In the United States, protests do not stop because of the death after the detention of African American George Floyd by the police. Demonstrators throw stones at the police and firecrackers. US law enforcement officers are trying to force the demonstrators to disperse.
The National Guard reports that 5,000 troops have been deployed to respond to the riots in 15 US states and the District of Columbia. Another 2 thousand people, the department is ready to send additional to the fight against protests, if necessary.
The leadership of Minnesota, where a tragic incident occurred, for the first time in state history, decided to fully mobilize the National Guard due to unrest.
Curfews have been imposed in more than 25 major cities across the country, including Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Portland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and others.
According to the Associated Press, since May 28, police have arrested more than 1,660 people in 22 cities.
Several dozen law enforcement officers were injured.
In Minneapolis, police and the National Guard tried to disperse protesters by using tear gas, firing rubber bullets at the crowd and using stun grenades.
“It was a peaceful demonstration, but it was pretty scary as the police threw light-and-noise grenades from the roof of the site and shot the crowd with rubber bullets,” activist Kayla Jane Johnson, a law enforcement activist who suffered from the actions of law enforcement agencies, told RT correspondents.
- “I got a second degree burn”: activist spoke about the actions of the police on actions in Minneapolis
At the same time, the Minneapolis police use force methods not only against demonstrators, but also against a number of journalists from the American and world media. From their actions, in particular, RIA Novosti correspondent Mikhail Turgiev suffered. The police deliberately sprayed pepper spray in his face, despite the fact that he showed them the ID of a press representative. The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the incident, calling the incident "a manifestation of unreasonable cruelty."
“We consider it unacceptable for US law enforcement officials to use special means - rubber bullets and tear aerosols - against media representatives after they have presented a press card," the Russian Foreign Ministry commented.
At a press conference, Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz apologized for the attack by law enforcement officials on media representatives.
“This is unacceptable ... I bear full responsibility for this,” said Walz.
Los Angeles police used batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
In Indianapolis, during the protests, one person died, at least three more were gunshot wounds. This was announced by the head of the local Police Department.
In New York, protesters threw empty bottles and other items at the police. Law enforcement authorities used pepper spray and batons in response. In Brooklyn, police rammed a crowd of protesters with their cars. In Manhattan, protesters climbed onto the rooftops of police cars and knocked out windows, while other Protestants burned trash cans.
In Austin, Texas, thousands of people took to the streets with protests. People gathered near the police station. Law enforcement officers used tear gas against them and fired rubber bullets at the crowd.
In Cleveland, Ohio, police used tear gas against demonstrators near the Justice Center. People began to choke, some of them received eye injuries. Thousands of demonstrators filled the roads, some of them stopped at the Center building and began to shower it with various objects.
Near the White House in Washington, a crowd of demonstrators stormed the police who put up shields and fences. After the protesters burned the car, the police used tear gas.
The protest over the death of Floyd was supported in Europe. In Berlin, demonstrators held a rally in front of the US Embassy. In London, thousands of protesters gathered in the central part of the city, holding in their hands posters demanding justice for George Floyd. A demonstration took place in the center of Manchester.
- Protests in Europe
"Tired of violence"
Recall that riots in the United States began after the death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd, who was detained by police, on May 25 in Minneapolis. A video of the detention of a man was published on the network, which shows how one of the law enforcement officers pressed a black American with his knee to the ground, pressing hard on his neck. The man repeatedly complained of a lack of air, and then lost consciousness. He later died in intensive care.
These frames caused a wide resonance in American society. In Minneapolis, protests began that spread throughout the country. Despite the fact that four law enforcement officers were fired, and police officer Derek Chauvin, who crushed Floyd's neck, was charged with third-degree murder, the protests did not stop. Demonstrators demand that law enforcement be held accountable.
- "We are fed up with this": a friend of the family of the deceased Floyd on the oppression of the rights of blacks and police arbitrariness
Russia condemned the brutal actions of US police officers while detaining a black American and suppressing protests. As stated in the Russian Foreign Ministry, "this incident is far from the first in a series of manifestations of lawlessness and unjustified violence by" law enforcement officers "in the United States."
Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, also reacted to what is happening in the United States. She called on US authorities to "take serious measures to stop such killings." Bachelet also expressed concern that, as in many similar cases, law enforcement officers could be acquitted.
