A nation braces for another night of unrest.
Demonstrations continued across the United States on Sunday as officials braced for another night of destruction after a weekend of protests met by aggressive law enforcement response.
The fear and fury that had seized Minneapolis, where the death of yet another black man at the hands of the police last week set off days of protracted unrest, have now swept well beyond Minnesota, with tumultuous demonstrations from New York City and Los Angeles and dozens of cities in between.
In Washington, thousands of protesters gathered again near the White House on Sunday, where a violent protest on Friday night so unnerved the Secret Service that agents abruptly rushed President Trump to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks. While in the end officials said the president and his family were never really in danger, the scene — described by a person with firsthand knowledge — was emblematic of the sense of unease gripping the country.
The city of Philadelphia announced a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew after a day of protests and looting there, Washington’s mayor set one for 11 p.m. and Arizona’s governor declared a state of emergency and ordered a nightly 8 p.m. curfew that he said was “effective for one week.”
The actions came a day after hundreds of people were arrested across the country as clashes erupted between protesters and the police in dozens of states. 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 the number mayors and governors imposing curfews — already more than two dozen — continued to grow. It is 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, California moved troops into Los Angeles, and President Trump — out of public view but active on Twitter — urged governors, largely Democrats, to enact more and more forceful responses.
“Get tough Democrat Mayors and Governors,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “These people are ANARCHISTS. Call in our National Guard NOW. The World is watching and laughing at you and Sleepy Joe. Is this what America wants? NO!!!
Sunday’s protests marked the sixth 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 nearly nine 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 that showed little sign of slowing.
In New York City, where chaotic confrontations between protesters and the police have resulted in dozens of injuries, hundreds of arrests, smashed storefronts and burned police vehicles, several groups of demonstrators were gathering again across the city on Sunday afternoon.
Hundreds of people had gathered at the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. Another large group marched south from Washington Square Park in Manhattan and crossed the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn.
A demonstration at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan began with raised fists and a moment of silence. Many businesses had boarded up their windows in anticipation of trouble.
Target said it would temporarily close or shorten the hours of about 200 stores in the United States as protests continued to spread.
The Target store on Lake Street in Minneapolis, the location nearest to where Mr. Floyd died, was engulfed by unrest, badly damaged and looted last week. Images of the battered store have featured prominently in news coverage of the unrest in Minneapolis, where Target has its headquarters.
In a statement on its website Saturday night, Target said: “We are heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing communities across the country. At this time, we have made the decision to close a number of our stores.”
Two Atlanta police officers were fired for using excessive force during a protest.
One day after video showed them using stun guns on two black college students and then dragging them out of their car, two Atlanta police officers were fired for what the city’s mayor said constituted “excessive force.”
The mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced the dismissal of the two officers, whom she did not name, during a news conference on Sunday.
Ms. Bottoms said that three other officers who were involved in the episode had been reassigned to desk duty while the department reviews their actions.
“It was disturbing on many levels, the least of not which was that there clearly was an excessive use of force,” Ms. Bottoms said. “We understand that our officers are working very long hours under an enormous amount of stress, but we also understand that the use of excessive force is never acceptable.”
Ms. Bottoms said she had reviewed police body camera footage of the confrontation and that it should be released immediately. The episode was broadcast live on local television on Saturday night, showing a group of officers stopping a man and woman in their car near downtown Atlanta roughly 45 minutes after a curfew went into effect at 9 p.m. It was unclear what prompted the police to stop the car.
The Georgia N.A.A.C.P. identified the students as Taniya Pilgrim, 20, and Messiah Young, 22. They attend Spelman College and Morehouse College, prestigious historically black institutions in Atlanta.
Chief Erika Shields of the Atlanta Police Department condemned the actions of the officers, saying that Ms. Pilgrim and Mr. Young had been “manhandled” and that the episode had only underscored the fear and wariness minorities have of the police.
“I know that we caused further fear to you in a space that’s already so fearful for so many African-Americans, and I am genuinely sorry,” Chief Shields said. “This is not who we are. This is not what we’re about.”
Mr. Young was initially arrested on charges of fleeing the scene and driving with an expired license, the Atlanta station WGCL-TV reported, but those charges were dropped.
The actions of the Atlanta officers came amid intensifying scrutiny of how law enforcement was responding to demonstrators.
In Philadelphia, police in riot gear and an armored vehicle used pepper spray to try to repel rioters and looters, who breached a Target store and a Foot Locker store, according to photos posted on social media.
