Cities gird for more violence as Trump decries `lowlifes’
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday turned up the pressure on governors to quell the violence set off by the death of George Floyd, demanding New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”
As more demonstrations began taking shape around the country during the afternoon, and cities girded for another round of scattered violence after dark, the president amplified his hard-line calls of a day earlier, in which he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.
“NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” he tweeted. “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast! Don’t make the same horrible and deadly mistake you made with the Nursing Homes!!!”
Protests were held in such places as Orlando, Florida, where more than 1,000 people gathered in the afternoon to decry the killings of black people.
Minneapolis police face civil rights probe over Floyd death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The state of Minnesota on Tuesday launched a civil rights investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department in hopes of forcing widespread changes following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for minutes, even after he stopped moving.
Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the filing of the formal complaint at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. The governor and Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero said they hope to reach agreement with the city to identify short-term ways to address the police department’s history of racial discrimination, and use the investigation to find long-term solutions for systemic change.
Lucero said their goal is to negotiate a consent decree with the city that courts could enforce with injunctions and financial penalties. There are precedents, she said, including a consent decree approved in Chicago last year after the U.S. Justice Department found a long history of racial bias and excessive use of force by police.
Widely seen bystander video showing Floyd’s death has sparked sometimes violent protests around the world. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers involved were fired but have not been charged.
“We know that deeply seated issues exist,” the governor said. “And the reason I know it is we saw the casual nature of the erasing of George Floyd’s life and humanity. We also know by the reaction of the community. They expected nothing to happen, and the reason is because nothing did happen for so many times.”
Tensions mar Paris protest as Floyd outrage goes global
PARIS (AP) — Tear gas choked Paris streets as riot police faced off with protesters setting fires Tuesday amid growing global outrage over George Floyd’s death in the United States, racial injustice and heavy-handed police tactics around the world.
French protesters took a knee and raised their fists while firefighters struggled to extinguish multiple blazes as a largely peaceful, multiracial demonstration degenerated into scattered tensions. Several thousand people defied a virus-related ban on protests to pay homage to Floyd and Adama Traore, a French black man who died in police custody.
Electric scooters and construction barriers went up in flames, and smoke stained a sign reading “Restaurant Open” — on the first day French cafes were allowed to open after nearly three months of virus lockdown.
Chanting “I can’t breathe,” thousands marched peacefully through Australia’s largest city, while thousands more demonstrated in the Dutch capital of The Hague and hundreds rallied in Tel Aviv. Expressions of anger erupted in multiple languages on social networks, with thousands of Swedes joining an online protest and others speaking out under the banner of #BlackOutTuesday.
Biden blasts Trump’s ‘narcissism’ in new phase of campaign
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joe Biden mounted one of his most aggressive attacks against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, deriding the commander in chief’s disregard of core constitutional values and blistering him for being “more interested in power than in principle.”
“He thinks division helps him,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in a speech at Philadelphia’s City Hall. “This narcissism has become more important than the nation’s well-being.”
Biden seized on police driving back peaceful protesters near the White House on Monday so Trump could briefly pose with a Bible in front of nearby St. John’s Church.
“If he opened it instead of brandishing it, he could have learned something,” Biden said as he chided authorities for using “tear gas and flash grenades in order to stage a photo op.” Biden said Trump “might also want to open the U.S. Constitution. If he did, he’d find the First Amendment. It protects the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
9 states, DC vote amid coronavirus pandemic, unrest
Voters across America navigated curfews and health concerns Tuesday in a slate of primary elections amid dueling national crises as Joe Biden looked to move closer to formally clinching the Democratic presidential nomination.
In all, nine states and the District of Columbia were hosting elections, including four that delayed their April contests because of the coronavirus outbreak. While voters cast ballots from Maryland to Montana, Pennsylvania offered the day’s biggest trove of delegates. The state also represented a significant test case for Republicans and Democrats working to strengthen their operations in a premier general election battleground. The dynamic was especially intense in Washington, D.C., where Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed a 7 p.m. curfew as law enforcement agencies and National Guard troops prepared for a fifth night of protests near the White House following the police killing of George Floyd.