The Latest: Police say 4 officers shot in St. Louis protests

News

National Guardsmen stand next to Humvees as protests over the death of George Floyd continue Sunday, May 31, 2020, in Los Angeles. Armed National Guard soldiers lined the steps of Los Angeles City Hall and cities across California declared curfews Sunday to head off more violence after unruly demonstrators at earlier protests burned police cars, broke into stores and skirmished with officers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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:

___

ST. LOUIS — Police say four officers were hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis that started peacefully Monday became violent overnight, with demonstrators smashing windows and stealing items from businesses and fires burning in the downtown area.

The police department tweeted early Tuesday that the officers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. It was unclear who had fired the shots.

The chaos in St. Louis followed continued protests Monday in Missouri over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans, with gatherings also held in Kansas City and Jefferson City.

On Monday afternoon, several hundred people rallied peacefully outside the justice center in downtown St. Louis, including Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. Protestors later walked to the Gateway Arch National Park and then onto nearby Interstate 64.

But later Monday, protesters gathered in front of police headquarters, where officers fired tear gas. Some protesters smashed windows at a downtown 7-11 store and stole items from inside before the building was set on fire.

___

NEW YORK — New York City imposed a late-night curfew Monday that failed to prevent another night of destruction, including arrests after a break-in at the iconic Macy’s store on 34th Street, following protests over George Floyd’s death.

As the 11 p.m. deadline to get off the streets approached, bands of protesters marched peacefully through Manhattan and Brooklyn, but police simultaneously responded to numerous reports of roving groups of people smashing their way into shops and emptying them of merchandise.

The doors of Macy’s flagship Manhattan store were breached. Police pulled two handcuffed men out and put them in a van.

People rushed into a Nike store and carried out armloads of clothing. Near Rockefeller Center, storefront windows were smashed and multiple people arrested. Bank windows were smashed. Wreckage littered the inside of an AT&T store.

Video posted on social media showed some protesters arguing with people breaking windows, urging them to stop, but instances of vandalism and smash-and-grab thefts mounted as the night deepened.

New York joined other cities around the country in imposing a curfew after days of unrest. It comes on top of months of restrictions on public gatherings already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Enough mayhem happened before the curfew took effect that Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that it would move up to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The curfew lifts at 5 a.m.

___

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Workers in Alabama’s largest city began removing a Confederate monument Monday night after demonstrators failed to knock down the obelisk the night before.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin sent workers with heavy equipment to take down the more than 50-foot-tall Confederate monument made of stone. Late on Monday, after a 7 p.m. curfew took effect and streets were mostly clear, crews began their work.

Live video showed workers attaching straps to the peak of the obelisk so it could be lifted away with a crane. Within a few hours they had removed the top of the monument.

Woodfin said the city would see if the memorial could be given to a museum or another group.

Woodfin said the fine the city may face for violating a state law banning the removal of Confederate and other long-standing monuments is more affordable than the cost of continued unrest in the city.

Attorney General Steve Marshall, in a statement, said the city would face an assessment of $25,000 if it removed the monument, which has been the subject of a court fight between the mostly black city and Republican-controlled state.

___

CICERO, Ill. — Two people have been killed during unrest in the Chicago suburb of Cicero as protests continued over the death of George Floyd, according to a town official.

Spokesman Ray Hanania says 60 people were arrested in the town of about 84,000 located west of Chicago. Hanania didn’t provide additional information about those killed or the circumstances of their deaths.

The Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Office were called in to help local police Monday as people broke into a liquor store and other businesses and stole items.

___

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A vehicle plowed through a group of law enforcement officers at a George Floyd demonstration Monday night in Buffalo, injuring at least two.

Video from the scene shows the vehicle accelerating through an intersection shortly after officers apparently tackle a protester on the street and handcuff him. Officers are seen scattering to avoid the SUV as it drives off on Buffalo’s east side. Apparent gunshots are heard.

The officers were taken to Erie County Medical Center. Authorities said they were in stable condition.

___

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement officers used tear gas, pellets and low-flying helicopters to turn back demonstrators in Washington protesting the death of George Floyd.

Protesters remained on the streets well past the 7 p.m. curfew that had been imposed by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser. They had spent hours marching peacefully around the nation’s capital before they were buzzed by the helicopters, which kicked up debris.

