Videos show police turning up heat on protesters, rioters across US cities

National Guard called into major cities

Police walk through tear gas as they try to disperse protesters Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Las Vegas, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was in police custody in Minneapolis. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/John Locher) (John Locher, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – While many peaceful protests across the country devolved into rioting on Saturday night, there was an undeniable increase in police incidents with demonstrators.

Riots broke out in many major cities late Saturday night, with widespread looting and vandalism reported across the country in response to the police killing of George Floyd.

Floyd died Monday in Minneapolis after a police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes. The officer, Derrick Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder. Floyd was black. Chauvin is white.

Few corners of America were untouched, from protesters setting fires inside Reno’s city hall, to police launching tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, North Dakota, to shattered windows at police headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

Noticeably different from protests on Friday night was the increased militarized police presence. Officers wearing riot gear guarding buildings and pushed through crowds with tear gas and other non-lethal tactics. The National Guard was called into at least 13 cities.

Many cities installed curfews, trying to curb crowds after-dark. Those who stayed past curfew were threatened with arrest and, at times, force. In multiple videos circulating social media, police are seen pushing, shoving, macing and even driving into crowds of protesters.

In New York, NYPD officers are captured accelerating two vehicles into crowds of protesters behind barricades. Several people were knocked to the ground.

In Minneapolis, officers are seen opening fire on a woman who was looking outside from her own house.

In Salt Lake City, officers were seen pushing over a man using a cane:

Police were also documented attacking members of the media, even as reporters clearly identified themselves to authorities while covering the unrest.

Michael Anthony Adams, a Detroit native and Vice reporter, posted video of an officer pepper spraying him in Washington D.C. after clearly identifying as a member of the press:

In Detroit, Detroit Free Press reporter Branden Hunter said police approached him several times despite identifying as press.

There were some brighter spots of police involvement in protests. In Genesee County, Sheriff Chris Swanson joined protesters in a march.

In Juneau, Alaska, local police joined protesters at a rally in front of a giant whale sculpture on the city’s waterfront.

Police have arrested nearly 1,700 people in 22 cities since Thursday, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Nearly a third of those arrests came in Los Angeles, where the governor declared a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard to back up the city’s 10,000 police officers as dozens of fires burned across the city.

More: ‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters US

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence as he continued to express common cause with those demonstrating after Floyd’s death.

“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest,” Biden said in a statement Saturday night.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.