Officials on Sunday braced for a sixth night of protests over the recent police killing of George Floyd, with additional curfews enacted and President Donald Trump urging states and local governments to call in the National Guard for additional law enforcement support.
The preparations come after tens of thousands of people on Saturday took to the streets both peacefully and violently to protest the death of Floyd, a Black Minnesota man who died in police custody on Monday, and the others who came before him.
“They keep killing our people,” 15-year-old Mahira Louis — who marched with her mother and hundreds of other protesters through downtown Boston on Sunday — told The Associated Press. “I’m so sick and tired of it.”
Multiple cities, as well as the entire state of Arizona, announced additional curfews on Sunday to help minimize the violence. The curfew in Arizona will extend for a week, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said.
“This gives law enforcement an additional tool to prevent the lawlessness we’ve seen here and in cities nationwide. Police will be equipped to make arrests of individuals who are planning to riot, loot or cause damage and unrest,” Ducey tweeted.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) acknowledged that there are “systemic issues” that need fixing, but added that his state’s curfew needs to be extended for safety reasons.
“Law enforcement made several arrests and seized weapons, narcotics, long guns, handguns, magazines and knives,” he said of the weekend’s earlier events.
As law enforcement agencies braced for another night of unrest, there were midafternoon reports of looting in cities across the country, including Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago, where crews were busy Sunday cleaning up broken glass and burned storefronts.
Because of the current unrest, Chicago’s entire police force has been ordered to work 12-hour shifts, with all days off canceled until further notice, NBC Chicago reported.
“We need everyone to be on board as we rebound from what unfolded last night,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, at an afternoon news conference Sunday, said that the National Guard had been called in by the governor to ensure that the city didn’t have “a repeat of what we saw last night.”
Lightfoot, who is Black, went on to express her own disgust over what happened to Floyd but added that “lawless has nothing to do with First Amendment rights.”
“The casualness with which this individual killed George Floyd, with his hand in his pocket, knowing that he was being videotaped without a care in the world, seemingly,” Lightfoot said of the officer’s actions. “People have a right to be angry and frustrated when they see something like that because it unearths generations of pain and anger.”