A standoff developed within site of the Capitol.

Protesters smashed windows at the Teamsters building as they dispersed.

___

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Riot police firing tear gas scattered several hundred protesters from Louisville’s downtown Jefferson Square, violently capping a day of mostly peaceful protests.

Riot police with batons at the ready stood shoulder to shoulder as they advanced down key streets before breaking up the protest after a brief standoff shortly after 10 p.m. Demonstrators shouted at police as authorities on a microphone ordered the crowd to disperse before loud bursts of tear gas crackled and spread acrid, choking smoke over the area.

Protesters began running and military-style vehicles could later be seen occupying the key square fronting a courthouse complex. Some protesters gasped and held wet cloths to their faces as they ran from the wafting gas and advancing police. A helicopter clattered overhead amid the bursts of tear gas fire, and streets appeared to largely empty out.

___

Tiger Woods is speaking out for the first time since George Floyd’s death, saying his heart goes out to Floyd, his family and everyone who is hurting right now.

The golfer says he has always had the “utmost respect for our law enforcement,” but Floyd’s death crossed a line.

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying that he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the country, some of which became violent.

Referencing the protests in his statement, Woods says, “We can make our points without burning the very neighborhoods we live in.”

___

ATLANTA — Protesters were still in the streets of downtown Atlanta on Monday night as curfew neared, and police officers and the National Guard used tear gas, starting shortly before 9 p.m.

Protesters largely dispersed after that, though some remained, and officers were making arrests, apparently for curfew violations. A similar scene played out the night before.

___

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The fatal shooting of the popular owner of a Louisville barbecue spot has prompted a massive march to the site where the restaurateur was killed early Monday.

David McAtee died while police officers and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew amid waves of protests in the Kentucky city. Mayor Greg Fischer revealed earlier Monday that police officers lacked body camera video for the investigation.

The large group marched peacefully Monday evening as some honked horns in solidarity and marchers raised clenched fists. Louisville’s police chief was fired by the city’s mayor on Monday after the mayor learned that officers failed to activate body cameras at the chaotic scene were McAttee was shot.

___

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — More than 60 National Guard troops put down their riot shields Monday evening at the request of peaceful protesters who had gathered in front of Tennessee’s state Capitol in Nashville to honor George Floyd.

Guardsman had initially rushed to grab their shields and form a hard line to block the slowly moving crowd — which was singing and chanting — from advancing up the Capitol steps. As the National Guard began moving, Tennessee State Police grabbed batons and formed a line behind them. However, the crowd remained calm.

Democratic lawmakers leaving the Capitol asked to be able to move past the line of guards to join the crowd. As the crowd continued to sing and call for justice for black Americans, slowly the shields began to drop. The state troopers declined to drop their batons but backed farther away from the crowd.

Monday’s peaceful vigil was a marked difference from several protests that turned violent in Tennessee over the weekend.

___

At least 5,600 people have been arrested in cities around the country since demonstrations broke out protesting the death of George Floyd, according to a tally compiled by AP journalists from police department press releases, police agency Twitter activity and media reports.

The protests began after the May 25 death of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer who is now charged with murder, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.

The arrests come as protests in some cities become more violent and as police and governors are urged by President Donald Trump to take a stronger hand in quelling the demonstrations.

In Minneapolis, where Floyd died, some 155 arrests have taken place. Some of the biggest cities in the U.S. have made a significant number of arrests, including nearly 800 in New York City and more than 900 in Los Angeles.

___

WASHINGTON — Protesters took a knee in the middle of a downtown Washington street Monday night, chanting, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

They applauded as they rose to their feet and declared that the streets were theirs.

Over the past few nights, demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd in Minnesota had asked black police officers to take a knee to show their support.

The march Monday night was peaceful as nightfall approached. There was no apparent effort to get protesters off the streets even though a 7 p.m. curfew had passed.

Earlier, law enforcement officers on horseback and foot aggressively pushed the protesters away from Lafayette Park near the White House so President Donald Trump could visit a church that was damaged by fire during the protests Sunday night.

