The Latest: California closes all downtown state buildings
The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:
SAN FRANCISCO — The state Department of Human Resources sent a directive to close all California state buildings “with offices in downtown city areas” on Monday, a sweeping mandate that covers everything from Department of Motor Vehicles offices to those that license workers and provide health care.
“After consultation with the California Highway Patrol and Office of Emergency Services, the decision was made this evening to advise all state departments with offices in downtown city areas to close tomorrow, and to notify staff of the decision,” said Amy Palmer, a spokeswoman for the state Government Operations Agency.
The directive was sent Sunday evening and it was left up to officials at individual agencies to determine which buildings should be closed.
A state Department of Justice memo sent to employees said the attorney general’s offices in Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego would be closed, though employees who can work from home should do so.
“Staff assigned to these offices should not report to work for any reason. Staff who are able to telework should continue to do so despite the office closures,” the memo said.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Police in Portland deployed tear gas to disperse a large crowd downtown late Sunday night after authorities said projectiles were thrown at officers.
Earlier, police said protesters smashed windows at the federal courthouse, and authorities on loudspeakers declared the gathering a civil disturbance.
Thousands of people marched throughout Oregon’s largest city on Sunday, the third day of George Floyd protests in Portland. For much of the afternoon and evening protesters were largely peaceful, but there were reports of increased violence directed at police into the night.
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Monday reported the demonstrations across the United States in reaction to the death of George Floyd, saying protesters “harshly condemned” a white police officer’s “lawless and brutal murder” of a black citizen.
The article, published with photos, said hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the White House chanting “No justice, no peace.” It also said there were demonstrations in Minneapolis, New York, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles and Memphis and that the protests were expected to grow further.
Several thousand people marched Monday in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, to protest George Floyd’s death and show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The protesters marched from Aotea Square to the U.S. consulate, where they kneeled. They held banners with slogans such as “I can’t breathe” and “The Real Virus is Racism.” Hundreds more joined protests and vigils elsewhere in the country, on a day that was a public holiday.
The protests were peaceful. Protesters said they were also standing up against police violence and racism in New Zealand.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than 15 people were arrested during protests in Charlotte on Sunday night, the city’s police department said.
Police said four demonstrators were arrested for assaulting officers, including one for hitting an officer with a rock. Three others were arrested on illegal weapon charges, police said.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Shortly after local officials praised what had been a peaceful protest in Kansas City, Missouri, police fired tear gas into the crowd after some demonstrators began lobbing water bottles, law enforcement officials said.
A large crowd had gathered at County Club plaza and police had allowed it to slowly dissipate after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew took effect. But police used stronger tactics against the smaller crowd that remained when rocks and water bottles started flying and two television station news vehicles were smashed and set on fire.
Police declared the scene an “unlawful assembly” and said the area was clear of activity by midnight.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee late Sunday ordered a statewide activation of the National Guard following vandalism and stealing in stores and shopping malls in multiple cities.
Inslee had previously authorized 400 troops for Seattle and 200 for Bellevue. On Saturday night people smashed downtown Seattle store fronts and stole items from many businesses, tossing mannequins into the street. On Sunday there were break-ins and thefts in stores and shopping malls in Bellevue, Spokane, Tukwila and Renton.
Inslee’s activation means more troops will be used to help control unrest.
“We must not let these illegal and dangerous actions detract from the anger so many feel at the deep injustice laid so ugly and bare by the death of George Floyd,” Inslee said in a statement. “But we also will not turn away from our responsibility to protect the residents of our state.”
WASHINGTON — Break-ins and stealing were rampant in downtown Washington and elsewhere in the city as protests over George Floyd’s death turned violent for a third straight night.
Protesters broke into a branch of Capital Bank, and empty jewelry boxes could be seen scattered on the sidewalk outside a Mervis Diamonds store.
After protesters broke into a La Colombe coffee shop, someone in the crowd yelled, “What are you looting a coffee shop for? You’re messing up the whole message.”
NEW YORK — The mayor of New York City’s own daughter is one of the nearly 790 people who have been arrested in the city since protests over the death of George Floyd began last week.
A law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter tells The Associated Press that 25-year-old Chiara de Blasio was arrested Saturday night. An arrest report obtained by The New York Post says she refused to leave a Manhattan street ordered cleared by officers because people were throwing things.
Chiara de Blasio, who is black, was later given a court summons and released.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is white, didn’t mention the arrest in his Sunday press briefing. City Hall spokespeople didn’t have an immediate comment.
— By Michael R. Sisak
AUSTIN, Texas — Police fired rubber bullets and pepper spray late Sunday night at demonstrators who gathered outside the downtown police station in Austin.
Live television cameras on Spectrum News showed officers firing several shots into the crowd and several people on the ground. Some people could be seen throwing water bottles at police.
The officers were stationed above the crowd on the steps of the police station and a raised section of Interstate 35.
Unlike Dallas, where police made dozens of arrests to enforce a downtown curfew, Austin doesn’t have a curfew and demonstrators have been roaming downtown from the police station to the state Capitol several blocks away for nearly 10 hours. The crowd has ebbed and flowed from a few thousand to a few hundred.
Demonstrators could not get on the Capitol grounds, which were protected by a large police presence.
DENVER — Police fired tear gas and projectiles at demonstrators defying a Denver curfew Sunday night following a day of peaceful marching and chants of “Don’t shoot” alongside boarded-up businesses that had been vandalized the night before.
