Since late May, numerous cities have faced violent rioting, which has included clashes with police, buildings destroyed by fire, and widespread vandalism.
Minneapolis was the first city to devolve into violence. Peaceful protests followed the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. But soon after, peaceful demonstrations gave way to looting, destruction and arson.
The riots were not contained to any specific region in the U.S. and spread quickly to dozens of major American cities, which each experienced varying degrees of violence.
Atlanta: Atlanta was under a state of emergency in early July, with 1,000 National Guard troops activated to protect state buildings following violent riots prompted by the deaths of George Floyd and then of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot and killed by police in Atlanta.
More pictures of protesters listening to speakers outside the GA State Capitol building. pic.twitter.com/ipMHYy5DRd
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) June 19, 2020
Boston: Riots and looting broke out in Boston following the death of George Floyd in late May and early June, and included police vehicles being set ablaze, according to Boston 25.
Chicago: More than 100 people were arrested and more than a dozen officers injured amid the looting and rioting in Chicago in early August, which targeted high-end stores. Hundreds of people descended on parts of Chicago after officers reportedly shot Latrell Allen, 20, who was accused of having a gun.
Police shot the suspect following a shootout and the man was taken to a hospital. False information circulated on social media regarding the incident, including a claim that the suspect was 15 years old.
The aftermath of Chicago riots
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) August 10, 2020
Days later, a group of Chicago City Council members requested that Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker immediately declare a state of emergency in Chicago and deploy the National Guard in light of ongoing rioting and looting in the city.
Dallas: Numerous businesses were looted and vandalized after peaceful protests in Dallas following the death of George Floyd. Rioters jumped on police cars and began to destroy it, according to Biz Journals. Rioters also slashed tires and broke windows of squad cars.
— Rebecca Lopez (@rlopezwfaa) May 30, 2020
— Rebecca Lopez (@rlopezwfaa) May 30, 2020
Denver: Rioters threw fireworks at Denver police officers and started fires after the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday, although riots and protesting had been active for months after the death of George Floyd. At least a dozen people were arrested in Denver Saturday night after rioters vandalized businesses and clashed with police officers. Some rioters set fire to trees and an American flag, while others broke windows and threw fireworks at officers, 9 News reported.
More riots and protests could follow, as Aug. 24 marks the anniversary of Elijah McClain’s arrest, a 23-year-old who died after a deadly encounter with police in 2019.
Detroit: Days after the death of George Floyd, rioters clashed with police in Detroit, throwing small bricks, M-80 fireworks and rocks, while protesters held signs that they wanted police to die, according to Detroit News. Dozens of protesters and rioters, many of them from the suburbs, were arrested.
Houston: Police made 200 arrests in late May during riots and protests. Rioters hurled objects and injured police officers and damaged patrol cars, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Los Angeles: Of the more than 4,400 arrests made at protests and riots in late May, the majority of arrests occurred in Los Angeles, where a special task force was developed to investigate crimes committed during the George Floyd demonstrations. Crimes included attempted murders of officers, looting, burglary, robbery, vandalism, arson and assaults with deadly weapons, according to ABC 7.
Minneapolis: The epicenter of the rioting and the scene of where George Floyd was killed descended into chaos immediately after demonstrations following Floyd’s death May 25. Hundreds of buildings were damaged, many of which were looted, set ablaze and destroyed. The Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct was also destroyed. In St. Paul, more than 50 businesses were vandalized and destroyed.
New York City: Hundreds of people were arrested in early June following riots in New York City, where a curfew was also set after widespread vandalism and attacks on police and businesses. A corporate attorney who graduated from an Ivy League school along with another attorney were accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at an NYPD vehicle as the violence in New York City escalated into clashes between police and protesters.
Tens of thousands of rioters took to the streets of NYC for an eighth consecutive night of protests over the death of a black man in police custody, clashing with police and looting stores in New York City. Where are @NYCMayor and @NYGovCuomo? pic.twitter.com/RJcpk6nm58
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) June 3, 2020
Phoenix: More than 300 adults and over 10 minors were arrested in Phoenix on charges of rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and curfew violation in early June. Rioters reportedly threw rocks and bottles at police, and the National Guard was activated to aid police, according to KTAR.
Portland: While there were peaceful demonstrations in Portland, the city also became a hotbed for unrest, where the rioters set fire to a police union building in August. At least 13 riots were declared since late May, and the violence has included fires and vandalized property. Rioters then began throwing chunks of ceramic, rocks and glass bottles toward the officers, while others pointed green lasers — which are capable of causing permanent eye damage — at officers. At least one balloon filled with feces was thrown at officers on the roof of the building,
Holy sh*# it’s going down in Portland right now
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) August 22, 2020
Unrest continues in Portland as police again declare a riot after nearly three months of nightly demonstrations. pic.twitter.com/9PzyGRsdhJ
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 23, 2020
A riot, as defined by the Portland Police, is when six or more people engage in violent behavior and risk causing harm to others, per the same report.
Richmond: Riots gripped Richmond in early June, where a federal courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, was vandalized with a mark indicating it had been designated as a “target for potential vandalism/arson” by antifa, according to an FBI Situational Information Report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation. Associates of a local anarchist/ANTIFA group were reportedly overheard discussing burning down the Richmond courthouse. Rioters also tried to block a fire truck from reaching a burning building with a child inside in Richmond.
Seattle: Rioting in Seattle began in May immediately after the death of George Floyd. Several cars were set on fire, and businesses were looted or damaged. Incendiary devices including Molotov cocktails were reportedly thrown during the protests, police said according to KING 5. A curfew was set and a civil emergency proclamation was issued. Months later, a half-dozen officers were injured and 18 people were arrested at a Seattle riot after demonstrators hurled explosives at police in August.
— Tammy Mutasa (@TammyKOMO) August 25, 2020
St. Louis: Rioters damaged at least one police van in early June and looted local businesses after peaceful protesters earlier the same day in June, and several fireworks were thrown at police officers during riots in St. Louis, according to KSDK. Police reported that 55 buildings had been broken into or looted throughout the day June 1.
Washington, D.C.: Violent rioting in the nation’s capitol included clashes with police, looting, and a fire set at the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, along with other fires set near the White House. Rioting continued in August, and 41 people were arrested amid Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C. The arrests came as a result of fires set intentionally as well as destroyed property, the 3D watch commander said according to WJLA.
This is where protesters broke into 200+ year old St. John's Church last night & started a fire in what the church's rector tells me was the nursery.
He says although he wishes it hadn't happened, the church still strongly supports the message of the protests. pic.twitter.com/6lmqZGstfk
— Tom Roussey (@tomrousseyABC7) June 1, 2020
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