Tear Gas Clears Path for Trump to Visit Church

In his first remarks from the White House since massive protests have swept the country, President Trump said Monday evening that the looting and violent demonstrations in reaction to the death of George Floyd in police custody were “acts of domestic terror.”

Speaking in the Rose Garden as protesters and law enforcement held a tense standoff outside, Mr. Trump said he planned for a police and law enforcement presence to “dominate the streets” and said he would respond with an “overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.”

Mr. Trump said he was among the Americans “rightly sickened and revolted” by the death of Mr. Floyd. But, he said, “If a city or state refuses to take the actions 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,” he said.

Just after Mr. Trump concluded his speech, military police from the National Guard clad in camouflage and riot shields surged in front of a line of law enforcement officers pushing protesters back from the mouth of Lafayette Square outside the White House.

Police officers used tear gas and flash grenades to clear out the crowd so Mr. Trump could visit the nearby St. John’s Church, where there had been a parish house basement fire Sunday night. The president stood in front of the boarded up church posing for photographs with a Bible, after the police dispersed peaceful protesters.

Mr. Trump walked back to the White House after a few minutes.

The president’s church visit was criticized by Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, who said she was “outraged” that Mr. Trump went to the church “after he threatened to basically rain down military force.”

“The president used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without even asking us, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for,” she said in an interview.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington said the federal police officers’ clearing of peaceful protesters was “shameful” and had made the job of city police officers harder. Libby Garvey, the chair of the Arlington County Board in Virginia, said the county had ordered its police force — which had been helping to patrol the protests in Washington — to return, saying their mutual aid agreement had been “abused.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump had berated America’s governors over their response to the protests across the nation, calling the protesters “terrorists,” demanding “retribution,” and warning the governors that they will look like “jerks” if they don’t order protesters arrested and imprisoned.

Tens of thousands of protesters began another week of demonstrations and disturbances on Monday night, returning to the streets of cities around the country despite curfew orders, threats of arrest and the words of the brother of George Floyd, who made an emotional plea for the destruction to end.

The protesters were driven from parks, interstates and government buildings by growing numbers of law enforcement officers in riot gear, whose response to the demonstrations has been criticized in a dozens of confrontations.

  • In Washington, President Trump threatened to call in the military to end protests around the country and then ventured outside the White House grounds to pose for photographs at a nearby church. His walk came after riot police and National Guard troops used tear gas and flash grenades to clear a path through a peaceful protest in a city park.

  • In New York, a curfew implemented by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that extended from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. did little to deter protesters and looters, who made their way into the iconic Macy’s department store in Manhattan.

  • In St. Louis, Mo., four police officers were struck by gunfire during a lengthy shootout that took place amid the protests, the department said.

  • The driver of an S.U.V. sped through a line of law enforcement officers in riot gear in Buffalo, injuring two of them in an episode that was caught on video. One of the injured was a Buffalo police officer, and the other was a member of the New York State Police, according to Mark Poloncarz, the Erie County executive, who said that both officers were in stable condition. The driver and the passengers in the S.U.V. were taken into custody.

  • In Philadelphia, an armored vehicle bearing the insignia of the Pennsylvania State Police fired tear gas into hundreds of protesters who had gathered near downtown. Demonstrators sought refuge along a highway embankment after they had breached the roadway. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is slated to visit the city on Tuesday to address the unrest.

  • In Dallas, protesters were arrested and charged with obstruction of a highway for marching on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County Judge, allowed peaceful protests to continue on the county courthouse property past a citywide 7 p.m. curfew. He cautioned that protesters would likely be arrested by Dallas police officers if they left the property. “I support peaceful protest and radical transformation,” he said.

  • In Minneapolis, Terrence Floyd became the first member of George Floyd’s family to visit the place where his brother lived his last conscious moments and told a crowd that what he had seen in recent days troubled him. “If I’m not over here wilding out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are y’all doing? What are y’all doing?” he said. About 15 minutes after curfew, a peaceful crowd gathered at the spot saw flashing lights in the distance and ran toward them, saying they wouldn’t back down from the police, and barricaded the nearby streets.

