police protests
May 28, 2020

A protest outside the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct police station tipped into violence for a second night on Wednesday as demonstrators demanded justice in the police killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, on Monday night. Looting was seen at a nearby Target, Dollar Tree, Cub Foods, and AutoZone, and as night fell, fires broke out in the street and the auto parts store, The Associated Press reports. Police, who fired tear gas and stun grenades Tuesday night, stood guard outside the station but did not appear to intervene to stop the looting.

Police did apprehend a suspect after finding a man shot dead on a sidewalk near the protests. Police spokesman John Elder said the shooting was being investigated as a homicide and the events that led up the death are "still being sorted out." Police Chief Medaria Arradondo urged calm as evening fell, noting that Floyd's death is under several investigations, including one by the FBI. "Justice historically has never come to fruition through some of the acts we're seeing tonight, whether it's the looting, the damage to property, or other things," he said on KMSP-TV.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for the arrest of the white officer who kneeled on Floyd's neck for eight minutes, even as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn't breathe. That officer and three others involved were fired Tuesday. There were also nonviolent protests outside the officer's house and the home of the Hennepin County prosecutor who will decide whether to file charges in the case. Surveillance footage appears to show Floyd cooperating with police, CNN reports, though the public has not yet seen the officer's body-camera.

Police forces around the country have enacted polices in recent years to limit excessive use of force, especially against black and brown people, and Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy said as far as he's concerned, the video of Floyd's final moments speaks for itself. Peter Weber

September 18, 2017

Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown St. Louis on Sunday in a third day of demonstrations over the acquittal of a white former police officer in the fatal shooting of a black man. The crowd passed near police headquarters and later walked through the St. Louis University campus. About 100 people stayed around near the police building, chanting, "the whole damn system is guilty as hell."

The former officer, Jason Stockley, had been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith in 2011, but was acquitted on Friday. Small groups of people turned violent for the third straight night after the larger, peaceful protests were completed, and police arrested 80 people. Harold Maass

September 17, 2017

A second night of violent protests gripped the St. Louis area Saturday as angry people took to the streets in response to a judge's Friday decision to acquit former police officer Jason Stockley, who shot and killed a black motorist, Anthony Lamar Smith, in 2011. A few dozen demonstrators attacked riot police and shattered windows of local businesses. Nine people were arrested, The Associated Press reports.

Sam Thomas, who helped clean up some of the smashed windows, told the AP he could understand the protesters' frustrations. "I'm not saying this is the right way to fix it," he said. "The window isn't murdered. Nobody is going to have a funeral for the window. We can replace it."

The violence followed a day of relatively peaceful protests by roughly 300 people, who shouted "black lives matter" and "no justice, no profits." Similar violent protests erupted Friday, and more than 30 people were arrested. Rock band U2 and musician Ed Sheeran both canceled planned St. Louis performances due to security concerns. Jessica Hullinger

July 22, 2017

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau resigned from her post Friday at the request of the city's mayor, Betsy Hodges.

The Minneapolis Police Department has come under heavy criticism after an officer fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman, Justine Damond, who called 911 to report a suspected crime near her home. Though the officers involved were wearing body cameras, they were turned off at the time of Damond's death.

Hodges said in a statement it is "clear [Harteau] has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis" after multiple high-profile cases of police violence in Minnesota's Twin Cities since 2015, including the death of black motorist Philando Castile at the hands of an officer from another local police department.

"Last Saturday's tragedy, as well as some other incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection," said Harteau. "The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we've developed as a department. I've decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be."
Bonnie Kristian

February 23, 2017

Hundreds of people turned out to protest in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday evening after an off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his weapon while attempting to detain a 13-year-old boy in an argument about kids walking across his lawn. Some of the protests eventually turned violent.

The altercation happened Tuesday afternoon, and partial video of the incident soon surfaced online. The boy, whose name has not been released, said he spoke to the officer after the cop began using profanity against a 13-year-old girl who walked across his property to get to a nearby school.

All parties agree the officer fired his gun, but the 13-year-old and his family reject the cop's claim that the boy threatened to shoot the officer. They say he threatened to "sue," not "shoot," when he became afraid for his life. Nevertheless, the boy and a 15-year-old friend were both arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and battery and on suspicion of assault and battery, respectively. The officer was not arrested and is on administrative leave.

Wednesday night, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the officer's home. Most protested peacefully, though 24 people were arrested after a minority of those gathered smashed house and car windows, attempted to enter the officer's home, and spray-painted a garage door. The mayor of Anaheim has promised a full investigation. Watch a local news story below, including footage of the gunfire incident and subsequent protests. Bonnie Kristian

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