The Latest: Flash bang, pepper spray disperses Seattle crowd
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— Police use flash bang devices, pepper spray to disperse Seattle protesters
— Mayor of Portland, Oregon, orders police not to use CS gas except as last resort
— Thousands demonstrate again in New York City.
— Jesse Jackson calls on Congress to pass anti-lynching law.
— Floyd honored with memorial service near his North Carolina hometown.
SEATTLE — Police used flash bang devices and pepper spray to disperse a crowd of protesters in Seattle on Saturday night, the ninth consecutive day of George Floyd protests in the city.
The mayhem in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in the day with medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality. It also came a day after Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.
KING-TV reports that a small group of protesters started throwing objects at officers about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police ordered the crowd to move, then used incendiary devices.
After police were severely criticized by protesters and public officials alike for using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse largely peaceful crowds, Durkan and Best said Friday outside groups would review and update crowd-control policies, including the use of pepper spray and deadly force techniques such as neck and choke holds. She and the mayor added that the ban on one kind of tear gas known as CS could be extended if groups need more time for policy review.
SEATTLE -- A ninth consecutive day of protests over the death of George Floyd is underway in Seattle, with a large crowd of medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality.
Thousands of doctors, nurses and others marched from Harborview Medical Center to City Hall on Saturday morning. Many wore lab coats and scrubs.
The recent demonstrations in Seattle have been among the largest the city has seen in years.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said Saturday she is encouraging protesters to be tested for COVID-19 after the city and King County public health departments expanded testing criteria to cover asymptomatic people who have attended large protests.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has ordered the city’s police not to use a type of tear gas except as a last resort in life-threatening situations.
Wheeler issued a statement Saturday saying he shares community concerns about the use of CS gas, especially during a respiratory-illness pandemic.
Critics have called on the Portland Police Bureau to permanently ban the use of CS gas on protesters.
The announcement came a day after the mayor said police would no longer use a “long-range acoustical device,” or LRAD, to disperse protesters. The device can emit high-pitched, loud frequencies and can cause hearing damage.
ATLANTA — Protests downtown assumed an almost festive feel at times on Saturday, with Atlanta’s curfew lifted and police and National Guard presence somewhat out of view.
A group of black college band alumni were serenading one main protest area with a tuba-heavy mix of tunes from atop a parking garage.
Students from historically black colleges and other young people marched to City Hall to demand more action on police violence. Jauan Durbin said he began organizing protests after two fellow college students were pulled from their car and shocked with a stun gun last Saturday by police in downtown Atlanta. The incident was caught on video by WGCL-TV and six officers were fired and then criminally charged.
Durbin said youth protesters are calling for increased financial assistance for black businesses from Atlanta’s city government and increased funding for the city’s public school system.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hundreds of people marched against police brutality on Saturday, while many more joined a vigil for Breonna Taylor, a black woman shot and killed by police nearly three months ago.
News outlets reported marchers stopped to kneel in a symbolic memorial of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck while he pleaded for air while handcuffed.
Protesters have been demanding justice for Taylor, who was killed in her Louisville home in mid-March. The 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door as they attempted to enforce a search warrant. No drugs were found.
After the morning march, hundreds met at Metro Hall to remember Taylor’s life and release blue, purple and white balloons in her honor.
NEW YORK — Demonstrations over the death of George Floyd continued in New York City on Saturday, with thousands taking to the streets and parks to protest police brutality.
Protesters crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan, where other groups marched or gathered in places like Foley Square, home to state and federal court buildings, and Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.
Police erected barriers to all but close off Times Square to vehicle and foot traffic as the city continued to enforce an 8 p.m. curfew that has created tensions between protesters and police.
NEW ORLEANS -- Hundreds of people marched Saturday through City Park as part of a continuing movement of protests against racial injustice and police brutality in America.
With chants of “No Justice, No Peace,” the crowd marched before leaving the park in the early afternoon under gray skies and a light drizzle.
The rally came a day after thousands gathered in the French Quarter for an hours-long protest over the death of George Floyd and others at the hands of police. The crowd filled much of the square in front of St. Louis Cathedral and spilled onto the main thoroughfare, which had been closed to traffic by police.
RENO, Nev. — The Reno Police Department has updated its use-of-force policy as police departments across the country come under scrutiny for excessive force following the death of George Floyd.