Protests and looting continued past an 11 p.m. curfew in New York, as the police warned they would “start making arrests” for those who remained on the streets. Earlier in the night, some of Manhattan’s most iconic retail stores were ransacked.

After thousands of demonstrators fanned across New York City on Sunday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the city would be put under a curfew, beginning at 11 p.m. on Monday and ending at 5 a.m., and that the number of police officers deployed would double, to 8,000.

But hours before the curfew took effect, looters broke into the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square and a number of luxury stores along Fifth Avenue. An Anthropologie and Aldo store were targeted, and a Nike store, New York Yankees store and two Rolex watch shops, among several others, were ransacked.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, acknowledging that the Monday night curfew failed to curtail the criminal violence that marred otherwise peaceful protests, said Tuesday night’s curfew would begin at 8 p.m., three hours earlier.

Curfews were imposed in dozens of U.S. cities over the weekend, but the tactic was particularly striking for New York City’s eight million residents, who have been under severe lockdown orders because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed thousands of city residents. Just as the city was getting ready to cautiously reopen on June 8, the protests injected a new factor of unease, coming with not only police confrontations and widespread looting, but also fears that the virus was spreading in the crowds.

Mr. de Blasio also walked back earlier comments that appeared to criticize protesters who were rammed with police vehicles during a protest in Brooklyn, in an encounter captured on video that was shared widely over the weekend.

Mr. de Blasio, who was first elected to office on a platform of police reform, had drawn heavy criticism for his earlier remarks, in which he called for an investigation but also seemed to blame protesters.

“There is no situation where a police vehicle should drive into a crowd of protesters or New Yorkers,” Mr. de Blasio said during a news conference on Monday.

An Army Black Hawk helicopter descended to rooftop level in the Chinatown district of Washington on Monday night, kicking up dirt, debris and snapping trees that narrowly missed several people.

The military also used Lakota helicopters to perform the maneuver, known as show of force, which is often conducted by low-flying jets in combat zones to scare away insurgents. The crowd quickly dispersed into surrounding blocks. Minutes later, the Black Hawk returned for another pass.

The nation’s capital, roiled by protest, is the one jurisdiction where the Army can deploy without needing approval from a governor. So President Trump, declaring that “the destruction of peaceful life and the spilling of blood is against humanity and God,” ordered the Army to deploy an active-duty military police battalion for Washington, Defense Department officials said Monday.

The deployment of the military police unit — some 200 to 500 troops, from Fort Bragg, N.C. — is a sharp escalation in the response to riots and protests that have erupted in the capital.

Other jurisdictions have spurned such assistance. Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota declined Mr. Trump’s offer of military police to respond to protests in his state, and other governors followed his lead, instead choosing to rely on their own national guard troops.

Mr. Trump made clear, Defense officials said, that he wanted the Pentagon to push back forcefully against protests in the nation’s capital.

Law enforcement officers were targeted in attacks across the United States on Monday night and Tuesday morning, including a shootout in St. Louis, as unrest over police brutality reached a new pitch.

In St. Louis, four officers were struck by gunfire in a prolonged shootout between gunmen at a protest and the police. The officers were taken to the hospital, and their injuries were believed to be “non-life threatening,” Chief John Hayden of the St. Louis Police Department said at a news conference.

Chief Hayden said that after a peaceful protest of a few thousand people, a smaller group had broken off, intent on causing mayhem. Some in the crowd were armed and “flourishing pistols,” the chief said. Two officers were shot in the leg, one in the foot and one in the arm, he said.

Elsewhere, police officers were intentionally struck by vehicles.

A New York officer was run over by a black sedan at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday in the Bronx, according to a police spokesman. The officer was in stable condition on Tuesday morning, the police said.

That episode followed an attack on Monday in Buffalo, N.Y., when an S.U.V. mowed down two officers who were policing a protest. Video appeared to show at least one of the officers going under the vehicle’s wheels.

