As nationwide riots have erupted across 36 cities in response to the death of George Floyd, at least 4,400 people have been arrested in cases involving looting, violence, and arson.
George Floyd was killed after an officer knelt on his neck for at least 8 minutes until he died. A horrifying video later surfaced depicting three officers kneeling on George Floyd, with a fourth standing nearby watching as Floyd can be heard pleading with them, “Please, I can’t breathe.” Floyd later died in the hospital.
Demonstrations initially began peacefully in Minneapolis, where the incident occurred.
According to a report compiled by The Associated Press, the thousands of arrests have been in response to people involved with theft, assault, blocking highways, and breaking curfew.
The majority of the arrests according to The Associated Press, have taken place in Los Angeles, California with at least 931 arrests there.
Governors in at least 12 states have called upon the National Guard to help enforce peace and order as fires and mass looting have continued to take place in several cities including the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be recognizing Antifa, the group responsible for the riots, as a terrorist organization.
Derek Chauvin, the officer responsible for the death of George Floyd, has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Though, this has done little to quell the riots.
In an interview with The Associated Press, founder of Black Lives Matter movement in Utah, Lex Scott said, “Maybe this country will get the memo that we are sick of police murdering unarmed black men.” Scott continued to say, “Maybe the next time a white officer decides to pull the trigger, he will picture cities burning.”
In his speech on May 30 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral, President Trump announced that he had spoken to Floyd’s family and expressed sorrow from the entire nation over George Floyd’s death. The President added that the officers involved in the incident had been fired, and one of them – Chauvin – had been charged with murder.
The other three officers may also be facing charges.
“I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace,” the President said. “And I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack, and menace.”
President Trump continued on to dismiss the current protests. “We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities,” he said.
“Healing, not hatred, justice, not chaos are the mission at hand,” Trump explained.