WASHINGTON (AP) — American cities erupted in violence and destruction in a seventh straight night of unrest, with several police officers shot or run over, amid boasts and threats from President Donald Trump to send in troops to “dominate the streets.”
Demonstrations also broke out in such places as Philadelphia, where hundreds of protesters spilled onto a highway in the heart of the city; Atlanta, where police fired tear gas at demonstrators; and Nashville, where more than 60 National Guard members put down their riot shields at the request of peaceful protesters who had gathered in front of Tennessee’s Capitol to honor George Floyd.
The unrest in Minneapolis appeared to stabilize on the same day Floyd’s brother made an impassioned plea for peace at the spot where a white police officer put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck until he stopped breathing last week.
Trump, meanwhile, portrayed himself as a hard-nosed, law-and-order president, with police under federal command using tear gas to clear peaceful demonstrators from a park near the White House so that he could walk to a church and pose with a Bible.
Trump made little effort to address the grievances of black Americans and others outraged by Floyd’s death and the scourge of police brutality, undermining what his reelection campaign had hoped would be increased appeal to African American voters.