Reuters.com By Jonathan Ernst, Brendan O’Brien Tues., June 02/20
WASHINGTON/MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – At least five U.S. police officers were shot and wounded during violent protests over the death of a black man in police custody, police and media said, hours after President Donald Trump vowed to deploy the military if unrest did not stop.
Trump deepened outrage on Monday by posing at a church across from the White House clutching a Bible after law enforcement officers used teargas and rubber bullets to clear protesters.
The U.S. Secret Service, charged with protecting the president, on Tuesday closed down until further notice the streets around the White House, media reports said.
Demonstrators set fire to a strip mall in Los Angeles, looted stores in New York City and clashed with police in St Louis, Missouri, where four officers were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
An emotional St. Louis police commissioner, John Hayden, said about 200 protesters were looting and hurling fireworks and rocks at officers.
“They had officers with gas poured on them. What is going on? How can this be? Mr Floyd was killed somewhere else and they are tearing up cities all across the country,” he told reporters.
A police officer was shot during protests in Las Vegas, police there said in a statement. Another officer was “involved in a shooting” in the same area, the police said. Officers were injured in clashes elsewhere, including one who was in critical condition after being hit by a car in the Bronx, police said.
Trump, a Republican, has condemned the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25, and has promised justice.
“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said.