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Violent Protests Across The Nation Lead Multiple States to Declare a State of Emergency

06-01-2020
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Image source: AP photo
Image source: AP photo

What began as peaceful protests in many places across the country devolved into violence from North Carolina to Michigan and the Twin Cities, as thousands took to the streets in the days since George Floyd's death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

Protests across the country have led multiple states to declare a state of emergency. President Trump is in the White House, where over the weekend the Secret Service ushered the President into an underground bunker as protests grew out of hand.

In the nation's capital, Washington joined a growing list of cities calling in the National Guard, deploying pepper spray at protestors as fires burned across the city from the headquarters of the AFL-CIO labor union building to the historic St. John's church across the street from the White House.

"I was quite angry at the vandalism and arson," said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at a press conference announcing the extension of a citywide curfew.

"We will not allow the continued destruction of our hometown by people who are coming here to protest or by D.C. residents," she said. 

In Washington, protestor Arianna Evans gave voice to demonstrators focusing their ire on President Trump.

"Every time you get on Twitter, every time you say anything sir, you're saying it out of violence, out of hate, and we are tired of being hated," she said. 

The president, for his part, cast blame at the nation's governors, telling officials in a teleconference with governors that "most of you are weak" and "you have to arrest people." 

Wearing a mask, President Trump's Democratic contender Joe Biden listened at a meeting with black church leaders in Delaware. 

"The bandaid has been ripped off by this pandemic and this President," said Biden, adding that, "nobody can pretend any longer what this is all about."

The comments from the rivals in the race for the White House came after more than 4,000 arrests across 22 cities in three days.

"The tactics that I saw last night by the people, the antagonists I will call them, appear to be organized in nature," said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham.

Hinting at systemic forces behind the riots, the District's police chief promised more arrests on top of the 88 arrests made in Washington Sunday night. 

"We will release all the demographics," he said. 

"They were largely from this region; the people that were arrested. But I don't think that tells the whole story, I don't think we will have the whole story until we make more arrests," said Newsham. 

With cleanup efforts underway across the country, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is sending riot teams from the Bureau of Prisons to Washington and Miami, joining U.S. Marshals and D.E.A. agents already deployed in the District.
 

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