Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on a gasping black man's neck, killing him, was arrested Friday by state investigators after three days of protest. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, 46.
Peaceful rallies gave way to a third night of arson, looting and vandalism in Minneapolis and other U.S. cities as protesters vented their rage over Floyd's death.
The incident was one of several killings of black people in the United States in recent months that has provoked outrage. Sympathy protests spread to the adjacent city of St. Paul, and protests were also held in Los Angeles and Denver, with hundreds of demonstrators blocking freeway traffic in both cities.
In Louisville, at least seven people were shot as protesters turned out to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman fatally shot by police in her home in March.
On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that looters in Minneapolis would be shot, causing twitter to hide one of his tweets with a "glorifying violence" warning.
The latest spasm of unrest in Minnesota's largest city went largely unchecked, despite Governor Tim Walz ordering the National Guard activated to help restore order following Monday night's fatal arrest of Floyd.
Four city police officers involved in the incident, including the one shown pressing his knee into Floyd's neck as he lay on the ground, moaning, "please, I can't breathe," were fired from their jobs the next day. The three officers who were involved in the case alongside Chauvin are under investigation, and prosecutor Mike Freeman expects to file charges against them as well.
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The Floyd case was reminiscent of the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man in New York City who died after being put in a banned police chokehold as he, too, was heard to mutter, "I can't breathe."
Garner's dying words became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement that formed amid a wave of killings of African-Americans by police.
Throughout the day, protesters pressed their demands that the four policemen be arrested and prosecuted.
In contrast with Wednesday night, when rock-throwing demonstrators clashed repeatedly with police in riot gear, law enforcement kept a low profile around the epicenter of the unrest, outside the city's Third Precinct police station.
Protesters massing outside the building briefly retreated under volleys of police tear gas and rubber bullets fired at them from the roof, only to reassemble and eventually attack the building head on, setting fire to the structure as police seemed to withdraw. Protesters were later observed on the roof. Fire officials said 16 buildings were torched on Wednesday night.
Twitter hid a tweet from President Donald Trump on Friday and accused him of breaking its rules by "glorifying violence", after he tweeted that looters at protests in Minneapolis would be shot.
It came just hours after Trump signed an executive order threatening Silicon Valley social media firms with new regulations over free speech.
"...These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!" Trump's tweet read.
Trump's message can now be read only after clicking on a notice which says: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."
Deficit of hope
At a morning news briefing, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo publicly apologized to Floyd's family, conceding his department had contributed to a "deficit of hope" in Minneapolis.
Hours later, officials overseeing investigations from the U.S. Justice Department, FBI, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and prosecutors appealed for calm at a joint news conference, as they gathered evidence.
"Give us the time to do this right, and we will bring you justice," County Attorney Mike Freeman told reporters. He acknowledged the policeman's conduct depicted in the video was "horrible," but said, "My job is to prove that he has violated a criminal statute."
Minnesota's U.S. attorney, Erica McDonald, pledged a "robust and meticulous investigation" of Floyd's arrest and death.
The federal investigation, which Attorney General William Barr had designated a "top priority," will focus on whether the arresting officers used the "color of law" to deprive Floyd of his civil rights, she said.
Floyd, a Houston native known affectionately to friends as "Big Floyd" and who had worked as a nightclub security staffer, was suspected of trying to pass counterfeit money at a corner store when police took him into custody. An employee who called for help described the suspect as appearing to be drunk, according to a police transcript of the call.
Seven people shot in Louisville
Louisville Metro Police confirmed in a statement early Friday that there were at least seven shooting victims, at least one of whom is in critical condition. The statement said there were “some arrests,” but police didn't provide a number.
Louisville's mayor has asked the FBI to review the findings of a police public integrity unit's investigation into Breonna Taylor's death, when it is complete.
“No officers discharged their service weapons,” police spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington wrote in an email to The Associated Press. Washington said that all seven were civilians.
Around 500 to 600 demonstrators marched through the Kentucky city's downtown streets on Thursday night, the Courier Journal reported. The protests stretched for more than six hours, ending in the early hours of Friday as rain poured down.
“Understandably, emotions are high,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted just before midnight, sharing a Facebook post asking for peace that he said was written on behalf of Taylor's mother. “As Breonna's mother says let's be peaceful as we work toward truth and justice.”
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical tech, was shot eight times on March 13 after Louisville narcotics detectives knocked down the front door. No drugs were found in the home.
Attention on Taylor's death has intensified after her family sued the police department earlier this month. The case has attracted national headlines alongside the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood in February.