Michelle Martin discussed on All Things Considered


I'm Michelle Martin across the country today some attended peaceful vigils marches and demonstrations while others spent the day sweeping up broken glass trash and other debris from protest over the death of George Floyd in police custody protest in several cities turned violent last night cars and buildings were burned shops and stores looted and some clashed with police in Minneapolis where Floyd was killed last Monday police and the National Guard fired tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of protesters last night that's where NPR's David Schaper is and he is with us now David Schaper it's good to hear from you thanks for joining us thanks for having me Michelle first of all she could you just give us a recap of what happened last night in Minneapolis and elsewhere around the country well yeah they were huge demonstrations thousands of protesters in just about every major city including Los Angeles Seattle Chicago Philadelphia Atlanta and Washington DC many people coming out to express outrage after another police killing of a person of color and it's spread to many smaller cities to like Kansas city Lincoln Nebraska Fargo North Dakota in Ferguson Missouri which has had its own recent history of police violence in many cities the National Guard was called out to many of the protests were met with a really fierce law enforcement response in an incredible show of force here in Minnesota governor Tim Walz called Saturday a day filled with tension like and unlike any other in Minnesota he credited the community residents with helping calm those tensions in getting family members and friends and neighbors off the streets while the city and state police along with more than four thousand National Guard troops conducted what he called the most complex public safety operations in state history they did so in a professional manner they did so without a single loss of life and minimal property damage well governor won't says the police operated in a professional manner but after some violent confrontations aren't some of their tactics and that show of force being questioned now yes actually they are of police in the National Guard began to crack down on some protesters right almost right after the eight o'clock local time curfew that was set the time that the walls would set for cute curfew in the Twin Cities and they fired tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators using firing projectiles like rubber bullets of even fired upon a detained journalists even though we weren't supposed to be a good we're we're we've works supposed to be exempt from the curfew walls did apologize for that but there was also another incident in which police officers wearing riot gear rolled down a residential street stopped in one officer yelled for residents who are standing on their porch to go inside and then when they didn't he said like a mop and other officers file projectiles at them the state's public safety commissioner commissioner John Harrington said these incidents are under review but he defended his officers saying they did what they had to do these aren't particularly pretty actions that we take and I can assure you of all the things the state patrol water rather than doing this week and last night it was anything but what we had to do but it was necessary nevertheless David at many protesters do continue to turn out and they do continue to stay out after the curfews to demonstrate and I understand you do have a chance to talk to some folks and what did they tell you about why they're doing that yeah I talked to two young men who were participating in one of the pre peaceful protests twenty one year old Ahmad Muhammad twenty four year old a chemo Lee and I asked them why after protests a protester throughout the day they didn't just go home at curfew to.

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