Demonstrators marched, stopped traffic, and in some cases lashed out violently at police as protests erupted Friday in dozens of US cities following the killing of George Floyd after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck while taking him into custody in Minnesota. In Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and beyond, thousands of protesters chanted, "No justice, no peace" and "Say his name—George Floyd." After hours of peaceful protest in downtown Atlanta, some demonstrators suddenly turned violent, smashing police cars, setting one on fire; spray-painting the iconic logo sign at CNN headquarters; and breaking into a restaurant. The crowd pelted officers with bottles, chanting, "Quit your jobs." At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests, per an Atlanta police rep. "This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.," Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a presser.
"We are better than this as a city," she continued, adding: "You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country." In Minneapolis, per the AP, a curfew did little to stop protesters and others from gathering in several areas of the city, which saw scattered small fires and some stores in a strip mall being broken into. An initially peaceful demonstration in New York City spiraled into chaos, as protesters skirmished with officers, destroyed police vehicles, and set fires. In Houston, where George Floyd grew up, several thousand people rallied in front of City Hall. Police had apparently taken into custody a woman who had a rifle and had tried to use it to incite the crowd. Protester Jimmy Ohaz, 19, came from the nearby city of Richmond, Texas. "My question is how many more?" he said. "I just want to live in a future where we all live in harmony."
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