Gunfire reported in Las Vegas, St. Louis amid George Floyd protests

Gunfire reported in Las Vegas, St. Louis amid George Floyd protests

The latest:

  • Officer shot in Las Vegas, authorities responding to another shooting.
  • Police say four officers hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis.
  • New York City imposes a curfew but that doesn’t stop some looting.
  • Mayor of Birmingham, Ala., orders Confederate monument removed.

A police officer has been shot in Las Vegas and authorities are responding to another shooting in the city as people protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said. 

The officer was shot in the area of the Las Vegas Strip and an officer was involved in a shooting in the downtown area, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reported early Tuesday.

The department said both shootings were on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Protesters have been rallying for days across the country over the death of Floyd, who was seen on video pleading that he couldn’t breathe while a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes before he stopped moving.

Police block off Las Vegas Boulevard South after a shooting in front of a federal courthouse during a Black Lives Matter protest on Monday. (Christopher DeVargas/Las Vegas Sun/The Associated Press)

Police in Las Vegas said Monday that 338 people were arrested during three nights of protests. Officers used tear gas and pepper balls to disperse crowds late Saturday downtown and Sunday on the Las Vegas Strip.

Police said suspects were jailed despite a local court policy calling for most people accused of misdemeanor crimes to receive court summonses instead of time behind bars to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

4 officers hit by gunfire in St. Louis

Meanwhile, police say four officers were hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis that started peacefully Monday became violent overnight, with demonstrators smashing windows and stealing items from businesses. Fires were also set in the downtown area.

The police department tweeted early Tuesday that the officers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. It was unclear who had fired the shots.

On Monday afternoon, several hundred people rallied peacefully outside the justice centre in downtown St. Louis, including Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. Protesters later walked to the Gateway Arch National Park and then onto nearby Interstate 64.

But later Monday, protesters gathered in front of police headquarters, where officers fired tear gas. Some protesters smashed windows at a downtown 7-11 store and stole items from inside before the building was set on fire.

Peaceful marches, looting in New York City

New York City imposed a late-night curfew Monday that failed to prevent another night of destruction, including arrests after a break-in at the iconic Macy’s store on 34th Street, following protests over Floyd’s death.

As the 11 p.m. deadline to get off the streets approached, bands of protesters marched peacefully through Manhattan and Brooklyn, but police simultaneously responded to numerous reports of roving groups of people smashing their way into shops and emptying them of merchandise.

Protesters in Manhattan rally late Monday against Floyd’s death. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

The doors of Macy’s flagship Manhattan store were breached. Police pulled two handcuffed men out and put them in a van.

People rushed into a Nike store and carried out armloads of clothing. Near Rockefeller Center, storefront windows were smashed and multiple people arrested. Bank windows were smashed. Wreckage littered the inside of an AT&T store.

Video posted on social media showed some protesters arguing with people breaking windows, urging them to stop, but instances of vandalism and smash-and-grab thefts mounted as the night deepened.

WATCH | Will calls for peace, crackdowns change U.S. protests?

Adrienne Arsenault talks to Black Lives Canada founder Sandy Hudson about how calls for peace and further crackdowns might influence the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd. 3:48

New York joined other cities around the country in imposing a curfew after days of unrest. It comes on top of months of restrictions on public gatherings already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Enough mayhem happened before the curfew took effect that Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that it would move up to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The curfew lifted at 5 a.m. ET.

Confederate monument being removed in Alabama

Workers in Alabama’s largest city began removing a Confederate monument Monday night after demonstrators failed to knock down the obelisk the night before.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin sent workers with heavy equipment to take down the Confederate monument, which is made of stone and stands 15 metres high. Late on Monday, after a 7 p.m. curfew took effect and streets were mostly clear, crews began their work.

Live video showed workers attaching straps to the peak of the obelisk so it could be lifted away with a crane. Within a few hours they had removed the top of the monument.

Woodfin said the city would see if the memorial could be given to a museum or another group.

Woodfin said the fine the city may face for violating a state law banning the removal of Confederate and other long-standing monuments is more affordable than the cost of continued unrest in the city.

Attorney General Steve Marshall, in a statement, said the city would face an assessment of $25,000 if it removed the monument, which has been the subject of a court fight between the mostly black city and Republican-controlled state.

Published at Tue, 02 Jun 2020 08:40:16 +0000