The S.U.V. drove around an armored police vehicle and sped off as shots were fired. The authorities said that the officers’ condition was stable and that those in the car had been taken into custody. Police officers

“It’s been the last straw,” said Janasia Crumpler, 20, at a rally in Washington. “It’s a pandemic. I’m in good health. I came out for those who can’t and people who been marching for 50 years.”

Ms. Crumpler said that like many people her age she first took to social media to give voice to her outrage. But she was compelled to take to the streets by the contrast in the government’s response to armed white demonstrators storming state capitals to protest coronavirus restrictions.

“It was out of control before when white people were rioting and you called them very good people. And they were rioting about the virus,” Ms. Crumpler said as she walked.

An American flag burned in the street nearby.

Rebekah Castilaw stood on an island of grass along one of the busiest thoroughfares in Hattiesburg, Miss — a protest of one.

She had brought a few signs with her, but the one she was holding at the moment just had “Black Lives Matter” handwritten in black marker. As the cars whipped past her, many of them honked. Plenty of people rolled down their windows. Most cheered her on, and some hurled vulgarities.

“I’ll be out here every day,” Ms. Castilaw, a white woman, said from her spot outside the University of Southern Mississippi. “It’s pitiful you don’t see more.”

About 200 people turned out in the suburban Minneapolis community of Maple Grove for a candlelight vigil. Their plan was to stand in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the same amount of time the Minneapolis police officer had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck.

But even after the time elapsed, people were still frozen in place for several minutes, with only the sounds of chirping birds and the hum of cars traveling on the freeway behind them. Members of the mostly white crowd included children on scooters and bicycles, and they held fists in the air and carried Black Lives Matter posters as they stood along the freshly cut lawn of the town library’s driveway.

Mary Kriz, leaning against her bicycle, said she was outraged by President Trump’s message Monday about using military force to break up protests.

“It couldn’t be a more wrong solution,” she said. “What we’re hearing from George’s family is they want us to protest peacefully. It’s the worst possible solution.”

John Morrisette, who was clutching a candle and standing beside her nodded and said, “Everybody is looking for peace right now, and war is not the answer.”

As curfew approached in Minneapolis, members of the National Guard appeared to be rolling into position in the part of town where Mr. Floyd was killed. More than half a dozen troops stood outside Chumps Chicken and the Cedar Bar & Grill, flanked by an array of armored vehicles. A few blocks away a convoy of military vehicles and police vehicles with sirens flashing passed down the street.

Just as the sun set and a citywide curfew took effect, a massive gathering marched down the iconic Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards.

Police officers gave the group a wide berth and things initially seemed peaceful, but soon groups peeled off targeting the Gower Gulch shopping complex, smashing the windows of a kabob restaurant and tearing the plywood barriers from a drugstore and a mobile phone shop.

Then the frenzy began. Men and women wearing masks stormed the stores, their arms heavy with looted goods.

Officers quickly descended on the scene, but just as quickly, many demonstrators jumped into awaiting vehicles and fled.

The clashes that have echoed in the streets of at least 140 cities are producing a growing toll, the extent of which is still difficult to quantify.

At least five people have died, and an untold number more, including protesters and police officers, have been injured. Thousands of people have been arrested, and fires, looting and vandalism have caused millions of dollars in damage to buildings and businesses — a prospect ever more alarming given the economic straits cities and businesses were already facing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

That marches in response to the violent death of George Floyd have themselves ended in injury and death was a contradiction deeply felt by those close to people who have died. “She would not have wanted this act of violence to instigate more violence,” Amy Lynn Hale said of her niece, Italia Kelly, 22, who was shot in her car in a Walmart parking lot in Davenport, Iowa, as she left a demonstration late Sunday night.

In Louisville, the owner of a well-known barbecue business was shot and killed by the authorities. In Omaha, a 22-year-old black man was shot to death by a white bar owner who said he was protecting his property. And in St. Louis, a man was dragged to his death beneath a FedEx truck that was apparently trying to drive away from protesters.

