George Floyd murder: 6 US states call on National Guard as riots intensify

Atlanta protests in response to the George Floyd killing turned chaotic, police in riot gear called in | Photo credit: @ajc
Protests across the United States surged on Saturday (local time) as at least six states have called on the National Guard to get the situation under control amid raging demonstrations in Minneapolis and other places, following the death of African-American man George Floyd in police custody.

Following Floyd's death, a series of protests which started in Minneapolis has now spread across the entire country, CNN reported.

A number of roadways into Minneapolis is closing at 8 pm ET tonight, according to a tweet from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Meanwhile, other US states and cities are too seeing large-scale demonstrations.

Denver Mayor Michael B Hancock threatened those who may be thinking of inciting violence during peaceful protests, will no longer be tolerated.

"When there are agitators with selfish motives and reckless intentions, hijacking demonstrations and inciting violence with homemade explosives, rocks, bottles, graffiti and vandalism, our officers will respond to maintain people's safety, to protect themselves and to protect public and private property," the Denver Mayor was quoted as saying by CNN.

Law enforcement officers in Chicago arrested 108 people during mass protests provoked by police actions in Minneapolis, where Floyd, had lost his life after being arrested, the media reported on Saturday.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city will have a curfew beginning at 8 pm Saturday until 5 am ET on Sunday.

"To increase safety for demonstrators, law enforcement and all citizens of Los Angeles, we are putting a curfew in place from 8 pm to 5 am," the mayor tweeted.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that 137 people were arrested at Friday night's protests in the city's downtown area, according to a tweet from Houston Police Department.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has instituted a mandatory curfew effective at 8 pm ET on Saturday night through 6 am ET on Sunday morning, the Philadelphia Police Department tweeted.

"Only persons with essential duties will be permitted outdoors," the police department said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Saturday that local authorities would deploy state resources, namely 1,500 officers, to major cities, including Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

A total of four police officers involved in the arrest have been fired. Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer involved in the death Floyd has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

A bystander video recording showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes, while Floyd was saying that he could not breathe.

The US Department of Justice has made the FBI investigation into Floyd's death a top priority.

President Donald Trump warned on Saturday that if the unrest continues in US cities, then the federal government would step in and the military would be used.

Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Trump said the death of Floyd was a "grave tragedy" but warned against surrendering to hostility.

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