As George Floyd was mourned near his birthplace in North Carolina on Saturday, crowds filled the streets in American cities large and small with protests against police brutality and systemic racism that continued to grow.
In California, demonstrators brought traffic to a halt on the Golden Gate Bridge. In Philadelphia, thousands massed in the streets as the mayor and the police commissioner knelt in a show of solidarity. A rally in Chicago drew an estimated 30,000 people. In Washington, D.C., some protesters furiously spray-painted “Defund The Police” in giant yellow letters a block from the city’s “Black Lives Matter” display..
The demonstrations, which researchers call the broadest in U.S. history, even spread to Vidor, Tex., a notorious “sundown town” with a racist history, including Ku Klux Klan activity.
Here are some significant developments:
- Saturday’s demonstrations were mostly peaceful, though clashes continued in Portland, Ore., and in Seattle, where police used stun grenades in an attempt to disperse a crowd outside a precinct station and reported several injuries to officers in a melee with rock- and bottle-throwing protesters.
- A car rammed through a group of protesters on bicycles in Brooklyn on Saturday night, setting off a chase that ended in the driver’s arrest.
- New York’s mayor said he is immediately ending the city’s curfew, its first in 77 years, which was set to expire on Monday morning.
- Two police officers in Buffalo were charged after a widely circulated video appeared to show them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who fell and bled from the head as officers walked past him.
- After a public viewing and private memorial service in Raeford, N.C., Floyd’s body was transported to Houston, where his funeral will be held Tuesday.
- Philonise Floyd is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday. It will be the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since his brother’s death in police custody on Memorial Day.
- The executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer resigned following a staff revolt over an insensitive column headline, “Buildings Matter, Too.” Another newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has been accused of barring black journalists from covering protests and censoring certain stories.