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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Clashes Erupt Coast-to-Coast Amid Fury Over Death of Black Man During Arrest

Multiple cities from coast to coast experienced heated protests and clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement Friday night, the day that a fired Minneapolis police officer was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of an African-American man.

George Floyd, 46, was stopped by officers on Memorial Day after an employee at a deli alleged that he used a counterfeit $20 bill. Bystander video showed Floyd, who was unarmed, face-down and handcuffed on the ground, with Officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe and then became unresponsive.

“The video images of the incident that ended with the death of Mr. Floyd, while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, were harrowing to watch and deeply disturbing.  The state prosecutor has been in the process of determining whether any criminal charges are appropriate under state law,” Attorney General Bill Barr said Friday. “On a separate and parallel track, the Department of Justice, including the FBI, are conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated. Both state and federal officers are working diligently and collaboratively to ensure that any available evidence relevant to these decisions is obtained as quickly as possible.”

Protests over Floyd’s death escalated into buildings in Minneapolis being burned — including the police department’s 3rd Precinct, which was evacuated before it was torched — and looted on Thursday night. Chauvin was arrested Friday, with Floyd’s family saying through attorney Benjamin Crump that they want to see the former officer charged with first-degree murder and for the three other officers in the video to be arrested and charged. The family also called on Minneapolis and other cities to “fix the policies and training deficiencies that permitted this unlawful killing.”

Video from some of Friday night’s protests:



Los Angeles


San Jose


New York



Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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