After four straight nights of anarchy and unrest across the US, demonstrations in dozens of cities across the US took on a distinctly more peaceful tone, as several tense situations were successfully de-escalated, while demonstrations and in some cases violent protests sprang up in Europe and around the world.
Tuesday evening was the 7th night of protests (if one counts from the first rallies in Minneapolis) and the fifth night of nationwide unrest, as demonstrations had spread to other cities by Friday.
After closing all of Manhattan below 96th street to cars, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an end to “coordinated criminal activity” and looting. Fortunately, the protests on Tuesday night were much less violent and chaotic. A clash between protesters and police was avoided on the Manhattan Bridge, where police allowed them to turn around and walk back to Manhattan. Some store owners lined the streets and “cheered on the demonstrators”, CNN reported. We imagine many more stood outside their boarded up stores with makeshift weapons, ready to take matters into their own hands after the NYPD refused to intervene to stop looters in parts of the city last night.
Police in riot gear block protesters on New York’s Manhattan Bridge, make arrests.
— DTCNEWS (@DTC_NEWS_2) June 3, 2020
— ABC News (@ABC) June 3, 2020
At one point, Spider-Man made an appearance.
A huge development at the Manhattan Bridge protest right now pic.twitter.com/rCH0GLDgEe
— Anya Volz (@AnyaVolz) June 3, 2020
Looting broke out in downtown Brooklyn at Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street, an area with a lot of big box stores and the Atlantic Terminal mall near the Barclays Center. The department also said there was a shooting in Crown Heights, where a cop shot “somebody with a firearm”.
Though they remained mostly peaceful, thousands of demonstrators steadfastly refused to abide by Mayor de Blasio’s 8pmET curfew, likely because the mayor refused to bring in the national guard and state troopers to assist the NYPD.
“Something has to break, and it’s not going to be us,” Evan Kutcher, one of hundreds of demonstrators who stood outside the Barclays Center chanting Floyd’s name Tuesday evening, told the AP. “We’re here because something needs to change.”
In Philadelphia on Tuesday, CNN noted that protests culminated in a nine-minute “moment” of silence, while city officials opted to move a controversial statue of a former mayor that had become a locus for vandalism.
Overnight, Philadelphia officials removed the statue of Frank Rizzo, the ex police chief and mayor who once told people to “Vote White” https://t.co/yXWcusWX38
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 3, 2020
After Virginia recalled national guardsmen, clashes continued between police and rioters and demonstrators in Washington DC. Cops pepper-sprayed protesters and again shot them with rubber bullets during a protest in Lafayette Square in Washington DC. Video showed a TV camera operator being sprayed at a fence erected at the edge of the park just north of the White House.
Perhaps the most interesting development on Tuesday night were the demonstrations and, in a few instances, violent clashes that broke out in Paris and other European cities.
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) June 2, 2020
Protests even broke out in Sub-Saharan Africa, with protests staged in Kenya and Nigeria.
Pope Francis weighed in for the first time, saying “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye” to racism.
“I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd…We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”
According to a tally from the AP that was just updated, roughly 9,300 people have been arrested in demonstrations around the world.
Instead of the spray-painting graffiti, protesters in the US capital used chalk to draw messages on the asphalt.
Protesters chanted and talked among themselves, most wearing masks, but not keeping to social distancing for the coronavirus. One protester, Mati Yiheyis, a 21-year-old college student at the University of Virginia, told the AP that many older protesters stayed away because of COVID fears
When one protester climbed a lamp post and removed a street sign, others loudly booed, per the AP.
“It’s not what we’re about,” said protester George “TJ” Pierce.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights is launching a sweeping civil rights investigation into the Minneapolis Police Department which will look into practices of systemic racism. In a statement to the press, he said the inquiry will try to determine whether police engaged in “systemic discriminatory practices towards people of color and ensure any such practices are stopped.”
Derek Chauvin, the officer who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck, is expected to make his first appearance in court on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on June 8. Floyd’s funeral is set for June 9. One last important date: Analysts at Fundstrat projected that if a surge in new cases doesn’t arrive by June 11, then that would suggest the feared resurgence in infections never came to pass.
FUNDSTRAT: Protests “started 5 days ago .. and ~92% of those exposed to COVID-19 are symptomatic by day 14 (50% by Day 7). Day 14 is June 11th. So if no massive second wave starts by June 11th, we have a definitive break” in transmissability.” – @fundstrat
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) June 3, 2020