In New York City, protesters leapt onto police vehicles in Manhattan parks and marched down main Brooklyn thoroughfares on Saturday evening, as demonstrations around the country over the death of George Floyd entered another night.
The protesters spanned several city blocks as they marched down Flatbush Avenue in central Brooklyn, chanting, “No justice, no peace” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.” Similar chants were heard on the streets of Las Vegas and Los Angeles, as mayors of major cities issued curfews on Saturday evening and pleaded with residents to stay home.
Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver and Cleveland were among the cities that enacted curfews. Texas, Washington, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin activated National Guard troops.
New York: ‘A lot of anger and frustration’
Protesters near Barclays Center arena blocked an NYPD vehicle, which then accelerated into the crowd; one person jumped on the hood. Demonstrators also threw trash at a police vehicle. After police saw viral video of the incident, multiple law enforcement officials say the officers decided to push the barrier into the crowd instead of confronting the protestors outside the car.
Unrest also edged into violence around Manhattan’s Union Square, according to several videos broadcast on television or posted on social media. A large vehicle was shown to be ablaze outside the Regal Cinemas movie theaters a few blocks from the park and later several people appeared to jump on top of a police vehicle with smashed windows.
The New York City Police Department arrested more than 100 people as of Saturday evening, a senior police official said, adding that 15 police vehicles have been burned in Manhattan and in Brooklyn.
In Brooklyn, hundreds of people held up their fists outside the Barclays Center while staring down the NYPD officers who stood in front of the subway station entrance. Protesters participated in a moment of silence for Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground for more than eight minutes.
Nella Mueier, a black Brooklyn resident, said she joined the protests for the first time on Saturday.
She held a sign that said, “Good cops speak up” and said she came out because too many black men and women had been killed by police.
“I know there have to be some good ones out here but they should be out here with us protesting against what we’re seeing,” she said of the police officers guarding the subway station. “We need them to keep our communities safe, but we don’t feel safe because they don’t see us as human beings.”
She continued, “A lot of people are out here for different reasons. There’s a lot of anger and frustration. There’s a lot of people wanting to stand in solidarity.”
The marchers had come from south Brooklyn and shutdown Atlantic Avenue, a major city thoroughfare, to traffic. Many drivers held up by the demonstration honked their horns in solidarity — some even holding up their fists in solidarity.
Full coverage of George Floyd’s death and protests around the country
Alicia Fox, white Brooklyn resident, held a sign that read, “Defund the police.”
“It’s ridiculous I can’t even remember everyone’s name anymore,” she said of all the people who had been killed by police. “The chant and idea is always remember his name, remember her name, but who can? That’s a genuine question because so many people have died at the hands of police.”
Protesters moved from the Barclays Center to the Target at Atlantic Terminal where an argument broke out between demonstrators, as organizers pushed back against attempts to do damage to the store. Some yelled, “Why are we protecting corporations?” before a sudden police movement drove protesters away from the store’s entrance north toward Fort Greene.
As marchers moved toward that neighborhood, where the protest devolved into violence on Friday night, some residents cheered the demonstrators on from their windows.
Earlier in the day, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said police in New York City had already seen some violence, some of which involved bricks. Shea cautioned that they were still sorting out the addresses of those who had acted violently, but “at least 20 percent are from out of town,” he said.
“It’s probably higher, maybe much higher,” Shea said, adding that he suspected some of those taken into custody might have given false Brooklyn addresses.
Las Vegas: ‘I could only take so much’
In downtown Las Vegas, hundreds of people arrived at Container Park, where they stood outside the shopping center built from old shipping containers and held signs that read “silence is complacent” and “no justice, no peace.” Demonstrators marched from the shopping center down Las Vegas’ famed Fremont Street, walking pasts the neon signs, bars and restaurants. They chanted Floyd’s name along with “I can’t breathe,” raising their fists in the air.
The demonstration, organized by a local Black Lives Matter group, began around 7 p.m.
Las Vegas resident Jasmine Wharton, 23, was among those outside Container Park. She said she’s been posting on social media about the injustice of Floyd’s death — but it wasn’t enough.
“You really need to come out and represent,” Wharton said. “I could only take so much.”
Christian Williams, 9, stood on a downtown Las Vegas sidewalk near the county jail, holding a sign that read, “Stand up for Floyd.” The march was Christian’s first.
He said the scene was a lot at times, with the chanting crowds and honking cars, but it felt good. “Because maybe when the cops see this, they will know not to do this again,” he said.
Christian came to the protest with his mother, Dee Young, 29. She said she brought her son to educate him about Floyd’s death and police shootings.
“He’s got to see this because he’s a little black boy in America and he needs to be aware,” Young said.
She looked over at the crowd of hundreds of protesters, then she turned to her son.
“Look at this,” she said to him. “All these people from all these different races coming together for the cause.”
Los Angeles: ‘I want to live in a world…’
In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an 8 p.m.-to-5:30 p.m. curfew Saturday night for downtown, where businesses were damaged, looted and vandalized Friday night.
Hours before the curfew, Jo Nesha Kelly, 43, said she joined protests out of frustration and the desire to do more than comment on social media.
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“I feel great about what I’ve seen, the part of the rally I was a part of was very peaceful,” she told NBC News while in the Fairfax neighborhood. “It wasn’t until I came down other streets where I saw a little bit more of the anger and frustration.”
“What’s great about being here is that there are so many different ethnicities and cultures out here participating for change,” Kelly, who is from Palmdale in Los Angeles County, said. “And it’s not just black people. It’s brown people, it’s white people, Asian people, and it’s really great to see.”
Nearby, Andrina Dominguez said she had joined the demonstrations out of concern for her family, particularly for her sister, step dad and others who had darker skin tones than her. “I want to live in a world where I don’t have worry about if they’re going to go home and be safe at the end of every day,” she said.
Buddy Burch, 26, meanwhile she said felt a particular obligation as a white American.
“As a white person living in the United States … like I’m physically sick from police violence,” Burch said. “It’s important for me to put my body between police and people of color.”