A wall of police officers blocked an entrance ramp to Interstate 676 in the city, where the mass transit system SEPTA announced that it was suspending service starting at 6 p.m. Sunday as part of a curfew.
In Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami gave out his cellphone number in a television interview with the local CBS station, urging people to contact him regarding any police issues. He had given his number out earlier to young protesters who sought him out after an afternoon news conference.
But in Chicago, the police superintendent, David Brown, excoriated the looters on Sunday as the Illinois governor, J.B. Pritzker, activated the National Guard at the city’s request.
“Let me be clear, last night was not a protest,” Mr. Brown said. “The people that came downtown were not there to exercise their First Amendment rights. That will not be tolerated.”
Chicago’s top law enforcement officer said that the police had shown great restraint during protests.
“I want to commend our officers for maintaining their composure throughout this whole ordeal,” he said.
A man is arrested after driving a truck through a crowd of Minnesota protesters.
A tanker truck barreled through thousands of protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon, coming to a stop as the crowd parted to avoid getting hit.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said that no one had been struck by the truck, although some protesters told local media that they had seen people with injuries. The police said the driver was “inciting” the peaceful protesters, and that he had been arrested and treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
As the tanker truck came to a stop, demonstrators who had just sprinted from its path swarmed back toward it and pulled the driver out of the cab, according to videos from the scene. As people ran toward the driver, several protesters shouted for them to not hurt him and tried to create a buffer zone.
The confrontation took place on Interstate 35, which had been partly closed to traffic because of the protest, and the police said they were working with transportation officials to determine how the truck had gotten onto the highway.
“I don’t know the motives of the driver at this time, but at this point in time, to not have tragedy and many deaths is simply an amazing thing,” Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota said at a news conference. He called video of the episode “horrifying.”
The protest had been peaceful and well-organized; the Department of Public Safety had tweeted updates about the group’s location and said its officers were working to keep the demonstrators safe.
Trump says he will designate far-left anti-fascism activists as terrorists.
President Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that the United States would designate a group of far-left anti-fascism activists as a terrorist organization, a declaration that lacked any clear legal authority, as his administration sought to blame the group for violent protests across the nation over the weekend.
“The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization,” Mr. Trump wrote.
The president has periodically criticized antifa, a contraction of the word “anti-fascist” that has come to be associated with a diffuse movement of left-wing protesters who engage in more aggressive techniques like vandalism.
But it was not clear that Mr. Trump’s declaration would have any real meaning beyond his characteristic attempts to stir a culture-war controversy, attract attention and please his conservative base.
“There is no authority under law to do that — and if such a statute were passed, it would face serious First Amendment challenges,” said Mary B. McCord, a former head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “But right now, the only terrorist authority is for foreign terrorist organizations.”
Nevertheless, in a statement after Mr. Trump’s tweet, Attorney General William P. Barr said the F.B.I. would use its partnerships with state and local police to identify violent protesters, whom he also called domestic terrorists.
“The violence instigated and carried out by antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,” Mr. Barr said.
But the American Civil Liberties Union condemned Mr. Trump’s vow in a statement from Hina Shamsi, its national security project director.
“As this tweet demonstrates, terrorism is an inherently political label, easily abused and misused,” Ms. Shamsi said. “There is no legal authority for designating a domestic group. Any such designation would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns.”
Biden tours the site of a protest in Delaware.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, appeared in downtown Wilmington, Del., on Sunday, where he visited the site of Saturday’s protests and toured businesses damaged during the demonstrations.
In a photo posted to social media, Mr. Biden, wearing a mask, is kneeling down to speak with a man and a child.
“We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us,” he wrote on Instagram. “We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. We are a nation exhausted, but we will not allow our exhaustion to defeat us. The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose.”
Two days earlier, Mr. Biden had challenged white Americans to confront the country’s racial inequality, saying that “this is the norm black people in this country deal with.”
The former vice president, who has long carefully balanced appeals for racial justice with a tough-on-crime message, notably did not equivocate by warning protesters against violence.
In doing so, he struck a contrast with President Trump, who has largely chosen not to address the country’s racial strife and has instead fanned the flames on Twitter, calling protesters “ANARCHISTS” in a post on Sunday.
National Guard commanders say troops are meant only to keep the peace.
As President Trump painted the National Guard as key to restoring order and taunted Democratic governors and mayors for not calling out the troops, the generals in charge of troops in three states said on Sunday afternoon that they had been only in support roles and had not used any force to put down the civil unrest.
