UPDATED 9:35 AM PT — Sunday, May 31, 2020
Protests gripped the nation this weekend. More than 1,600 people have been arrested across 22 cities since Thursday.
In Los Angeles alone, officials took 533 protesters into custody on Friday.
— Leon Matron (@theaquakid) May 28, 2020
In Indianapolis, multiple shootings erupted across the city in connection with the riots. Three people were shot and one was killed.
— ✨Jess✨ (@JessOrWhatevs) May 31, 2020
New York City demonstrators were seen throwing Molotov cocktail towards police.
(Clip cut to hide faces) NYPD w riot gear break through barriers set up by protesters at Fort Greene Park. Bottles fly and the vehicle nearby was set on fire again. Crowd dispersed shortly after as cops chased some people into the park and down nearby streets#BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/NjB9xJf5iq
— Tara Reade Deserves a Trial (@KABProdNYC) May 30, 2020
Retailer Target has also moved to close 175 of its locations across various states in response to looting. In a statement Friday, CEO Brian Cornell announced “we are a community in pain,” but Target is still committed to helping.
He added “truckloads” of medical supplies and other essential items are being sent to ensure “no one within the areas of the heaviest damage” is cut off. Cornell also reaffirmed the employees of the store in Minneapolis, along with all “displaced employees,” will keep their full pay and benefits as the store works to rebuild.
In the meantime, the National Guard has been deployed to nearly a dozen states as city and state officials continue calling in assistance against protesters.
Late Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti became the most recent official to call for back up. The city has since been approved to receive 500 to 700 guardsmen.
The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles overnight to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city.
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) May 31, 2020
Several other states, including Washington, Ohio and Georgia, have also called in the guard. In Minneapolis, officials confirmed they have nearly 4,000 troops.
The National Guard ain’t playing games in Minneapolis this is Glorious… When an officer tells you to do something, do it! pic.twitter.com/obGfMLQY1a
— Matt Couch ???? (@RealMattCouch) May 31, 2020
However, controversy has since erupted around the extra security. Protesters have claimed the guard will only increase tensions nationwide.
President Trump has thanked the National Guard for their quick work in shutting things down in Minnesota.
Congratulations to our National Guard for the great job they did immediately upon arriving in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last night. The ANTIFA led anarchists, among others, were shut down quickly. Should have been done by Mayor on first night and there would have been no trouble!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Meanwhile, GOP officials have taken aim at Minnesota leaders. They criticized these officials for their handling of the Minneapolis protests, which were sparked by the death of George Floyd.
On Saturday, President Trump stated he would send in federal troops if Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey did not deescalate the demonstrations.
“They’ve got to be smart. We have our military ready, willing and able if they ever want to call our military. We can have troops on the ground very quickly, if they ever want our military. They’re using their National Guard right now.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan also blasted Walz and Frey in a tweet Friday, calling them “international disgraces.” She called for their immediate resignation and said they failed George Floyd, as well as police and local communities in the state.
Carnahan believes the officials’ indecision led to the protests. She claimed they let Minneapolis burn for four straight nights.
— Jennifer Carnahan (@jkcarnah) May 30, 2020
Her views were echoed by President Trump, who urged the leaders to take a tougher stance on protesters.
“It’s a great state, Minnesota. They’ve got to get tougher, they’ve got to be strong. Honor the memory of George Floyd, honor his memory. They have to get tougher, and by being tougher, they will be honoring his memory.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
Frey has responded to the criticism by saying the people of Minneapolis are strong and they will get through this difficult time.