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Peaceful demonstrations, looting and chanting: George Floyd protests continue for sixth night across US

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/31/george-floyd-protests-sixth-night-us/5302473002/

Protesters marched in the streets again Sunday across the U.S. to call for reforms after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.

Most demonstrations, some attracting hundreds of people, were peaceful though violence, including burning of police vehicles and looting, was reported in some cities.

Early in the day, volunteers turned out in many cities to sweep up debris from businesses that had been burned, had their windows broken or were otherwise damaged Saturday. 

Here’s a look at how protests are unfolding around the country on Sunday:

Philadelphia: Mayor Jim Kenney ‘saddened and disappointed’ beyond words

Another day of street protests gave way to looting, with at least one police vehicle set on fire.

Looters were running out of stores in the northeastern section of the city with armloads of merchandise. In the downtown, workers and volunteers swept up broken glass from windows shattered during riots the previous day. Graffiti was being removed.

Protester Philip Hurst forms barrier to protect members of the Ohio National Guard in downtown Columbus on Sunday, May 31, 2020 during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Mayor Jim Kenney said the mayhem “saddened and disappointed me beyond words, and I’m sure it saddened every Philadelphian who takes pride in their city.” He said those responsible “not only desecrated private businesses, they also desecrated the important message that was heard in the earlier peaceful protests.”

Chicago: Gov. JB Pritzker activates 375 National Guardsmen to assist police

Vandalism reports continued to crop up in several city neighborhoods and some suburbs.

The communities of Tinley Park, Crestwood and Oak Lawn alerted residents to stay home due to civil unrest. Many businesses boarded up. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he activated 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers to assist local law enforcement with street closures. 

George Floyd protests:Records dispute claims that most people arrested came from outside

The downtown Chicago demonstrations that drew thousands started peacefully Saturday afternoon in a plaza, with protesters reading the names of black people who have died at the hands of police. But that gave way to violence and destruction that continued overnight Sunday in Chicago and elsewhere.

Police used batons to beat back demonstrators as police cars were set ablaze and windows were smashed at businesses ranging from neighborhood convenience stores to high-end Michigan Avenue shops. 

Santa Monica, California: Peaceful march followed by rampant looting

Looters took advantage of a large, peaceful demonstration several blocks away to hit stores in the city’s business district.

Yet the march that attracted hundreds along the city’s main oceanfront boulevard was peaceful.

Though there were many police officers present for the march, looters were able to plunder stores with few to stop them. Cars were seen pulling up in front of stores, with looters running in to collect bundles of clothes and other merchandise, and running out. Boxes littered the sidewalk at thieves were seen transferring goods into plastic trash bags.

A 5:30 p.m. curfew was announced due to the protests.

The looting came despite the arrival of the National Guard troops in neighboring Los Angeles, which had seen extensive looting, vandalism and arson on Saturday.

Cincinnati: Inwood Park rally opens with fist-up salute and song

A large crowd gathered at Inwood Park to hear speakers as a rally, followed by a march. Organizers gave instructions about what to do if they are tear-gassed.

Peacful marches, burning cars:Protests for George Floyd take varying turns

The rally started with a fist-up salute and a song about the death Sam DuBose, shot by a police officer not far from the scene of this protest in 2015. Some Cincinnati City Council members have been seen and have tweeted from the rally.

The demonstrations began Friday. 

– Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati Enquirer

Augusta, Georgia: Demonstrators chant ‘No justice, no peace’

Demonstrators chanted, “No justice, no peace,” as they walked along Washington Road.

While “No justice, no peace,” was a popular chant among protesters, Sunday’s peaceful march was about showing strength through peace rather than through violence, organizers said. Latoya Lovett said she asked the Street Justice Council to help her organize the marches after hearing many Augusta residents talk about going to Atlanta to join protests there, which have turned violent after peaceful starts.

“You can march in your own city, you can have a voice in your own city,” Lovett said. “You don’t have to go smash windows, you don’t have to go beat people, you don’t have to drop on the police.”

Demonstrators were escorted by Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies who blocked off roads and intersections as needed. Sheriff Richard Roundtree was among those who helped guide the marchers and ensure safety for both them and the motorists.

“We believe in free speech and protesting and voicing your opinion, as long as you do it in a safe manner,” Roundtree said. “As long as you’re doing that, we’re all for it.”

–Will Cheney and Miguel Legoas, The Augusta Chronicle

Jacksonville, Florida: Peaceful rally follows violent Saturday night of protests

A peaceful demonstration was held Sunday outside the Duval County Courthouse. Then protesters started moving downtown and Jacksonville police worked to keep them in certain areas.

The cleanup of smashed store windows began Sunday around Florida after a night of unrest throughout the state’s cities.

George Floyd protests:How did we get here?

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said an unnamed deputy was either stabbed or slashed in the neck and was taken to a hospital for treatment Saturday night. A sheriff’s office spokeswoman would not comment on the deputy’s condition Sunday morning.

A protest Saturday resulted in many arrests, “but we still don’t know how many or anything related to those arrests,” the sheriff said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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