The leaders of the Minnesota, Georgia and Colorado National Guards made clear that while troops had probably had a deterrent effect, the bulk of the credit for containing the violence went to local police officers. National Guard forces have been used mostly to secure buildings, allowing more police officers to move to the front lines, they said.
“Our purpose is to allow our local law enforcement professionals to do their jobs,” said Gen. Jon Jensen, the leader of Minnesota’s National Guard. “We do that by relieving them of items like infrastructure security.”
The forces in Minnesota and Georgia are armed, while the Colorado troops have only nonlethal weaponry. The generals did not describe under what conditions they would use force, only that they would be proportional and used in self-defense.
General Jensen said he had requested additional military police battalions from the National Guard forces of neighboring states, but said he would not recommend the Minnesota governor request regular Army forces for that job, as Mr. Trump has offered.
Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Carden Jr., the adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, expressed dismay that his forces had to be called out for a domestic civil unrest mission.
“We in America should not get used to or accept uniformed service members of any variety having to be put in a position where they are having to secure people inside the United States of America,” General Carden said. “While we are honored to do it, this is a sign of the times that we have to do better as a country.”
Addressing protesters, Houston police chief denounces police brutality.
At a religious event on Sunday, the Houston police chief delivered an emotional, sermon-style speech after days of at-times violent protests in the city where George Floyd grew up, denouncing police brutality, evoking Houston’s recovery from Hurricane Harvey and saying those turning demonstrations destructive were doing “Satan’s work.”
The chief, Art Acevedo, who has marched with demonstrators and has called for charges to be filed against the four officers in Minneapolis, took off his mask at one point and pumped his arm as those assembled in their vehicles during the event honked their horns in support.
“We have a man, a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a Houstonian, a child of God that was killed by servants that are supposed to be servants of God, and they showed no mercy when they put their knee on his neck,” he said of Mr. Floyd.
Chief Acevedo was the latest of several police chiefs in cities across the country to attend demonstrations this week, though the fact that he addressed protesters in a speech was notable.
“We don’t fear speaking the truth because we’re doing God’s work,” Chief Acevedo said. “We don’t fear speaking the truth because we’re covered by the holy spirit. We don’t fear walking up to people who are angry because we join them in their anger.”
Standing next to Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, the chief said that he did not care what people thought of him speaking frankly. “I know my God put me in this position not to keep my job but to do my job,” he said.
Raising his voice into a shout, he said, “We will not let people come into our city and tear it up!” He added that “the fools” being destructive should not take their kindness for weakness, “because when you try to tear up our city, you ain’t going to have to face the police. You’re going to have to face the people of Houston that will not let the memory of George Floyd be hijacked by anarchists that are doing Satan’s work!”
Earlier in the day, the chief took his support for the protest movement over Mr. Floyd’s death even further, changing the profile picture on the police department’s official Twitter account to an image of Mr. Floyd.
Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia called the looters “anarchists” at a midday news conference, hours before all retail stores in Philadelphia were closed on Sunday afternoon. For a second night, a citywide curfew was imposed, set for 6 p.m.
The peaceful protesters’ message about racism and use of force by the police “in no way should be diminished by anarchists and others who tried to cause chaos in our city last night,” Mr. Kenney said at the news conference, adding that the instigators “did a great disservice to the many others who chose to speak out forcefully against institutional racism and violence at the hands of the police.”
Streets in the Center City business district were closed starting at noon to allow cleanup from the previous night’s protests. Mass transit service was curtailed.
Pennsylvania joined several states that moved to make it easier to activate the National Guard this weekend, and the city, along with suburban Montgomery County, asked for help from the Guard on Sunday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Could protesting spread coronavirus? Officials are worried.
Mass protests that have brought thousands of people out of their homes and onto the streets in cities across America are raising the specter of new coronavirus outbreaks, prompting political leaders, physicians and public health experts to warn that the crowds could cause a surge in cases.
More than 100,000 Americans have already died of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. People of color have been particularly hard hit, with rates of hospitalizations and deaths among black Americans far exceeding those of whites.
While many political leaders affirmed the right of protesters to express themselves, they urged the demonstrators to wear face masks and maintain social distancing, both to protect themselves and to prevent further community spread of the virus.
The protests are occurring as many states have warily begun reopening after weeks of stay-at-home orders.
