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Protests across America turned violent as demonstrators expressed anger over George Floyd’s death by police.

USA TODAY

Protesters marched in the streets again Sunday across the U.S. to call for reforms after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis.

Most demonstrations, some attracting hundreds of people, were peaceful though violence, including the burning of police vehicles and looting prompted police in some cities to deploy tear gas to gain control of the crowd.

Early in the day, volunteers turned out in many cities to sweep up debris from businesses that had been burned, had their windows broken or were otherwise damaged Saturday. 

Here’s a look at how protests are unfolding around the country on Sunday:

Washington, D.C.: Historic St. John’s Church near White House set ablaze

As protesters gathered near the White House, flames were seen at Washington, D.C., landmark that bills itself as “the church of the presidents.”

A fire was burning unchecked in the office of St. John’s Church, across from the White House, Fox News reported, as a demonstration was taking place outside. The gathering had attracted as many as 1,000 Sunday, who faced off against officers in riot gear.

The Episcopal church in Lafayette Square boasts on its website that every U.S. president since James Madison has attended services. Consecrated in 1816, the church also says the bell in its steeple, weighing almost 1,000 pounds, was cast in 1822 by Paul Revere’s son Joseph.  

The parish hall was built in 1836.

Chicago: Gov. JB Pritzker activates National Guardsmen to assist police

Vandalism reports continued to crop up in several city neighborhoods and some suburbs.

The communities of Tinley Park, Crestwood and Oak Lawn alerted residents to stay home due to civil unrest. Many businesses boarded up. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he activated 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers to assist local law enforcement with street closures. 

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The downtown Chicago demonstrations that drew thousands started peacefully Saturday afternoon in a plaza, with protesters reading the names of black people who have died at the hands of police. But that gave way to violence and destruction that continued overnight Sunday in Chicago and elsewhere.

Police used batons to beat back demonstrators as police cars were set ablaze and windows were smashed at businesses ranging from neighborhood convenience stores to high-end Michigan Avenue shops. 

Santa Monica, California: Unchecked Looting as marchers confront police

Looters took advantage of a large demonstration several blocks away to hit stores in the city’s business district.

In late afternoon, police were met with resistance when they tried to end a demonstration that had been peaceful. Demonstrators constructed a makeshift barricade in the middle of a street to protect themselves from non-lethal rounds fired by officers.

The march had attracted hundreds along the city’s main oceanfront boulevard.

Though there were many police officers present for the march, looters were able to plunder stores with few to stop them. Cars were seen pulling up in front of stores, with looters running in to collect bundles of clothes and other merchandise, and running out. Boxes littered the sidewalk at thieves were seen transferring goods into plastic trash bags.

A 5:30 p.m. curfew was announced due to the protests.

The looting came despite the arrival of the National Guard troops in neighboring Los Angeles, which had seen extensive looting, vandalism and arson on Saturday.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Brick thrown into business, police use tear gas

A small but tense protest in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, appeared to have dispersed after protesters blocked traffic and threw a brick through the window of a local business, prompting police to respond with canisters of tear gas.

About 50 protesters, many of whom appeared to be Middle Tennessee State University students, marched from Main Street toward Forrest Hall, a campus building named for Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has said protests in Murfreesboro are now “overt threats to public safety and property.”

George Floyd protests: Records dispute claims that most people arrested came from outside

Police have said an armored vehicle was vandalized and protesters have blocked traffic by lying in the street in an intersection. Officers responded by throwing canisters of tear gas to drive protesters out of the street.

However, before the protest escalated, negotiations between police and protest leaders led to calm, then students and officers were seen walking together and posing for photos.

– Nancy DeGennaro, Joseph Spears, Mealand Ragland-Hudgins and Brinley Hineman, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal

Savannah, Georgia: Protesters chant ‘Arrest the other three’ during rally

Thousands demonstrated against racism and the killings of black people at the hands of police Sunday in Savannah, Georgia.

City leaders joined protesters who peacefully marched from Johnson Square to City Hall.

“We need to make sure that we stop apologizing and we move from apology to action,” Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter said.

At one point during Mayor Van Johnson’s speech, the crowd broke into a chant of “arrest the other three,” referring to other Minneapolis police officers who stood by while an officer knelt on Floyd’s neck.

“Yeah, they should arrest the other three,” Johnson said.

“We are tired of the mess and we want it to stop now. We stand here as a united community to say that we are standing with George Floyd and his family, because no man should ever have to die like that,” Johnson said. “We stand here united as a community to say that crooked police officers are called criminals. And in jail, they should be.”

