In what the Washington Post calls a night of "absolute chaos," protesters gathered around the US to express their outrage at the death of George Floyd, a black man who died earlier this week in Minneapolis after a now ex-police officer was seen on video kneeling on his neck. In Atlanta, a demonstration that started out peacefully soon turned violent, with fires, smashed cars, and even an attack on CNN headquarters. The city's mayor begged for the violence to stop, and another plea came courtesy of rapper Killer Mike, who tearfully implored demonstrators not to ravage a city with so many black-owned businesses, per CBS News. At a presser Friday night, the 45-year-old hip-hop artist said he understood protesters' anger and frustration, but noted that "it is your duty not to burn your own house down for anger with an enemy. It is your duty to fortify your own house so that you may be a house of refuge in times of organization." More on protests around the country:
- Killer Mike, the son of an Atlanta cop, added, "I got a lot of love and respect for police officers." But he said that watching a police officer "assassinate" Floyd was "crippling," and that seeing a knee on Floyd's neck was like seeing "a zebra in the clutch of a lion's jaw." "We watch it like murder porn over and over again, so that's why children are burning it to the ground," he said. "They don't know what else to do." See more from him here.
- The White House was put on lockdown after protesters converged on Pennsylvania Avenue, spokesman Judd Deere confirmed to USA Today. The Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies handled the crowds.
- The president himself weighed in on the White House protests Saturday morning in a series of tweets, thanking the Secret Service and saying he "couldn't have felt more safe." "They let the 'protesters' scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard - didn't know what hit them," he wrote.
- The president warned what would have happened if any protesters had breached the White House fence: "If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That's when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action."
- Then, in a final tweet: "The @SecretService handled them easily. Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???"
- Authorities say a 19-year-old man was killed in Detroit after a drive-by shooting during the protests there. "Police believe an unknown suspect in a gray Dodge Durango pulled up and fired into the crowd, then fled," the Detroit Free Press reports.
- In Louisville, Ky., a reporter and her camera operator were shot at with pepper balls by a police officer during a live broadcast, the Hill reports. "I'm getting shot!" exclaimed Kaitlin Rust of CBS affiliate WAVE 3 on camera as she was hit, while the cameraman filmed the officer. Watch the video here.
- Martin Luther King III also had thoughts on the tumult around the nation, noting he doesn't condone the violence, but he definitely gets it. "People are ... legitimately frustrated and tired," he tells TMZ. "And it doesn't help when the words that the president chooses to use even stoke more violence." More here.
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