After a heated week of police violence, protests erupted in several US cities on Friday, at times turning tense.
In the wake of the killings of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old shot by police after being pulled over, and unarmed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, thousands took to the streets to demonstrate, sometimes into the night.
In Chicago, where Adam was killed, thousands marched in Logan Square after the video of the 13-year-old being shot with his arms raised was released this week. The protesters planned to march to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home, some of them calling for her resignation.
The event was largely peaceful, though some police and protesters scuffled as the night drew to a close.
In Minnesota, protests continued their sixth night of protests in Brooklyn Center, where Wright was killed, as nearby Minneapolis also prepared for protests during the Derek Chauvin trial over George Floyd’s death last year.
Police arrested about 100 people in Brooklyn Center on Friday, after claiming the demonstrations had become an unlawful assembly when the fence around a police building was momentarily breached. The city also issued a last minute curfew of 11pm to 6am.
Earlier in the evening, a US district judge ruled that Minnesota state patrol could not arrest, threaten or target journalists after an ACLU complaint that law enforcement was unfairly cracking down on working reporters.
Meanwhile, a protest that began peacefully in California ended with multiple fires set, several cars damaged and numerous windows shattered.
The protest against police brutality in Oakland began calmly Friday night, news outlets reported. A subsequent march drew about 300 people.
People in the crowd threw bottles and other objects at officers during the march, Oakland police said in a statement. One officer suffered an injury from being struck in the head. A community member was also assaulted, police said.
But later, authorities declared an unlawful assembly and instructed demonstrators to leave. Police said the protesters dispersed peacefully. There were no arrests or citations issued.
In Portland, Oregon, police declared a riot on Friday night after demonstrations that followed police fatally shooting a local man while responding to reports of a person with a gun.
Some witnesses said the man was mentally ill, but Portland’s new street response team – created after last year’s protests to respond to mental crises without armed police – was not called.
Chris Davis, deputy police chief, told reporters earlier in the day that a white man in his 30s was shot and killed by police, who opened fire with a gun and weapons that fire non-lethal projectiles. The man was pronounced dead at the scene in Lents Park, which is in a leafy, residential neighborhood of the city.
Two officers fired a 40mm device that shoots non-lethal projectiles, and one officer – an eight-year veteran – fired a gun, police said in a statement. The officer is on paid administrative leave, and his or her name will be released Saturday, authorities said.
As investigators scoured the scene and documented evidence, nearly 100 yards (91 meters) away, a crowd of more than 150 people – many dressed in all black and some carrying helmets, goggles and gas masks – gathered behind crime scene tape, chanting and yelling at the officers standing in front of them.
As police began to finish on-scene investigation around 3pm the crowd marched through the park, ripped down police tape and stood face to face with officers dressed in riot gear. Police left the park around 3:30pm, and the crowd remained and eventually stood in a nearby intersection, blocking traffic and chanting.
Police said later Friday they had used pepper spray on protesters in order to disengage. Some people hit officers with sticks and chased officers as they were leaving, police said in a news release. Officers deployed smoke canisters and then used a rubber ball distraction device, police said.
The Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, has decried what he described as a segment of violent agitators who detract from the message of police accountability and should be subject to more severe punishment.
“We’ve had to summon just about every police officer in Multnomah County to keep this group far enough away to preserve what we refer to in our business as the integrity of the scene, so that nobody who shouldn’t be in there goes in there,” Davis said, adding that deputies with county sheriff’s office were also helping.