Nationwide protests in the United States to end racial injustice have become turbulent at times with shops being looted and vandalized, leading to more violence and deaths.
After the chilling video of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer digging his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, went viral, protesters took to the streets demanding justice and social reforms.
Following the first couple days of protests, the officer was arrested and charged with third-degree murder while three other policemen were fired.
But protesters were further angered by the inadequate charges against the officer, Derek Chauvin, and the lack of charges pressed against the officers who witnessed the crime.
After a week of protests, the three officers were charged with aiding and abetting a murder.
While many protests were carried out peacefully, a number of others turned violent leading to the death of multiple police officers and severely wounding other civilians.
This led US President Donald Trump to call for deploying military forces to restore “law and order.”
The Associated Press has reported that more than 10,000 people have been arrested across the US since the protests started.
The protests tend to begin peacefully before becoming frenzied in the evenings close to or after curfew.
The most recent example was the Wednesday night stabbing in New York that resulted in the death of a policeman. The officer, a Haitian immigrant, was stabbed in the neck shortly before midnight in Brooklyn. New York mayor Bill de Blasio said he would not “theorize” on the motives; however, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch blamed anti-police rhetoric “storming our streets.”
This came a day after a separate incident involved a man driving into a police officer in the Bronx while the officer was going after looters.
Police officers were not the only targets. In Texas last Saturday, a man was severely beaten and left in critical condition after he allegedly waved a machete vowing to protect his neighborhood from protesters. A Dallas police spokesman was quoted by The Dallas Morning News as saying that the man was “carrying a machete to allegedly protect his neighborhood from protesters. The victim confronted protesters while holding the machete and was subsequently assaulted.”
The man was seen being kicked and stomped on before being hit with what The Dallas Morning News said was a skateboard and a stone.
A man severely beaten in the Victoria Park area of #Dallas is in stable condition, police said. Protesters badly beat a man Saturday night after he confronted them with a machete to “allegedly protect his neighborhood,” police added.#GeorgeFloydProtestshttps://t.co/EmkipyfXC4 pic.twitter.com/DCeBILFOSs— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) May 31, 2020
A separate video shows two young men taping people marching below their apartment and giving a “thumbs up” sign. The people below hurled unidentifiable objects at the two men, shattering a window in the apartment. The two men could be heard saying, “We’re on your side,” before a second object shattered a second window. Al Arabiya was unable to confirm where or when the video was taken.
On Monday, Philadelphia’s FOX29 published a video showing rioters lighting police cars on fire. Windows of the police cars were shattered and items were stolen before being lit on fire in the middle of the road. Police officers were standing just a short distance away. At least 16 police cars could be counted in the video. The local news channel said that local stores were being looted as the cars were destroyed.
Earlier this week, another video went viral showing a black part-owner of a bodega in the Bronx, New York, chastising looters who vandalized and damaged her store. The undated video showed the woman standing outside her business, identified as Valentine Deli Corp, talking to the camera telling the looters to “Get a job like I do, stop stealing.”
“The problem that bothers me is you say, Black Lives Matter,” the woman is heard saying. “I’ve worked here part-time, plus I’m a part-owner of this store,” the unidentified woman says.
“Look what you did to my store — look! Look what you did to my store. We’ve been here all night cleaning up, all night cleaning,” she adds.