In Austin, Texas, the damage inflicted by the weekend protests constituted yet another anguishing blow to the state’s capitol city, where an economic tailspin started in March with the cancellation of the South by Southwest conference.

On Sixth Street, an internationally famous stretch of downtown bars and restaurants, a number of establishments had already been shuttered before protesters struck the entertainment district over the weekend, breaking windows, spraying graffiti and looting businesses.

“It looks like a war zone,” said Rob Hicks, the 40-year-old owner of the Dirty Dog Bar, which is in the same block as two looted stores. “I’m sure it could be worse but it doesn’t look like home.”

Two autopsies released on Monday agreed: George Floyd’s death was a homicide.

But the autopsies, one by a government agency and one by doctors working with the Floyd family, differed over the specific causes of death and whether there were contributing factors beyond the Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said Mr. Floyd had died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” The medical examiner also cited significant contributing conditions, saying that Mr. Floyd suffered from heart disease, and was high on fentanyl and had recently used methamphetamine at the time of his death.

The coroner’s conclusions differed from the results of a private autopsy commissioned by Mr. Floyd’s family, which was released a few hours earlier. That autopsy said Mr. Floyd died not just because of the Minneapolis police officer’s knee lodged at his neck, but also because of the other officers who helped hold him down.

Dr. Allecia M. Wilson of the University of Michigan and Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City medical examiner, were hired by Mr. Floyd’s family to help determine his cause of death. Dr. Baden said their autopsy “shows that Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problem that caused or contributed to his death.”

Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who was seen in a video kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck — even after Mr. Floyd lost consciousness — has been charged with third-degree murder. Antonio Romanucci, a lawyer for the family, said that the weight of two other police officers on Mr. Floyd’s back had prevented blood from reaching his brain and air from reaching his lungs.

Chief Medaria Arradondo of the Minneapolis Police Department said in an interview with CNN on Sunday that three former officers who were present when Mr. Chauvin knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck — and who did not intervene — were complicit in his death.

As the sun set on an extraordinary day of civil unrest across America, the mayor of Birmingham, Ala., ordered the removal of a contentious 115-year-old Confederate statue from a public park.

One day after dozens of protesters targeted the statue, a 52-foot-tall sandstone obelisk in downtown Linn Park, the mayor said it would be removed and taken away, though he would not say where. Some of the protesters spray painted the statue and chipped away at its base. They also tried to topple it with a rope and truck, according to media reports.

A large crane, forklift and flatbed trailer arrived shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, in the final hours of Jefferson Davis Day, the state holiday in Alabama honoring the Confederate leader.

The statue has been at the center of a legal fight between the city and the state’s attorney general’s office, with the city wanting it removed but ultimately losing the battle. Still, Randall Woodfin, the mayor of the majority black city, approved the removal on Monday in defiance of the Alabama Monuments Preservation Act, setting the stage for another showdown.

Attorney General Steve Marshall vowed to file a new civil complaint against the city if the monument was removed.

Across the country, in at least six states, anger over Mr. Floyd’s death has led to the damaging or defacing of more than a dozen symbols of the Confederacy.

Reporting was contributed by Rachel Abrams, Kim Barker, Ellen Barry, Katie Benner, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Julie Bosman, Audra D.S. Burch, Elizabeth Dias, John Eligon, Richard Fausset, Tess Felder, Manny Fernandez, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Matt Furber, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Russell Goldman, Jack Healy, Javier C. Hernández, Jon Hurdle, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Annie Karni, Neil MacFarquhar, Patricia Mazzei, Sarah Mervosh, Shawn McCreesh, David Montgomery, Benjamin Mueller, Jack Nicas, Elian Peltier, Richard Pérez-Peña, Adam Popescu, Frances Robles, Katie Rogers, Rick Rojas, Marc Santora, Dionne Searcey, Thom Shanker, Mark Tracy, Daniel Victor, Neil Vigdor, Russell Goldman, Austin Ramzy and Mihir Zaveri.

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