KEY POINTS

  • At least 4 officers were struck by gunfire as tensions escalated in St. Louis
  • An S.U.V. sped through a line of police officers in Buffalo, leaving 2 of them injured
  • Nearly 5 people were arrested after they broke into a Walmart store to steal electronics in Texas 

As tensions heightened in the United States over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer continued to kneel on his neck despite the victim pleading that he couldn’t breathe, President Donald Trump threatened to deploy military if the widespread violence doesn't come to end. 

"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," POTUS said Monday (June 1). 

Here are some key developments as violent clashes between police and protesters continued across the country:

  • Trump visits damaged church and poses for photos: Just after POTUS concluded his speech stating that he was among the Americans “rightly sickened and revolted” by Floyd ’s death, tear gas and flash grenades were used by the police officers to disperse crowds so that the President could visit the St. John’s Church which was vandalized during protests Sunday. Trump stood before the structure and posed for photographs with a bible.
  • Trump’s church visit criticized: Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington was “outraged” by Trump’s visit to the church. “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.

  • Four police officers hit by gunfire in St. Louis, Missouri: At least four officers were struck by gunfire as tensions escalated in St. Louis. All the officers were being treated at a local hospital and their injuries were "non-life threatening."
  • Reports of looting at Bay Area, California, shopping malls: Police responded to reports of looters at shopping malls. Police said that looters breached the property after misinformation regarding a shooting was spread. “Officers are currently controlling the scene at Hilltop Mall after vandals and looters breached the property. Misinformation was disseminated by an unknown source regarding a shooting and an officer down. That information is false. We aim to report accurate information,” the Richmond Police Department tweeted Monday night.
  • Police officers struck by vehicle during protests in Buffalo, New York: In an incident that took place outside the Buffalo Police Department ’s E District police station, an S.U.V. sped through a line of police officers, leaving two of them injured. Both the officers were stable and the driver and passengers in the vehicle were arrested. The incident was caught on camera.

  • Tear gas used on protestors in Philadelphia: Over two dozen protestors were taken into custody after hundreds blocked the Vine Street Expressway. Non-lethal bullets and tear gas were used by the police officers to disperse the crowd as traffic was halted on I-676.

  • Numerous protestors arrested in Arlington, Texas: At least five people were arrested after they broke into a Walmart store to steal electronics. Police said 12 people were involved in the incident, however, seven fled before they arrived at the scene.

On Monday (June 1), the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office and an autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family agreed that Floyd's death was a homicide. The medical examiner's report said Floyd died due to "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression" whereas, the family-commissioned autopsy stated, "asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause" of Floyd's death.

1600px-George_Floyd_protests,_downtown_Indianapolis,_2020-05-29 Indiana protesters head downtown to rally against the unjust death of George Floyd. Photo: Wikimedia Commons