It is worth noting that African Americans make up about 20% of the population of Minneapolis. At the same time, from the end of 2009 to May 2019, in almost 60% of cases, police used firearms specifically against the black population of the city. It is reported by the American newspaper The New York Times, citing data from US law enforcement agencies.
“Demonstrations of Americans against police arbitrariness in the United States have occurred repeatedly. However, this time the situation is getting worse every day, the geography of protests is expanding. But if earlier these people were mainly black protesters, now a large number of white people and Hispanic residents have taken to the streets, ”political scientist Sergei Sudakov, a correspondent with the Academy of Military Sciences, said in a conversation with RT.
According to him, this can be explained by two reasons.
“On the one hand, the Americans as a whole, not only dark-skinned, are very tired of the violence that occurs in the United States by law enforcement agencies. On the other hand, killing a black policeman with a white one is just one of the factors why people want to throw out their popular anger. The unrest is also affected by the increased unemployment rate in the country, the overall difficult situation due to the coronavirus pandemic, ”the analyst said.
In turn, political analyst Alexander Asafov believes that the situation surrounding the death of Floyd and the protests that broke out because of this "clearly show the stratification of the US population on the one hand, and unspoken racism on the other."
At the same time, analysts agree that on the whole, the events in the USA, including the attempts of the security forces to suppress the protests by force, demonstrate the “double logic of Washington”.
“The advice that the US authorities give to other countries, in particular, to be more democratic, often does not correspond to their domestic policy. But Washington doesn’t bother it at all, ”Asafov emphasized in an interview with RT.
According to Sudakov, the American authorities believe that "for America there is one truth, and for everyone else - another."
“They will affect electoral positions”
While a wave of protests spread from one state to another, U.S. President Donald Trump went to the Cosmodrome at Cape Canaveral to watch SpaceX launch Crew Dragon.
During his speech at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, the American leader mentioned the incident with the death of an African American. Trump said that Floyd's death is a serious tragedy, and that this should not have happened. However, he emphasized at the same time that his administration "will always fight against violence, chaos and unrest."
“We support the right of people to hold peaceful demonstrations and hear their calls. But what is happening now on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with order or justice, ”said the head of the White House.
Later, on his Twitter, Trump posted a record in which he actually approved the actions of the National Guard in Minneapolis.
“In order to solve a problem that the Democratic mayor did not manage, the National Guard was introduced in Minneapolis. She should have been sent there two days ago, then such damage would have been avoided, and the police station would not have been captured and destroyed. The National Guard does not waste time, but does an excellent job! ” - wrote the head of the White House in his microblog.
The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn't do. Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
According to Sergei Sudakov, Trump expects that the situation that occurred in Minneapolis "may even play into his hands."
“In many ways, what happened is a big minus for the Democrats, because Minnesota is a state in which the governor is a democrat and the mayor of the capital is also a representative of the Democratic Party. It turns out that it was they who committed the arbitrariness of the police. This is a serious reputational loss for the Democratic Party. And Trump has already taken advantage of these facts, accusing the head of Minneapolis of inaction, ”the expert explained.
However, in this situation, the American president "incorrectly sets the emphasis", going to look at the launch of the spacecraft instead of personally deciding on the issue with protests, Sudakov said.
“It is clear that Trump, based on the alignment of political forces, does not make sense to vehemently support black people, since these people are not his electoral core. However, such a defiant ignorance of what is happening could turn against the head of the White House. It is important for Americans that their president be with them during tragedies. And there is nothing to do with racial affiliation. The mistakes that are being made by Trump’s headquarters could negatively affect his re-election, ”the analyst believes.
- US President Donald Trump, Florida, May 30, 2020
- © Jonathan Ernst
Sudakov also predicts that the American authorities will not be able to quickly quench the protests that erupted throughout the country.
“Washington will not be able to do this, even if it involves even more law enforcement officers. This anger that people are now throwing out will continue for a long time. However, US citizens are not ready for a “merciless riot”, ”the expert notes.
At the same time, according to Alexander Asafov, Trump understands that if he moves to the tools of overly stifling suppression of protests, he will receive a wave of accusations “that will definitely affect his electoral positions.”
“After all, his political opponents are already trying to warm up the situation. Democrats, in particular US presidential candidate Joe Biden, urge people to continue the demonstrations. And this, of course, is an electoral statement, since black people are voters who traditionally vote for candidates from the Democratic Party, ”the expert concluded.