clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What we know about the nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death

Protests erupted in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Detroit, and around the country.

Protesters in Philadelphia hold signs, including one saying “I Can’t Breathe”
Philadelphians take a knee during a nine-minute vigil for George Floyd outside City Hall in Philadelphia on May 30, 2020.
Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Protests over the police killing of George Floyd, and the larger problem of racial prejudice in American criminal justice, spread across the country on Friday night and continued Saturday.

Demonstrators turned out in Minneapolis and in Atlanta. They rallied in Los Angeles and New York City, and in Louisville, Kentucky, where 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was recently shot and killed in her own apartment.

A man was shot in Detroit during protests there Friday, according to the Detroit Free Press. The National Guard is being deployed in Minneapolis and Louisville after incidents of violence, property damage, and arrests. Cities around the country have imposed curfews.

The nation, already tense after months of coronavirus-induced lockdowns, faces another pivotal moment in its long-running story of racial discrimination and state-sanctioned violence. The protests are united by their theme and the grievances being aired, but each is also a distinct local incident. It’s a lot to keep track of.

Here’s what we know about Saturday’s protests:

  • As protests over Floyd’s death continued nationwide, multiple states have called on the National Guard, according to CNN: Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin, plus Washington, DC.
  • Other cities, including Atlanta; Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Los Angeles; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, and the entire state of Minnesota are under curfews, according to NBC.
  • In New York, a police car drove into a crowd of protesters, according to multiple videos from people on the scene.
  • At the White House, a small number of protesters attempted to scale barricades and police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, hitting others in the crowd, according to Ellie Hall of Buzzfeed News.
  • In Minneapolis, a photographer for news outlet WCCO was arrested,
  • Three people in a pickup truck drove into a group of protesters in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday. Mayor John E. Dailey said some of the protesters were injured, but none seriously, and that the driver was apprehended by police.
  • Columbus, Ohio, was placed under a 10 pm curfew Saturday following a day of largely peaceful protests that occasionally led to clashes with police. State and local lawmakers said they were pepper sprayed during one such confrontation.
  • Other cities in Ohio, including Cincinnati, saw similar Saturday afternoon protests, with thousands demonstrating across the state.
  • In Chicago, where more than 3,000 demonstrators gathered, police and protesters clashed Saturday afternoon and evening after some protesters climbed light poles and threw glass bottles at police officers, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Here’s what we know about Friday’s protests:

  • Despite an 8 pm curfew set on Friday night, protesters turned out in Minneapolis again to protest Floyd’s killing by a local police officer.
  • While many protesters remained nonviolent, some businesses were set on fire. Shots were reportedly fired at police officers, while police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowds, according to CNN.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has deployed the state’s National Guard in an attempt to contain the unrest.
  • St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said on Saturday morning he had been told every single person arrested in his city on Friday night was from outside the state, according to CBS. However, on Saturday, the local Fox News affiliate reported that jail records show the “overwhelming majority” of those arrested in connection with the unrest had Minnesota addresses.
  • A 19-year-old man was shot and killed in Detroit, near the site of demonstrations happening there. It was not immediately clear what the motive for the killing was, according to CNN.
  • About 40 people were arrested in Detroit in connection with the ongoing protests. The police chief said most of them did not actually live in the area, according to the Detroit News.
  • In Atlanta, an originally peaceful protest culminated at CNN headquarters, where protesters broke windows and threw things at police, according to CNN. An Atlanta Police Department precinct is also located inside the same building that houses the CNN headquarters.
  • In Washington, DC, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House; some protesters removed temporary barriers that had been set up to keep demonstrators far back from the presidential residence, and clashed with the Secret Service late into the night, according to the Washington Post. Agents made six arrests, but no demonstrators came close to the 13-foot security fence surrounding the White House, let alone to storming the presidential mansion.
  • On Saturday, President Trump warned on Twitter that had any of the protesters gotten past the White House fence, they would have been met by “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” and seemed to urge his own supporters to come out.
  • More than 500 people were arrested in Los Angeles Friday night during the demonstrations; at least four police officers were injured, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police said a number of businesses had been vandalized or looted but could not give an exact count.
  • An unidentified man thought to be a protester was killed by a FedEx truck in St. Louis, Missouri, early Saturday morning. Officials believe the man was caught by one of the truck’s tires, NBC News reports.
  • In San Jose, California, protesters temporarily shut down a highway, according to NBC.

Support Vox’s explanatory journalism

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.