Cities like Chicago, Illinois, are calling in their state’s National Guard units Sunday after a night of violence that saw at least three people killed, thousands arrested, and countless businesses left in shambles.
Protests took place across the country Saturday, sparked by a video showing the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was arrested by Minneapolis police. At least four officers have been fired and one, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes, even though Floyd was not resisting, has been charged with Floyd’s murder.
Demonstrations were, initially, mostly peaceful, but by late afternoon, in major cities like New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., protests became violent. Thousands were arrested, and at least three people were killed. At least 500 people were arrested in Los Angeles, more than 100 in Chicago, and a dozen in Philadelphia. “Three people were shot and killed and at least two others wounded as protests morphed into mob violence” in Indianapolis, per Fox News.
Dozens of police departments reported injured officers, and in New York City, two women were arrested after throwing a Molotov cocktail into an NYPD van with four officers inside. The explosive, fortunately, did not detonate.
By 9 pm EST, Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, and Seattle had declared curfews, but few restrictions stopped looting and violence. In Chicago, the looting merely moved from north of the city to the south side.
Sunday morning, Fox News reports that 5,000 National Guard troops are being mobilized to keep the peace in 15 states and the nation’s capital.
“Governors reached out to activate Guard assistance ahead of demonstrations on Saturday night when protests turned into violent riots. Even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has asked for assistance, saying that these are no longer protests,” the network said. “The Guard has announced that it has activated around 5,000 troops as of Sunday morning to deploy to states across the country, with another 2,000 troops on standby. The troops will deploy to California, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.”
KTLA reports that Garcetti, in a press conference Sunday morning, said the Guard is not there to arrest individuals but “to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city.”
In Chicago, the Illinois National Guard will patrol the city’s perimeter, according to a local NBC affiliate, and in Seattle, the National Guard will handle traffic flow in and out of the city along the interstate. In Washington, D.C., members of the Secret Service and uniformed federal officers have been charged with protecting the White House, the Capitol, and a number of federal buildings.
Most cities will continue to enforce an overnight curfew to deter rioters and looters.
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