The Latest: Protesters blocked interstate in St. Louis

The Latest on the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck (all times Eastern):

___

St. LOUIS — Protesters blocked a downtown St. Louis interstate for three hours on Friday, set a fire in the road and broke into trucks in a demonstration over the death of a black man in Minneapolis.

Protesters blocked I-44 for nearly three hours after taking to the streets Friday night, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

A protester who died had climbed between two trailers of a Fed Ex truck and was killed when it drove away, according to reports. Police say they were investigating.

The crowd dispersed after a few gunshots were fired. Police did not report any arrests.

Tensions between police and minority residents have lingered in the St. Louis area since the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

In Kansas City, Missouri, police used pepper spray on people marching through its Westport bar-and-entertainment district Friday night, The Kansas City Star reports. Police say a window was broken and protesters appeared ready to use a police barricade to do more damage.

___

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Protesters in Charlotte responding to the death of a black man in Minneapolis looted stores, kicked and stomped on police cars and engaged in confrontations that led to multiple arrests.

News outlets report protests in the city Friday night began peacefully but turned violent as the night wore on. A grocery store and a cell phone store were looted, and protesters threw rocks at police, smashed a police bicycle, slashed the tires of a police car and stomped on other police vehicles.

Officers responded by deploying tear gas canisters. Police say they made several arrests but did not provide an exact number.

One of those arrested and charged with failure to disperse was City Council member Braxton Winston. He was released several hours later.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney told WBTV in Charlotte that protests began peacefully and police were prepared to accommodate that, “and then it turned on us.”

He added the police, “showed restraint, but they took care of business.”

___

MINNEAPOLIS — The governor of Minnesota says he plans to fully mobilize the state’s National Guard and promised a massive show of force to help quell civil unrest following days of protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Gov. Tim Walz says he also spoke with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley about getting federal assistance to help stop the violence.

Walz blamed much of the destruction in Minneapolis Friday night on well-organized, out-of-state instigators whose goal was to “destabilize civil society.”

Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington vowed a stronger police presence and a change in tactics “because this is intolerable and we are coming to stop it.”

___

Categories: California News