Rioters smashed windows, set fires, and assaulted police officers in multiple U.S. cities overnight Wednesday after a grand jury returned charges against one of the three officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting in Louisville.
Activists wanted the officers charged with murder but an investigation found the shooting was justified because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at the cops first, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, told reporters.
A rioter in Seattle threw an explosive at police officers. When officers tried arresting the individual, a mob threw bottles and rocks at them, triggering the deployment of crowd control munitions like blast balls.
The violent demonstrators set dumpsters on fire and threw more explosives at officers, the Seattle Police Department said.
Multiple officers suffered injuries, including one who was struck in the head with a baseball bat. The impact cracked his helmet. Video footage showed a rioter swinging the bat and hitting the officer.
Officers arrested 13 people for charges including property destruction, resisting arrest, and assault on an officer.
Rioters in Portland set the Multnomah County Justice Center on fire and tried smashing windows at the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct.
As officers dispersed the unlawful assembly, people in the crowd launched commercial-grade fireworks at them. They also threw glass bottles and rocks and shined green lasers.
At one point, a person in the crowd threw a Molotov cocktail, striking one officer in the foot.
A Portland Fire medic was nearby and quickly extinguished the flames.
“Had this incendiary not been stopped immediately, it could have caused serious physical injury to the officer,” the bureau said in an incident summary.
Multiple arrests were made.
Rioters in St. Louis blocked traffic, threw a large firework at officers, and set a fire at the police headquarters, KMOV reported.
In Louisville, hundreds marched downtown, smashing windows and harassing store owners. Two police officers were shot during the mayhem.
Both are expected to survive and the suspect was arrested, as were 126 others.
A group dumped a coffin full of dirt and what was believed to be manure at the front door of the Asheville Police Department in North Carolina.
The crowd refused to disperse from a nearby area and at least one assault took place, police officers said.
An assembly in Atlanta was broken up by George State Capitol Police and the Georgia National Guard.
Authorities used tear gas to keep the crowd from moving on the capitol grounds, according to local reports, and made a number of arrests.
Demonstrators in multiple cities were seen confronting people seated at outdoor tables at restaurants, an action that can lead to being arrested.
A group started going restaurant by restaurant to chant at diners in St. Petersburg, Florida. In one case, they interrupted an older couple and sat down at their table, refusing to leave.
Agitators in Washington also confronted outdoor diners. A number of arrests were made in the nation’s capitol, where rioters brawled with police officers.
In other cities, protests remained peaceful, authorities said.
A crowd estimated in the thousands marching in New York City eventually dispersed with no arrests made, according to the New York City Police Department.
Some stores were vandalized on the outside with red paint and “Paint the City Red” posters, the New York Post reported.
Several hundred people marched to the Minnesota Capitol Mall in St. Paul before blocking traffic on I-94.