The changes will take effect immediately. They include new guidelines on de-escalation and peer intervention, prohibiting techniques that restrict breathing, increasing supervisor and internal affairs oversight, and providing other warning options before resorting to deadly force, department officials said in a statement.
Acting Police Chief Tom Robinson said the force is committed to transparency.
SEATTLE -- A ninth consecutive day of protests over the death of George Floyd is underway, with a large crowd of medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality.
Thousands of doctors, nurses and others — many in lab coats and scrubs — marched from to City Hall on Saturday morning. One sign said, “Nurses kneel with you, not on you.” Another said, “Police violence and racism are a public health emergency.”
The demonstrations in Seattle have been among the largest in the city in years.
After police were severely criticized for using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse largely peaceful crowds, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department’s use of one kind of tear gas.
City officials will review and update crowd control policies, Best said.
MARSEILLE, France — Police have fired tear gas and pepper spray in skirmishes with protesters who hurled bottles and rocks at what had otherwise been an emotional but peaceful demonstration in the French southern port city of Marseille against police abuses and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Protesters took a knee in front of riot officers, gave speeches and chanted before setting off on a march through the city. But the tail end of the march finished in chaos with clashes between police and protesters.
The rally drew more than 2,000 people.
LOUISVILLE, KY. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling for Congress to pass an anti-lynching law and eliminate protections for police officers from lawsuits.
Jackson made the plea Saturday during a news conference in Louisville, Kentucky, where he was to meet with Mayor Greg Fischer and the family of the late Breonna Taylor.
The 26-year-old African-American woman, an emergency room technician, was shot at least eight times in her home after a brief confrontation with police who were there to serve a warrant in mid-March.
SAN FRANCISCO — Thousands of demonstrators filled the streets in San Francisco, Sacramento, Simi Valley, San Diego and other locations across California on Saturday, continuing more than a week of protest marches expressing outrage over the death of George Floyd.
Forty-nine-year-old Roderick Sweeney, who is black, said he was overwhelmed to see the large turnout of white protesters waving signs that said “Black Lives Matter” as hundreds gathered in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center for a march across the famous span.
Floyd died on Memorial Day after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on the black man’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down on the ground.
RAEFORD, N.C. — A private memorial service for George Floyd was underway Saturday afternoon at a Baptist church in Raeford, North Carolina.
Several hundred celebrants were in attendance. Worshipers sang along with a choir as a large photo of Floyd and a portrait of him adorned with an angel’s wings and halo sat at the front of the chapel.
Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin, who is African American, told congregants that police officers around the country must be able to admit to themselves, “I am part of the problem.”
“We as law enforcement officers don’t have the authority to bully, push people around and kill them just because we have a badge and a gun,” Peterkin said as the congregation cheered.
Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer placed a knee on his neck for several minutes on Memorial Day. His death has resulted in protests around the world against police brutality and racism.
CHICAGO — Thousands of people marched through the streets of Chicago on Saturday, chanting and waving signs to protest the death of George Floyd and the police mistreatment of people of color.
Like many protests held elsewhere, the ones in Chicago toward the end of the week were peaceful and police also reported fewer arrests related to unrest. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was hopeful that would continue through the weekend, but a nightly curfew remained in effect. The city also hired three private security firms to protect shops, grocery stores and pharmacies.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia thousands of people demanding justice for Floyd marched peacefully through the city chanting “No justice, no peace!” Demonstrators gathered near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famous “Rocky” steps, then set off for City Hall where they chanted at police officers and National Guard members.
Smaller groups also marched in other Pennsylvania cities, including several in the Pittsburgh area.
DALLAS — Officials in Dallas on Saturday lifted a nighttime curfew that had been put in place after several days of violent demonstrations.
The curfew was lifted after consultation with Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall and City Council.
Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said Dallas city residents were safer staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. The curfew was announced May 31 after violent protests took place in downtown Dallas and other areas over the death of George Floyd and the treatment of black people by police.
WASHINGTON — Thousands of peaceful demonstrators poured into the streets of Washington on a hot, humid Saturday afternoon to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
The protesters gathered at the Capitol, on the National Mall and in many residential neighborhoods. The crowd erupted in applause as Mayor Muriel Bowser walked along the portion of 16th Street that she renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza on Friday.