In Los Angeles, where demonstrations led to the closing of virus testing sites on Saturday, Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that the protests could become so-called “super-spreader events” that can lead to an explosion of secondary infections. And Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, expressed concern that his state would see a spike in cases in about two weeks, which is about how long it takes for symptoms to emerge after someone is infected.
Some infectious disease experts were reassured by the fact that the protests were held outdoors, saying the open air settings could mitigate the risk of transmission. In addition, many of the demonstrators were wearing masks.
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, who — 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 in the video all responsible for the taking of George Floyd’s life, it points to a culture of normalized, a 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 the laws, destroying the legal precedents, destroying the 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 violent protests and uprisings in our city, we get distracted from what the real issue is. And we need to get back to what the problem is, and that’s the killing of unarmed black people in America.”
Protests spread 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.
A disaster is declared in Texas, while in Florida, reopenings are delayed.
As cities and states brace for more demonstrations in the coming days, the authorities have responded by calling in more resources and readjusting previously held plans.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on Sunday, an action that enables him to designate federal agents to serve as Texas peace officers. The Republican governor, who activated the Texas National Guard a day earlier, issued the disaster order after protests in the state’s major cities touched off confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement.
“As protests have turned violent in various areas across the state, it is crucial that we maintain order, uphold public safety, and protect against property damage or loss,” Mr. Abbott said in announcing the disaster declaration. “Every Texan and every American has the right to protest and I encourage all Texans to exercise their First Amendment rights,” he said. “However, violence against others and the destruction of property is unacceptable and counterproductive.”
And in South Florida, Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade County postponed the planned reopening of beaches following the lockdown because of the pandemic. Miami-Dade beaches had been scheduled to open on Monday.
“The beaches will remain closed until the curfew order is lifted,” Mr. Gimenez said in a statement on Sunday. He cited an emergency order he signed on Saturday imposing a countywide curfew after a small group of protesters set police cars on fire outside the Miami Police Department’s downtown headquarters.
The beach reopenings would have involved a significant police presence. Condominium pools and hotels in the county will be allowed to reopen on Monday as planned.
Largely peaceful demonstrations take place in Austin after an official protest is called off.
Hundreds of protesters returned to the streets of downtown Austin on Sunday in what were described as largely peaceful demonstrations after sporadic looting and confrontations between police and protesters the previous day.
Sunday’s gatherings took place even after the Austin Justice Coalition canceled plans for an official demonstration. Organizers said they had halted the plans because they were worried about the safety of participants and because protests were being co-opted and made violent by people who were not black.
One woman who attended the gathering on Sunday said she had been pepper-sprayed by the police, and the authorities reported a possible looting incident in an outlying shopping center. But the demonstrations were relatively calm compared with Saturday, when protesters blocked traffic on I-35, set fire to several parked cars and looted businesses on Sixth Street.
Carrying placards with inscriptions such as “Black Futures Matter” and “End Racism,” the demonstrators started out at the State Capitol, marched to city hall several blocks to the south and later returned to the Capitol.
“It’s been peaceful so far,” said Sgt. Victor Taylor, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Chas Moore, executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition, said in a Facebook video that on Saturday night, white people had been “burning stuff up in the name of Black Lives Matter” and that there were rumors that attempts would be made to hijack Sunday’s demonstration.
In general, he said, he recognized rioting as a tactic that could be used to advance the movement. But in this case, he said, agitators were using protests to bring about anarchy, so the demonstration was called off to keep black people safe, including the children and older people who were expected to attend on Sunday.
“You are using black pain, and you are using fake outrage in the name of Black Lives Matter to go deface and destroy property, which we would then get the blame for,” Mr. Moore said, referring to white provocateurs.
“To those people, to those agitators, we see you, we know who you are, and we’re not going to let you co-opt and colonize this movement like you’ve done everything else.”
Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker, Peter Baker, Julian Barnes, Johanna Barr, Katie Benner, Alan Blinder, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Chris Cameron, Johnny Diaz, Caitlin Dickerson, Nicholas Fandos, Tess Felder, Ben Fenwick, Manny Fernandez, Russell Goldman, Maggie Haberman, Rebecca Halleck, Zach Johnk, Steve Lohr, Patricia Mazzei, Christopher Mele, David Montgomery, Elian Peltier, Roni Caryn Rabin, Rick Rojas, Simon Romero, Marc Santora, Charlie Savage, Neil Vigdor, Mihir Zaveri and Karen Zraick.