,” the statement read. “At approximately 9:45pm on Friday, May 29, 2020, a vehicle approached the building. An individual inside the vehicle began firing gunshots at contract security officers for the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security. One officer was killed and another was injured,” according to the statement.

“The FBI has deployed investigators and the Evidence Response Team to the crime scene. We will continue to work this investigation alongside the Oakland Police Department,” the statement continued.

7:24 a.m.: Portland mayor declares State of Emergency

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Saturday morning that he’s declaring a State of Emergency in the city following the destructive unrest in the wake of the death of Floyd.

He also announced the city has a curfew in effect until 6 a.m. local time Saturday and will begin again at 8 p.m.

“Burning buildings with people inside, stealing from small and large businesses, threatening and harassing reporters. All in the middle of a pandemic where people have already lost everything,” Wheeler said in a statement Saturday. “This isn’t calling for meaningful change in our communities, this is disgusting.”

Overnight the Portland Police Department declared the protest as a riot after “significant vandalism” was reported and a fire was set inside the city’s Justice Center. Police said there was also a shooting connected to the protest.

Police said large sections of downtown were closed and that protesters should “disperse now or you will be subject to gas, projectiles, and other means necessary for dispersal.”

5:43 a.m.: 1 dead in Detroit after person opens fire on protesters from vehicle

One person is dead in Detroit after a vehicle drove up on people protesting the death of Floyd and opened fire, according to authorities.

A gray Dodge Durango pulled up and fired into the crowd, hitting a 19-year-old man who later died at the hospital, a Detroit Police Department spokesperson told ABC affiliate WXYZ.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the violence and destruction overnight is not what the city of Detroit is about.

“This does not represent the vast major of Detroiters who came here to make a statement,” Craig said during a press conference Friday night. “We support the message, but let’s do it peacefully.”

A Detroit Police officer uses tear-gas during a protest in the city of Detroit,… moreA Detroit Police officer uses tear-gas during a protest in the city of Detroit, Michigan, on May 29, 2020, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes. – Violent protests erupted across the United States late on May 29, over the death of a handcuffed black man in police custody, with murder charges laid against the arresting Minneapolis officer failing to quell boiling anger.Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

He said many of the people taunting police officers and trying to incite violence have come from outside the city to sow chaos.

“We know that the individuals from outside the city of Detroit who converged at the protest location don’t represent this city. They are not from this city,” Craig said. “Let’s peacefully protest, but outside of that, we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re not going to tolerate criminal acts.”

4:26 a.m.: ‘Prudent’ to have Army units ready to deploy to Minnesota, governor says

As fires raged and protests escalated even further throughout Minneapolis Saturday morning, local and state officials said getting the chaos under control will take a response never before seen in the state because “there’s simply more of them than us.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said at least 1,000 additional Minnesota National Guard troops would be activated Saturday, and even then, that might not be enough. He said that is why the state is considering using active-duty Army units, which are reportedly being put on alert to deploy to Minneapolis, according to a late-night report from the Associated Press.

“You may have seen or heard that, this evening, the president directed the Pentagon to put units of United States Army on alert to possible operation in Minneapolis,” Maj. General John Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, said during a press conference Saturday. “While we were not consulted with, as it relates to that, I do believe it’s a prudent move to provide other options available for the governor, if the governor elects to use those resources.”

Walz said it’s more complicated than just saying yes and deploying them now because the move to have federal troops patrolling in Minneapolis would be something never before seen in the state.

“I spoke with President Trump the other night, I think it is prudent to have them ready for us to exhaust all resources that we need,” Walz said Saturday.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Walz angrily took to the podium Saturday morning to ask those setting fires, attacking officers and looting businesses to stop.

“We as a city can be so much better than this,” Frey said at the press conference Saturday. “There is no honor in burning down your city. There is no pride in looting local businesses that have become institutions of a neighborhood.”

A protester stands in front of a fire during a demonstration against the… moreA protester stands in front of a fire during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of African-American man George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., early May 30, 2020.Lucas Jackson/Reuters

He said people, especially during a pandemic, are counting on grocery stores being open to get groceries, pharmacies to get needed medicine and banks to get money.

“If you care about your community, you got to put this to an end; it needs to stop,” Frey said.

Walz said the tragedy of Floyd’s death has morphed into “an unprecedented threat to our state,” where those causing destruction have no regard to property or life.

Dozens of arrests were made on Friday, but an official total has not been released for the city. In one instance, shots were fired at law enforcement officers overnight.

One thought on “Protest live updates: ‘If you can say you can’t breathe, you’re breathing,’ mayor faces comments backlash

  1. If a person say he or she cannot breathe he cannot breathe period. I have witnessed patient that talked to the doctor laid back down and died.I CANNOT BREATHE IS NOT SUBJECTIVE it is OBJECTIVE. Please take note of that.

    Like

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