Many of the loosely organized groups were moving toward the White House, where President Donald Trump was spending the day with no public events. The president remained behind-closed-doors, the faint sound of protesters audible in the distance.
One group of thousands of protesters chanted obscenities at Attorney General William Barr and the Department of Justice as they passed the FBI and Justice Department buildings. The protesters held signs that read, “ When a cop kills someone, we all die” and ”White silence is violence.” With hands raised in the air, many also chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
LONDON — Protesters at an anti-racism rally in London clashed with police on Saturday near the offices of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The clashes near Downing Street came at the end of largely peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the capital, including outside the U.S. Embassy.
Objects could be seen thrown at police wearing protective gear and video shared on social media appeared to show that after a horse bolted amid the clashes, a police officer was unseated after hitting traffic lights. Photographs showed the officer being treated on the ground.
Police in helmets and with shields formed two lines outside Downing Street, with mounted officers in-between. This tactic has helped separate the crowd and calmed the situation.
DORAL, Fla. — About a 100 protesters gathered Saturday at President Donald Trump’s golf resort just outside Miami.
The protest was organized by Latinos for Black Lives Matter. Many carried signs saying such things as “Vote Him Out” and “Don’t Be A Bunker Boy,” the latter a reference to reports that Trump went into the White House bunker when protests in Washington got more violent.
Trump insists he only went there briefly for an inspection.
In Doral, about a dozen police officers were on hand for the protest but did not take any actions.
Several hundred people also gathered in downtown Miami for a march with plans for a bigger rally later in the day. The march was peaceful and led by a pastor who read Bible verses before everyone set out.
PARIS — After demonstrations in Paris, protesters denouncing police abuses and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death gathered in other French cities.
Demonstrators holding placards reading “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace” in English and other slogans in French joined a crowd hundreds strong in the southern French city of Marseille.
A demonstration in Nantes on the west coast also attracted hundreds of people.
RAEFORD, N.C. -- Mourners from around North Carolina waited in a quickly moving line outside a Baptist church in the small town of Raeford where a memorial service and public viewing for George Floyd was held Saturday.
The line included families with young children and teenagers. One young woman wore a graduation cap and gown as she walked beside her parents outside the church, about 22 miles (34 kilometers) from Floyd’s hometown of Fayetteville.
Several mourners told WRAL-TV that they felt drawn to attend because of Floyd’s death and the protests in response represent a historic or momentous moment.
The viewing was followed by the service for Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer placed a knee on his neck for several minutes on May 25. His death has resulted in protests around the world against police brutality and racism.
ATLANTA — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says she is lifting what had been a planned 8 p.m. curfew on Saturday in Atlanta after no arrests were reported Friday in Georgia’s largest city.
The city had been under a nightly curfew since the previous Friday, when a downtown protest dissolved into window-smashing, arson and looting.
More than 20 protests are scheduled Saturday across the Atlanta metro area. Bottoms says she will monitor the situation before deciding whether to reimpose a curfew on Sunday night.
South Carolina’s largest city also decided not to enforce a curfew Saturday. A Charleston city statement says no problems were reported Friday night. City officials say they will monitor developments Saturday in case things change.
LONDON — British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has decried racism as he joined a Black Lives Matter protest in his home town of Watford, about 15 miles north of London.
Reading from a script in a video posted on social media, Joshua said the “virus has been declared a pandemic” and is “out of control.”
Joshua, who was not wearing a face covering and was unable to observe social distancing guidelines given the size of the crowd, said he wasn’t talking about COVID-19: “The virus I’m referring to is called racism.”
He said people should “speak out in peaceful demonstrations,” but they shouldn’t use them “for selfish motives” and turn to rioting and looting.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Prosecutors say two Buffalo police officers have been charged with assault after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old protester to the sidewalk.
Both pleaded not guilty Saturday to second-degree assault. The two officers were suspended without pay Friday after a TV crew captured the confrontation the day before near the end of protests over the death of George Floyd.
The footage shows a man identified as Martin Gugino approaching a line of helmeted officers holding batons as they clear demonstrators from Niagara Square. Two officers push Gugino backward, and he hits his head on the pavement. Blood spills from his head as officers walk past.
Follow more AP stories on the George Floyd protests and reaction at https://apnews.com/GeorgeFloyd