___

WASHINGTON — Protesters marched on the National Mall and D.C. streets after being driven from the White House by law enforcement officers on horseback and foot so President Donald Trump could visit St. John’s Church, which was damaged during the demonstrations Sunday night.

The demonstrators passed the Lincoln and World War II Memorials and the Washington Monument on the Mall before heading back to the streets near the White House. There was no apparent attempt to disburse the protesters even though a 7 p.m. curfew had passed.

At Farragut Square, a few blocks from the White House, there were about two law enforcement officers for every civilian.

Multiple helicopters buzzed overhead, a relative rarity in the District of Columbia, which is normally a no-fly zone for helicopters and drones.

___

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Heavy equipment arrived Monday night at the Birmingham park where protesters tried but failed to topple a more than 50-foot-tall Confederate monument made of stone Sunday.

It could be the first step toward removing the obelisk. Mayor Randall Woodfin has vowed to remove the monument, which was at the center of a court fight between the city and state over an Alabama law protecting rebel memorials.

___

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday evening slammed President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the United States military to American cities to quell a rise of violent protests.

In an emailed statement in response to the president’s comments, the Democrat said Trump “has repeatedly proven he is incapable of governing and shown nothing but false bravado throughout the chaos that has accompanied his time in office.”

“He cowers at the feet of authoritarians around the world,” Inslee said. “Now he uses the most supreme power of the presidency in a desperate attempt to hide his timidity and vapidity. I pray no soldier and no civilian is injured or killed by this reckless fit.”

The Seattle area has seen several days of violence, including vandalism in the city’s downtown core.

___

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she won’t send National Guard troops to actively help quell violent protests in Portland over the killing of George Floyd because they aren’t needed and that “is exactly what President Trump wants.”

At a Monday news conference, Brown said she would send 100 state police from around Oregon to assist the city, and activate 50 Guard troops to work in support and behind the scenes.

Earlier in the day, President Donald Trump slammed many governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on burning and stealing among some demonstrations. Trump spoke to governors via video teleconference.

Brown said having National Guard soldiers on the streets was the wrong way to go.

“You don’t defuse violence by putting soldiers on the streets,” the Democrat said. “Trump wants governors to deploy the national guard to intimidate the public.”

Portland remains under a curfew order that takes effect at 8 p.m. nightly. Police arrested 11 adults during protests Sunday and early Monday morning after authorities said projectiles — including “large, industrial grade mortar-type fireworks” — were thrown at officers.

“Having soldiers on the streets of America is exactly what President Trump wants,” Brown said.

___

Former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has offered to pay for George Floyd’s funeral and memorial services, and the family has accepted the offer.

Mayweather personally has been in touch with the family, according to Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions. He will handle costs for the funeral on June 9 in Floyd’s hometown of Houston, as well as other expenses.

TMZ originally reported Mayweather’s offer.

“He’ll probably get mad at me for saying that, but yes, he is definitely paying for the funeral,” Ellerbe told ESPN.com on Monday.

Floyd, a black man, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying that he couldn’t breathe. His death sparked protests in Minneapolis and around the country, some of which became violent.

___

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is visiting the 200-year-old church near the White House that was set on fire as demonstrators clashed with police over the weekend.

Beginning with James Madison, every person who has held the office of president has attended a service at St. John’s Church.

Law enforcement cleared protesters out of the area with tear gas before Trump’s visit. Tear gas canisters could be heard exploding as Trump spoke in the Rose Garden. He then walked over to the church.

The protesters appeared to be acting peacefully before they were dispersed by force.

Trump is urging the nation’s governors to get tougher with violent protesters and to deploy the National Guard.

He said in the Rose Garden that he is an ally of peaceful protesters, but he stressed that “I am your president of law and order.”

___

PHILADELPHIA — Police fired non-lethal bullets and tear gas at hundreds of protesters who spilled onto an interstate highway in the heart of Philadelphia on Monday just before a 6 p.m. curfew took effect.

The crowds on Interstate 676 also led to the closure of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, the main link from downtown Philadelphia to New Jersey suburbs across the Delaware River.

Some climbed a steep embankment and scaled a fence as police acted.

More than two dozen were arrested as a few hundred other protesters moved to block the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a grand thoroughfare leading from downtown the city’s imposing art museum.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Report It

Latest News

More Local News