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Tanker Truck Drives Into Crowd of Protesters on Highway

Protests continue over the death of George Floyd
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2020 12:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – There were reports across the nation of shopping malls, strip centers, and other retailers shutting down early Sunday amid widespread threats of looting and riots as protesters continued to demonstrate against the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Some stores, including Whole Foods, were also adjusting hours to accommodate the curfews that were imposed in many cities. CNBC reports Walmart temporarily shuttered hundreds of locations after some stores were hit by looters, and Target temporarily closed 175 stores after a few were looted and vandalized. Other stores that have announced closures include Apple, Nike, and Adidas, all of which were also impacted by looting and vandalism. More Sunday night developments:

  • Tanker truck drives into crowd of protesters: As thousands of protesters marched on I-35 in Minneapolis, a semitrailer drove into their midst, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Police initially said the driver may not have been aware the highway was shut down, but later the state patrol said, per the AP, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators." He was pulled from the truck by protesters and taken to a hospital for minor injuries, but was quickly released and arrested. No major injuries were immediately reported among the protesters.

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  • The Floyd murder case: The white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on the neck of Floyd, an unarmed black man, has since been fired, arrested, and charged with murdering Floyd. On Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said that after activists and others requested it, he has asked the state's black attorney general to take the lead in any prosecutions related to Floyd's death. The AP reports the move will "send a strong message that justice will be vigorously pursued."
  • A little bit of light: Police officers in many cities across the US were being praised for marching with protesters, taking a knee, raising a fist, holding hands, and other moves to show solidarity, the AP reports. Protesters in Flint, Mich., arrived at a police station to find Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson asking what he could do to help. They responded by chanting, "Walk with us!" and he did, shouting, "Let's walk!"
  • Impact on journalists: USA Today reports journalists have been arrested, injured, attacked, and sprayed in the face with pepper spray—and that they have been, in some cases, specifically targeted by both protesters and police. One reporter was permanently blinded in one eye when she was hit with a rubber bullet.
  • Damage was being assessed: The AP notes that largely peaceful protests had started turning violent in many locations Saturday night, and cities were still assessing the damage heading into Sunday night's demonstrations. Another concern: The large gatherings could lead to new outbreaks of the coronavirus.
  • Notes from some of the bigger cities impacted: In Minneapolis, about 150 protesters had been arrested for failing to heed an 8pm curfew; police were also warning against a pattern of what appeared to be organized arson attacks. In Washington, DC, famous monuments and landmarks were defaced; fires and looting were widespread, per NBC Washington. Protesters faced off with police in New York City, where storefronts were boarded up after Saturday night's incidents. In California, all state buildings with offices in any "downtown city area" were ordered to close Monday, per the AP. CNN reports the National Guard has been activated in 15 states and Washington, DC. CNN has live coverage of protest updates here.
  • Not just the US: Protests were also going on in New Zealand, London, the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, and other places around the world, Vox reports.
(Read more George Floyd stories.)

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