In Manhattan, Cops Trapped Protesters on Bridge

Demonstrations over George Floyd's death continue
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2020 6:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Protests over George Floyd's death continued into a second week Tuesday night, and while the Washington Post reports tensions lessened in some US cities, others "experienced another night of chaos." In DC's Lafayette Square, where peaceful protesters had been cleared the previous evening to make way for President Trump's appearance at a local church, police pepper-sprayed and fired rubber bullets at protesters said to be throwing water bottles at them. In Portland, Ore., police used pepper spray and stun grenades (also called flash bangs) during a clash with protesters not far from a larger peaceful demonstration. And Los Angeles saw a dramatic confrontation between protesters chanting "defund the police!" and Mayor Eric Garcetti taking a knee in front of demonstrators. "The political pyromania of this moment that we see coming out of Washington right now—it's not only not bringing us together, it is fanning the fuel of this fire," he said, per the Los Angeles Times. More on the ongoing protests:

  • Media harassment? Tensions between police and the media continued, with the AP reporting that two of its journalists were surrounded at a protest in lower Manhattan by NYPD officers, who then pushed and cursed at them. Both video journalist Robert Bumsted and photographer Maye-E Wong say they were sporting media ID and told the cops they were members of the media. "They didn't care," Wong says. "They were just shoving me."

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  • More NYC turmoil: The city saw at least 40 arrests Tuesday night into Wednesday, even with an earlier curfew of 8pm, CNN reports. Meanwhile, protesters were trapped on the Manhattan Bridge after trying to violate that curfew and march from Brooklyn into Manhattan—only to find a police blockade that wouldn't let them in. When they tried to get back into Brooklyn, there was a police blockage there, too. They were finally allowed back into Brooklyn around 11pm, PIX11 reports.
  • Bad choice: In Los Angeles, police are being criticized for the makeshift detention center they used to temporarily hold protesters: UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium, named for the MLB's first African-American player, per NBC News. "We're troubled by accounts of Jackie Robinson stadium being used as a 'field jail,'" the university tweeted, adding it hadn't granted permission.
  • Words from an ex-president: George W. Bush is speaking out on the protests, delivering what ABC News calls a "rare" public statement with wife Laura. "It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country," he writes. "It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future." Read his full statement here.
  • And from the pope: "We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form," the pontiff tweeted. "At the same time, we have to recognize that violence is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost. Let us pray for reconciliation and peace."
(Read more George Floyd stories.)

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