– Will Peebles, Dennis Knight, Mary Landers, Nathan Dominitz and Zach Dennis, Savannah Morning News

Philadelphia: Mayor Jim Kenney ‘saddened and disappointed’ beyond words

Another day of street protests gave way to looting, with at least one police vehicle set on fire.

Looters were running out of stores in the northeastern section of the city with armloads of merchandise. In the downtown, workers and volunteers swept up broken glass from windows shattered during riots the previous day. Graffiti was being removed.

Mayor Jim Kenney said the mayhem “saddened and disappointed me beyond words, and I’m sure it saddened every Philadelphian who takes pride in their city.” He said those responsible “not only desecrated private businesses, they also desecrated the important message that was heard in the earlier peaceful protests.”

Spartanburg, South Carolina: Passing motorists show support for protesters 

Chanting “No justice, no peace,” about 100 peaceful protesters gathered at Barnet Park, drawing support from motorists who honked their car horns.

“We want to take a peaceful stand to show support,” said organizer Kelvin Brown. “If we can all come together as a people, black and white, we can make a difference.”

Many protesters said it wasn’t just Floyd’s death at the hand of a white police officer, or that it took days before the officer was arrested, that triggered anger.

Peaceful marches, burning cars: Protests for George Floyd take varying turns

“We need to end the racist system,” said Curtis Pickens. “If you want all this to stop, real justice is what is needed. Stop the racial and social profiling. Stop hiring white supremacist officers.”

“It’s time to stand up for what we believe in,” Isaiah Jordan said. “What happened to George Floyd terrorizes the whole nation. We’ve got to do something about it. I’m just sick and tired of young, black men dying.”

–Bob Montgomery, GoUpstate.com

Lafayette, Louisiana: Protesters want police to know ‘we’re human’

Hundreds of protesters, some wearing protective face coverings, lined Lafayette streets to join a peaceful demonstration against police brutality.

The protest, peaceful like others in Baton Rouge and New Orleans this weekend, began in the morning with protesters lining the streets to chant.

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Lafayette NAACP President Marja Broussard said to protesters. “I have a message for law enforcement. The message is: we want you to know that we’re human just like you…We want you to know we have families. We’re human.”

– William Taylor Potter, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Augusta, Georgia: Demonstrators chant ‘No justice, no peace’

Demonstrators chanted, “No justice, no peace,” as they walked along Washington Road.

While “No justice, no peace,” was a popular chant among protesters, Sunday’s peaceful march was about showing strength through peace rather than through violence, organizers said. Latoya Lovett said she asked the Street Justice Council to help her organize the marches after hearing many Augusta residents talk about going to Atlanta to join protests there, which have turned violent after peaceful starts.

“You can march in your own city, you can have a voice in your own city,” Lovett said. “You don’t have to go smash windows, you don’t have to go beat people, you don’t have to drop on the police.”

Demonstrators were escorted by Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies who blocked off roads and intersections as needed. Sheriff Richard Roundtree was among those who helped guide the marchers and ensure safety for both them and the motorists.

“We believe in free speech and protesting and voicing your opinion, as long as you do it in a safe manner,” Roundtree said. “As long as you’re doing that, we’re all for it.”

– Will Cheney and Miguel Legoas, The Augusta Chronicle

Jacksonville, Florida: Peaceful rally follows violent Saturday night of protests

A peaceful demonstration was held Sunday outside the Duval County Courthouse. Then protesters started moving downtown and Jacksonville police worked to keep them in certain areas.

The cleanup of smashed store windows began Sunday around Florida after a night of unrest throughout the state’s cities.

George Floyd protests: How did we get here?

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said an unnamed deputy was either stabbed or slashed in the neck and was taken to a hospital for treatment Saturday night. A sheriff’s office spokeswoman would not comment on the deputy’s condition Sunday morning.

A protest Saturday resulted in many arrests, “but we still don’t know how many or anything related to those arrests,” the sheriff said.

– Sarasota News-Tribune

Cincinnati: Inwood Park rally opens with fist-up salute and song

A large crowd gathered at Inwood Park to hear speakers as a rally, followed by a march. Organizers gave instructions about what to do if they are tear-gassed.The rally started with a fist-up salute and a song about the death Sam DuBose, shot by a police officer not far from the scene of this protest in 2015. Some Cincinnati City Council members have been seen and have tweeted from the rally.

The demonstrations began Friday. 

– Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati Enquirer

Contributing: The Associated Press

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