5 Police Shot During Violent Riots

June 2, 2020 Updated: June 2, 2020

WASHINGTON/MINNEAPOLIS—At least five police were hit by gunfire during violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody.

Demonstrators set fire to a strip mall in Los Angeles, looted stores in New York City, and clashed with police in St Louis, Missouri, where four officers were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

An emotional St Louis police commissioner, John Hayden, said about 200 protesters were “jumping up and down like crazy people,” looting and throwing fireworks and rocks at officers.

“We had to protect our headquarters building, they were throwing fireworks on officers, fireworks were exploding on officers,” he told reporters. “They had officers with gas poured on them. What is going on? How can this be? Mr. Floyd was killed somewhere else and they are tearing up cities all across the country.”

A police officer was shot during protests in Las Vegas, police there said in a statement. Another officer was “involved in a shooting” in the same area, the police said. Officers were injured in clashes elsewhere, including one who was in critical condition after being hit by a car in the Bronx, New York City, police said.

new york shop looted
The interior of an Urban Outfitters store sits heavily damaged after a night of destruction and looting in lower Manhattan in New York City on June 1, 2020. (Scott Heins/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has condemned the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old who died after a policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25, and has promised justice.

But, with marches and rallies having turned violent after dark each day in the past week, he said rightful protests could not be drowned out by an “angry mob.”

“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Epoch Times Photo
The vandalized Lake Street/Midtown metro station after a night of protests and violence following the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 29, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Television images showed crowds smashing windows and looting luxury stores along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan before the city’s 11 p.m. curfew. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the curfew would be moved to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Two police officers were struck by a car at a demonstration in Buffalo, New York, on Monday night. Officials said the driver and passengers were believed to be in custody. It was not clear whether the incident was intentional.

In Hollywood, dozens of people were shown in television images looting a drug store. Windows were shattered at a nearby Starbucks and two restaurants.

Autopsies

A second autopsy ordered by Floyd’s family and released on Monday found his death was homicide by “mechanical asphyxiation,” or physical force that interfered with his oxygen supply. The report says three officers contributed to his death.

Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe, in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 25, 2020. (Darnella Frazier via AP)

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner later released autopsy findings that also called Floyd’s death homicide by asphyxiation. The county report said Floyd suffered cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by police and that he had arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication, and recent methamphetamine use.

Derek Chauvin, the 44-year-old Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd, was arrested on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. Three other officers involved in the arrest have not been charged.

By Jonathan Ernst and Brendan O’Brien

Reuters contributed to this report.