George Floyd unrest: Police out in force in major cities to tamp down on riots as curfews take effect


By Caitlin McFall-Fox News

Police have been out in force Wednesday night in cities across the country to enforce curfews that were seen as helping reduce late-night rioting Tuesday, and officials are hoping for a calmer night amid the ongoing George Floyd protests.

In cities such as New York City and Orlando, video captured police taking curfew violators into custody just after 8 p.m.

In Brooklyn, tensions grew between protesters defying the curfew and NYPD officers trying to make arrests. The officers have temporarily blocked off an entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, preventing cars from driving into Manhattan.

Demonstrators in Manhattan have been detained and loaded onto a  bus by NYPD officers for ignoring the citywide curfew that Mayor Bill de Blasio extended through Thursday.

Peaceful protests in dozens of cities across the U.S. at times turned violent as security officials clashed with demonstrators over racial inequality and police brutality.

All four former police officers involved in the George Floyd case were charged Wednesday.

Derek Chauvin, the former police officer seen kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, received elevated charges of second-degree murder Wednesday.

The other three former police officers, Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, who were on the scene when Floyd died, have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family called the charges a “bittersweet moment.”

Chauvin initially had been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Several states are preparing for George Floyd’s memorial services, the first of which is set to take place in Minneapolis Thursday, followed by North Carolina and Texas throughout the next six days.

Protests continued in dozens of cities, but Tuesday evening saw a calmer night in Washington, D.C., New York and St. Louis, after a retired police officer was shot and killed Tuesday morning after a looting incident.

Brian Powell, son of the retired police officer gave a message to Fox2Now Wednesday that said, “Know the real reason that you are protesting. Let’s do it in a positive manner,” Powell told the media outlet. “We don’t have to go out and loot and do all the other things.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded community efforts to clean up after the riots and credited the efforts by the New York Police Department in preventing more widespread damage to neighborhoods and businesses.

“Last night we took a step forward in moving out of this difficult period we’ve had the last few days and moving to a better time,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Washington, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters Wednesday that he believes the curfew is helping to combat the riots.

“The curfew gives the police the ability to stop the violence that we saw two nights during the course of this event,” he said. “If you have large groups that are clearly peacefully protesting … those groups are going to be allowed to peacefully protest.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted the city’s curfew from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. after a calmer night of protesting.

Bower also said that she will not be ordering in additional National Guardsmen despite President Trump’s suggestion to “deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers,” earlier this week.

Police used tear gas in Atlanta to disperse a crowd that persisted after the 9 p.m. curfew and violence broke out in Seattle when protests went from peaceful to violent as some demonstrators started throwing objects at police officers.

Minneapolis protests continued last night and on Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz extended a 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew for Minneapolis and St. Paul through Thursday.

“Minnesotans need more than ever to lean on their neighbors, show up for their communities, and add their voice to this urgent conversation on addressing our systemic problems,” Walz said Wednesday. “Yet they’ve made those sacrifices to stay home through the curfew to help keep our neighborhoods safe.”



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