White House briefly locked down as unrest spreads to Atlanta, DC, NYC after George Floyd death

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By Caitlin McFall-Fox News

The White House was under a brief lockdown Friday night as protests erupted across the country over the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, bringing tensions to a boiling point and forcing one of the Twin Cities to issue a curfew while demonstrators clashed with police across the U.S.

Fox News and other members of the press were immediately moved inside as the White House went into lockdown. A dozen reporters were said to be inside the West Wing. One of the protestors was later taken into custody by the Secret Service outside the White House Friday night.

Floyd, a black man, died in police custody this week after a white officer pinned him down by pressing his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck while Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired and on Friday was charged with murder. Three other police officers were also fired but have not been charged.

Minneapolis authorities have imposed an overnight curfew in an attempt to prevent more destruction and, at time, violent protests that had pursued for three days.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct was broken into by a crowd of protesters and set fire, Thursday night.

Protests have broken out across the country. In Atlanta, demonstrators spray-painted and broke windows of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters.

One protester climbed up onto the CNN building and waived a “black lives matter” sign as hundreds of other protesters pelted police with bottles.

Police officers reportedly backed their lines away and ordered the protesters to leave, threatening arrest if they did not.

Several of the bottles thrown contained accelerate, and an American flag was lit on fire as protestors yelled at the police, “Quit your jobs.”

Protesters later threw rocks and smoke grenades into the lobby and fired BB rounds, according to reporters on the ground.

The protest reportedly started peacefully and quickly became destructive after there was an interaction between a police officer and a protester outside the headquarters.

Protesters climbed onto parked police vehicles, smashed the windows and lit one of the cars on fire.

A firecracker was also thrown at police officers barricading the CNN  Center.

Several buildings in the downtown area in Atlanta have been vandalized, according to local news outlets.

Large crowds also took to the streets in New York City for the second day Friday. Roughly 70 people were arrested after the protests became rowdy, traffic was shut down and several police officers were injured.

NYPD officers reportedly became violent using their nightsticks and pepper spray outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Friday night.

Some of the protesters were said to be carrying brass knuckles and knives, while others reportedly threw trash and garbage cans at NYPD officers.

Protesters chanted “I can’t breathe” — the last words of Eric Garner, who died in police custody in 2014 after being taken down by NYPD officers on Staten Island, drawing a parallel to Floyd’s death earlier this week.

Hundreds of people turned up in Charlotte, N.C., to march in protest Friday night. But the demonstrations turned destructive as at least one police car tire was slashed and several windows were broken at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police substation, according to a local news outlet.

Police officers responded by throwing tear gas at protesters and several people have been arrested, the police department said.

A demonstration in Denver also turned violent Friday and three people were taken into custody.

“Let not the story be about the riots and protests. Let’s keep the focus on the life that was lost,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.

“I want to express our nation’s deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies to the family of George Floyd,” President Trump said at a roundtable Friday. “I spoke to members of the family, terrific people.”

Fox News’ Kristina Biddle and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

 

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