Dozens of demonstrators, some throwing fireworks, taunted police and pushed dumpsters onto Colfax Avenue, a major artery, in the sporadic confrontations that occurred east of downtown. The demonstration over the death of George Floyd came after turbulent protests that led to the arrest of 83 people Saturday night.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock called the behavior of unruly protesters “reckless, inexcusable and unacceptable.”
PHOENIX — Protests held Sunday night in downtown Phoenix appeared to be peaceful, according to local media reports.
An hour before a curfew went into effect, activist Armonee Jackson told protesters in the parking lot of an art gallery downtown that they should avoid any violence, The Arizona Republic reported.
“Listen to me: We are not ending in violence. I refuse to end in violence,” Jackson told the crowd.
David Riutta told the newspaper that he came out to protest police brutality and wants to see a panel of civilians investigate officers’ use-of-force cases.
WASHINGTON — As demonstrations continued past an 11 p.m. curfew, D.C. police said they were responding to multiple fires that were “intentionally set” around the city. One was at St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is located across Lafayette Park from the White House.
The church says every president beginning with James Madison, “until the present,” has attended a service at the church, giving it the nickname, “the church of presidents.”
The first services at the church were held in 1816, according to its website.
WASHINGTON — The entire Washington, D.C., National Guard — roughly 1,700 soldiers — is being called in to help with the response to protests outside the White House and elsewhere in the nation’s capital, according to two Defense Department officials.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday she had requested 500 Guardsman to assist local law enforcement. Later on Sunday, as the protests escalated, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered the rest of the Guardsman — about 1,200 soldiers — to report.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
The D.C. National Guard did not reply to a request from The Associated Press for comment.
- By James LaPorta
WASHINGTON — Protesters started fires near the White House as tensions with police mounted during a third straight night of demonstrations held in response to the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minnesota.
An hour before the 11 p.m. curfew, police fired a major barrage of tear gas stun grenades into the crowd of more than 1,000 people, largely clearing Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and scattering protesters into the street.
Protesters piled up road signs and plastic barriers and lit a raging fire in the middle of H Street. Some pulled an American flag from a nearby building and threw it into the blaze. Others added branches pulled from trees. A cinder block structure, on the north side of the park, that had bathrooms and a maintenance office, was engulfed in flames.
As the curfew hit, police sealed the perimeter of the park. Shortly beforehand, police pushed a crowd of about 300 demonstrators several blocks with a series of charges with batons and riot shields.
Enraged protesters screamed, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?” Police shot pepper powders point black at several protesters.
Several miles north, a separate protest broke out in Northwest D.C., near the Maryland border. The Metropolitan Police Department says there were break-ins at a Target and a shopping center that houses Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store, T.J. Maxx, a movie theater and specialty stores. Police say several individuals have been detained.
At least 4,100 people have been arrested over days of protests across the country since George Floyd’s death Monday, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press.
Arrests ranged from thefts to blocking highways and breaking curfew.
The arrest figures as of 11 p.m. EST on Sunday included those from demonstrations in New York and Philadelphia on the East Coast, Chicago and Dallas in the Midwest and Southwest, and Los Angeles on the West Coast as protests take place all over the county.
In Dallas, police began sweeping downtown streets with arrests to enforce a curfew that went into effect at 7 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michael Jordan is “deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry.”
With protesters taking to the streets across the United States again Sunday, Jordan released a statement on George Floyd and the killings of black people at the hands of police.
“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” the former NBA star and current Charlotte Hornets owner said in the statement posted on the Jordan brand’s social media accounts and the team’s Twitter account.
“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.
“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.
“My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through acts of racism and injustice.”
BOSTON — A Sunday afternoon of mostly peaceful protests in Boston broke at nightfall when demonstrators clashed with officers, throwing rocks, breaking into several stores and lighting a police vehicle on fire.
Boston police tweeted that at least 40 people had been arrested as of 3 a.m. Monday. Police said seven police officers had been hospitalized and 21 police cruisers were damaged.
A National Guard unit was called in to help quell the unrest.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker called the violence “criminal and cowardly” in a tweet. The nighttime destruction was a stark contrast to the several protests earlier Sunday that featured thousands of demonstrators marching peacefully.
ATLANTA — Riot police firing volleys of tear gas dispersed hundreds of demonstrators as a curfew took hold Sunday night, scattering a crowd that had protested for hours in downtown Atlanta over the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
Hundreds of police, National Guard troops and other forces lined up in positions around downtown Centennial Park, a focal point of the weekend of protests.
An overnight curfew took hold at 9 p.m. as some on the fringes of what was a largely peaceful afternoon protest were setting off fireworks and burning construction materials near the park. An Associated Press photographer saw police then begin firing many 40 millimeter canisters of tear gas toward the crowd. People were choking, gasping and some throwing up as they scattered, leaving only a few still in the streets.
As police and National Guard troops took up positions with plastic shields on major streets, crowds melted away. WSB-TV showed footage about an hour later of officers taking people who lingered in the streets into custody, using plastic ties to handcuff them on street corners.
WASHINGTON — Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to an underground bunker Friday, as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades just outside the executive mansion.
That’s according to a Republican close to the White House not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and confirmed by another official. The abrupt decision by the agents underscored the rattled mood inside the White House, where the chants from Lafayette Park could be heard all weekend and Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers struggled to contain the crowds.
The Friday protests, triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer, turned violent and appeared to catch officers by surprise. It sparked one of the highest alerts on the White House complex since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. In the days since, security at the White House has been reinforced by the National Guard and additional personnel from the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police.
On Sunday, the Justice Department also deployed members of the U.S. Marshals Service and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration to supplement national guard troops outside the White House, according to a senior Justice Department official. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
— By Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller