The toll of a night of unrest is coming into focus.
Cities across the United States smoldered on Sunday morning after a largely peaceful day of protests collapsed into a night of chaos, destruction and sporadic violence.
The fear and fury that had seized Minneapolis, where the death of yet another black man at the hands of the police set off protracted unrest last week, swept well beyond Minnesota throughout the day and into the night, with tumultuous demonstrations from Columbus, Ohio, and Little Rock, Ark., to Miami and Washington.
Parts of Los Angeles were ablaze, squad cars and stores were damaged or destroyed in Chicago, gunfire echoed through downtown Indianapolis and one American city after another was filled with the smoke, gagging and vomiting that follow tear gas.
Hundreds of people were arrested across the country as clashes erupted between the police and protesters. In some cities, the authorities appeared to fire rubber bullets and other projectiles with little or no provocation. In New York City, two police vehicles surged forward into a crowd of demonstrators, some of whom were blocking the street and pelting the cars with debris.
At least 75 cities have seen protests in recent days, and mayors in more than two dozen cities imposed curfews. It was the first time so many local leaders have simultaneously issued such orders in the face of civic unrest since 1968, after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Guard soldiers were posted in Atlanta and Minneapolis, and California moved troops into Los Angeles.
Saturday’s upheaval was the fifth day of outrage since George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday. A cellphone video showed a white police officer — since fired and charged with third-degree murder — grinding his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as he struggled to breathe.
Coming after months of restrictions to curb the coronavirus pandemic and the deep economic slowdown they have caused, with 40 million people out of work, the video of Mr. Floyd’s death brought a renewed outpouring of anguish over inequality and maltreatment.
Despite images of fires lighting up the night sky and lawlessness that threatened to overwhelm many of the nation’s police forces, many protesters were not seeking physical confrontation, but rather venting deep frustration and calling for change. “I’m not here to fight someone,” said Eldon Gillet, 40, who was on the streets in Brooklyn. “I’m here to fight a system.”
Just outside the White House’s fence line, smoke filled the air for a second night after President Trump continued to send conflicting and often divisive messages.
Mayors call for “peace, not patience.”
Melvin Carter, the mayor of St. Paul, Minn., said on Sunday that what his city needed to help restore order after days of protests was not military assistance, but rather assurances that someone would be held accountable for the death of George Floyd.
Speaking on the CNN program “State of the Union,” Mr. Carter called for “peace, not patience,” a phrase also used by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta on the same program.
Referring to the video of Mr. Floyd’s death that sparked the protests, Mr. Carter said, “When all of humanity can look at this video and say, ‘That’s disgusting, that’s unacceptable,’ and yet somehow we have four officers in the video, three of whom sat there and either helped hold Mr. Floyd down or stood guard over the scene while it happened, that is an incredible insult to humanity.”
Mr. Carter, whose father is a retired St. Paul police officer, rejected the notion that Mr. Floyd’s death was an isolated incident or the work of one rogue officer. “When you have four officers all involved in taking George Floyd’s life, it points to a normalized culture that’s accepted.”
At least 170 businesses had been damaged during protests in St. Paul, he said. He called on protesters to channel their frustration and anger into “destroying laws, destroying legal precedents, destroying police union contracts,” instead of burning and looting.
Mayor Bottoms of Atlanta warned against allowing the clashes to obscure the reasons for the protests.
“Yesterday, we weren’t talking about George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbery or Breonna Taylor, we were talking about police cars burning in our street,” Ms. Bottoms said. “What happens when we have these valid protests and uprisings in our streets is, we get distracted from what the real issue is. We need to get back to what the problem is, and that’s the killing of unarmed black people in America.”
People streamed into downtown San Antonio on Sunday with buckets and brooms instead of placards and signs. Volunteers could be seen in Grand Rapids, Mich., passing out trash bags and sweeping away broken glass. Hundreds gathered in Madison, Wis., to clean up.
The night before, crowds in these cities, like others across the country, were protesting police violence and decades of entrenched racism. Anger ran high, and some people smashed windows, ransacked businesses and lit fires. But on Sunday morning, community volunteers were fanning out to mend what they could.
In Madison, Michael Johnson, chief executive of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, said the group had asked for 100 volunteers to clean up on Sunday morning, and 2,000 people showed up. “Madison, this is our city!” Mr. Johnson said on Twitter. “Together, we are stronger.”
The cleanup efforts reflect how, even as scenes of divisiveness, violence and police aggression claim national attention, the protests have also brought forth scenes of unity and good will. Stories have also circulated of protesters and bystanders acting to protect shops or help people injured in the demonstrations.
Videos posted on social media showed protesters in Brooklyn blocking the entrance to a Target store to shield it from looting. In Minneapolis, the Gandhi Mahal Restaurant became a makeshift field hospital, where medics treated people for rubber-bullet wounds and where people recovered from tear gas inhalation — until the restaurant was severely damaged by a fire.
Protests spread beyond the U.S. to London and Berlin.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London on Sunday afternoon and marched toward the United States Embassy, the most visible sign so far of popular support overseas for the protests across the U.S. against police killings of black people.
Holding signs and clapping their hands, the protesters gathered in the square in defiance of stay-at-home restrictions in effect across Britain to fight the coronavirus pandemic. They chanted “I can’t breathe,” “Black lives matter,” and “No justice, no peace,” before crossing the Thames to march peacefully to the embassy.
The protest march on Sunday echoed one on Saturday in the Peckham district of South London. Another London march is planned for next Sunday.
Several hundred protesters rallied outside the U.S. Embassy in Berlin on Sunday, holding up signs saying “Justice for George Floyd” and “Stop killing us,” Reuters reported.
The mass protests of recent days are fueling concerns that they will seed new outbreaks of the coronavirus.
“The question is, how do we do protesting safely?” Ashish Jha, a professor of global health at Harvard, said on CNN. “I think masks are a critical part of it.”
The demonstrations have collectively drawn tens of thousands of people, at least, many of them far closer to one another than public health experts recommend. Many, but not all, have worn face coverings.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta said she was concerned that the protests could increase infections in communities of color, which are already being hit disproportionately by the illness. Death rates among black Americans are twice those of whites, and the economic toll of lockdowns has landed harder on black and Hispanic Americans than on whites.
“We’re going to see the other side of this in a couple of weeks,” Ms. Bottoms said, as people who catch the virus now become ill.
The coronavirus has been linked to at least 103,000 deaths in the United States, and more than 1.7 million people in the country are known to have been infected.
Lawmakers condemn Trump’s tweets and say they want to address protesters’ fears.
Members of Congress grasped on Sunday for any legislative actions they could take to address racist violence and excessive use of force by police forces.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said members of the House were looking at banning chokeholds, establishing a commission to study the status of black men in America and addressing the fact that black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, said his staff was preparing legislation to establish a national police misconduct database to prevent officers who are fired for misconduct from being hired by another department somewhere else.
And Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, said he had urged President Trump to form a commission on race and justice.
“This is not like we don’t know what to do,” Mr. Booker said on “State of the Union.” “It’s that we have not manifested a collective will to get it done.”
In a rare moment of bipartisanship, lawmakers agreed that Mr. Trump was only inflaming the situation in the country with tweets threatening force against protesters.
“Those are not constructive tweets, without any question,” Mr. Scott said on “Fox News Sunday.” He said he had urged Mr. Trump to focus instead on the “the unjustified, in my opinion, the criminal death of George Floyd.”
Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat who represents part of the Minneapolis area, said on ABC that Mr. Trump had “failed in really understanding the kind of pain and anguish many of his citizens are feeling.”
As unrest convulses dozens of U.S. cities, mayors declare curfews and the National Guard is deployed.
From the high-end shops of Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles to Times Square in New York City — and most major cities in between — fires raged, hundreds of people were arrested and stores were looted in a night convulsed by often destructive demonstrations.
Here are developments from around the nation:
Indianapolis: One person was killed and three others were injured when a gunman fired shots at a protest, the police said.
Chicago: Protesters set businesses on fire, swung hammers and shovels and threw urine at the police, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Sunday. Six people were shot and one was killed during protests on Saturday night, Ms. Lightfoot said, adding that National Guard troops would deploy to the city to help the police maintain order.
Los Angeles: Mayor Eric M. Garcetti issued a curfew and Gov. Gavin Newsom activated the National Guard, and protesters clashed with the police into the night. Stores were looted, and firefighters raced to put out fires.
San Francisco: Mayor London Breed instituted a curfew as demonstrators marched through the region. Scores of businesses were looted in the Bay Area and a fire was set at a shopping mall, according to the police.
Florida: Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County ordered a countywide curfew beginning at 10 p.m. after police cars and other vehicles were set ablaze near the Miami Police Department headquarters. In Jacksonville, a police officer was “stabbed or slashed in the neck and is currently in the hospital,” Sheriff Mike Williams said at a news conference. And in the Tampa Bay area, some stores were looted or set on fire during a chaotic evening of protests that the authorities said left at least two deputies injured.
Washington, D.C.: The National Guard was deployed outside the White House, where chanting crowds clashed with the Secret Service and attacked a Fox News reporter. Fires were set in nearby Lafayette Park.
Philadelphia: At least 13 police officers were injured as protesters set cars on fire, broke windows at City Hall and ransacked stores across the center of the city. Mayor Jim Kenney declared a mandatory citywide curfew starting at 8 p.m.
New York City: Thousands of protesters clashed with police in all five boroughs on Saturday. By early Sunday morning, more than 345 people had been arrested, 33 officers had been injured and 47 police vehicles had been damaged or destroyed, several of them set on fire, the police said. More than a dozen stores in Lower Manhattan were looted.
Atlanta: Local authorities, supported by up to 1,500 National Guard soldiers, enforced a 9 p.m. curfew, and the city avoided another night of extraordinary chaos in its downtown. Although the police fired tear gas and made more than 50 arrests, there were far fewer reports of property damage by Sunday morning.
