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'Not in the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is Chaos': Protests Turn Violent, Authorities Point to Outside Agitators

06-01-2020
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Protestors riot outside of a burning fast food restaurant, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Protestors riot outside of a burning fast food restaurant, May 29, 2020, in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Chaos in America’s streets with the National Guard called up in 20 states. Even the White House was temporarily at risk.

Peaceful protests over the killing of an unarmed black man in police custody, turned violent over the weekend, but who are the groups taking advantage of the situation?

"Go home!" That was the message to protestors turned violent in major cities across America. In Atlanta, GA,  Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms denounced the violence, saying black-owned businesses are being destroyed.

"This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. This is chaos." she insisted. 

National Guard troops were called up in major US cities where protests turned violent over the weekend. Often along with police, they fired tear gas in places like Detroit and even in Oklahoma City. Rubber bullets were also used to disburse crowds.

In Washington, DC, crowds of protestors outside the White House pushed back on barricades, forcing the US Secret Service to keep President Trump in a secure area of the mansion for nearly an hour.

Some of the protestors set fires, smashed, and burned police cars. Other looted stores, carrying away items like jewelry and guitars. Officials say many of the violent people arrested are outsiders, not local protestors, who are using the situation to create chaos in America’s cities.

"I think there are instigators that are erupting in this violence and it reflects on black people," said one African American protestor in Atlanta.

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On CBS's Face The Nation Sunday, Atlanta's mayor said she doesn't know specifically who is behind the violence in her city, but they are not Atlanta-based.

"It looked differently, racially in our city than our normal protests looked and it was a different group, so we don't know who they were. But many of them were not locally based, I'll say that," explained Mayor Lance Bottoms.

The administration accused the left-wing Antifa, an anarchist group based in Oregon. Attorney General William Barr named Antifa in a statement, and President Trump tweeted that the US will designate Antifa a terrorist organization. However, other officials, like the mayor of Minneapolis pointed to white supremacist groups.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis, where the video of a police officer's torture of George Floyd and his resulting death sparked the nationwide protests and rioting, terrorism of another kind-- horror on wheels as a tanker truck barreled toward protestors on a closed highway.

One witness sobbed as she explained what she saw.

"It's been awesome to see everybody come out, taking a knee for George Floyd. And to see a semi-truck, come barreling through, trying to kill people, I don't understand," she said. 

Miraculously, there were no injuries reported. The truck driver was taken into police custody.

Some acts of kindness were seen during several peaceful protests on Sunday -- like a Florida state trooper in riot gear, hugging a woman who thanked him for putting his safety on the line to restore law and order.

As they embraced the woman told him, "I don't want no one to be hurt. Don't hurt them no more. I love you, man."

Meanwhile, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has taken over the case against the police officers. One has been charged with third-degree murder and they’re considering charges against three others.

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