Law enforcement officers have arrested thousands since a wave of violent protests broke out in Minnesota last week and spread across the country.
Officers have arrested at least 4,400 people in connection with demonstrations over the deaths of several black people: Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, George Floyd in Minnesota, and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky. The arrests have been for offenses such as breaking curfew, blocking highways, destroying property, stealing, and assaulting police officers, according to The Associated Press.
Violent demonstrations have rocked the United States from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., hundreds of businesses have been looted or burned by mobs of rioters barely controlled by local and federal law enforcement officials. Riots in Washington, D.C, on Sunday night and early Monday morning resulted in a number of fires set near the White House.
Violent protests broke out in Minneapolis on Thursday over the death of Floyd. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was one of four officers that arrested Floyd after responding to a call about a man allegedly trying to use a counterfeit bill. During the arrest, Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on the African-American man’s neck for roughly nine minutes, according to a criminal complaint against Chauvin.
Videos show Floyd begging for relief saying he can’t breathe. He was unresponsive for about three minutes before an ambulance arrived and took him to the nearest hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the complaint. Four officers, including Chauvin, have been fired in connection with the incident. Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s preliminary findings into Floyd’s death indicate that Floyd likely died from a combination of being restrained, underlying health conditions, and potential intoxicants in his body. The medical examiner has found no evidence that Floyd died from strangulation or asphyxiation.
Police officers killed Taylor in March after breaking down her door while conducting a search for narcotics. No drugs were found. Taylor’s boyfriend, who was in Taylor’s house, fired and wounded one officer. The officers fired back hitting Taylor eight times.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he fired at the officers not knowing that they were the police. He said that the officers did not announce themselves before breaking down the door to Taylor’s home. The officers dispute Walker’s claim and say they did announce themselves before forcing their way inside.
Walker was charged with attacking a police officer, but the charges were later dropped. Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad has announced his intent to retire at the end of June, and three officers have been placed on administrative reassignment. The FBI is investigating the incident.
Arbery was killed in February by a father and son – Gregory and Travis McMichael – while jogging in a suburban neighborhood near Brunswick, Ga. The McMichaels were arrested and charged with murder several months later in May.
The father and son team allegedly believed that Arbery was the suspect in a string of recent robberies in the neighborhood and set up a roadblock to confront him. In a video of the incident, Arbery is shot after struggling to disarm Travis.
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