Nashville: Gov. Bill Lee sent soldiers to the city after unrest broke out there.
Oklahoma City: Some of the protesters marching to police headquarters from the landmark Gold Dome smashed store windows and defaced police vehicles along the way. When the crowd failed to disperse immediately as ordered, the police fired rubber bullets and tear gas. A law enforcement vehicle was set on fire.
Seattle: After a citywide curfew took effect at 5 p.m., the police spent hours using tear gas and physical force to push demonstrators away from the city’s retail core, where cars were set ablaze and windows at dozens of stores were smashed, including the flagship Nordstrom store.
Richmond, Va.: Two police officers at the State Capitol were hospitalized with leg injuries after being struck by a baseball bat and a beer bottle, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Earlier, the police fired tear gas at protesters, some of whom set off fireworks and smashed windows.
Protesters who took to the streets on Saturday in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the demonstrations, met a more determined response from police officers and National Guard troops.
Soon after an 8 p.m. curfew took effect in the city, the police began arresting protesters and firing tear gas and other projectiles toward crowds, and the National Guard used a helicopter to dump water on a burning car.
The response reflected a desire by the authorities to halt the violent protests that have spread nationwide since George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after being pinned down by a white Minneapolis police officer.
Yet there were still reports of violence and destruction: a fire on the roof of a shopping mall, a person who shot at officers, and a group of people throwing items at the police. But state officials said around 11 p.m. that they were encouraged by the smaller crowds and apparent decrease in damage. Much of the city was empty shortly after midnight.
The demonstrations had escalated on Friday and Saturday even after a charge of third-degree murder was brought against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was fired after being recorded kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck until he lost consciousness.
Tens of thousands stage peaceful protests.
In Denver, protesters lay with their faces in the ground and arms behind their back for nine minutes this weekend, shouting: “I can’t breathe.”
Their words — echoing the plea made by George Floyd as a police officer grinded a knee into his neck in Minneapolis on Wednesday, and the same cry for help made by Eric Garner of Staten Island when a police officer put him in a fatal chokehold in 2014 — formed part of one of numerous peaceful demonstrations that have played out across the country in recent days.
Even as acts of destruction threatened to overshadow such efforts, here are scenes from across the United States of determined but nonviolent demonstrations.
Residents in cities across the United States woke on Sunday to streets littered with debris, shattered storefronts and burned-out shells of police cars on empty roads strewn with broken glass.
The story of the previous night’s chaos in cities from Seattle to Atlanta was also told in graffiti left scrawled on buildings and vehicles.
Protesters tagged “Black Lives Matter” on storefronts in Chicago. “Kill Cops” was the violent message spray painted on several buildings in Oakland. And in Salt Lake City, “Blue Lives Murder” was written on the walls of the State Capitol.
Even St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan was tagged.
The smell of smoke lingered in the air as firefighters in Philadelphia and other cities battled the last lingering flames on scorched streets. And all around, face masks littered the ground, a reminder that the coronavirus remains a looming threat.
Officials said it was too soon to tally the damages from the violence nationally, but it is likely to run into the millions of dollars. More than 250 businesses had been damaged as of Saturday evening in Minneapolis alone, according to the Star Tribune.
In Nashville, Ed Smith looked over his shoe store after it had been ransacked, his hand injured by broken glass.
“I just don’t understand,” told WKRN television.
At least four are killed in violence linked to the protests.
One person was killed and three others were injured when a gunman fired shots at a protest in Indianapolis early Sunday, bringing to at least four the number of people killed since Wednesday in violence connected with the protests.
The authorities were also investigating a possible connection with the shooting death of a federal officer in California. The officer, a contract security guard for the Department of Homeland Security, was fatally shot outside a federal courthouse in Oakland on Friday night as demonstrations in the city turned violent.
Ken Cuccinelli, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting deputy secretary, called the shooting an act of “domestic terrorism,” but the state’s governor cautioned against connecting the shooting with the protests.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said in a statement that “No one should rush to conflate this heinous act with the protests last night.”
Elsewhere, people were killed when once-peaceful protests descended into violence.
The authorities in Minneapolis on Friday identified Calvin L. Horton Jr., 43, as the victim in a shooting outside a pawnshop that was looted on Wednesday.
In Detroit on Friday, a 21-year-old man was shot to death while sitting in his car near Cadillac Square as hundreds of protesters swarmed the streets. The police said the gunman might have known and targeted the victim and used the chaos of the demonstrations as a cover.
And early Saturday in St. Louis, a man was killed after protesters blocked Interstate 44, set fires and tried to loot a FedEx truck. The man was killed, the police said, when he became caught between the truck’s two trailers as the driver tried to wend his way through the protest.
Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker, Peter Baker, Alan Blinder, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Chris Cameron, Nicholas Fandos, Tess Felder, Ben Fenwick, Russell Goldman, Rebecca Halleck, Christopher Mele, Elian Peltier, Roni Caryn Rabin, Simon Romero, Marc Santora, Mihir Zaveri and Karen Zraick.