Several shops were looted in New York City's Manhattan district on Saturday, as protests over the killing of George Floyd spiralled into vandalism. Store windows were smashed with an array of objects, including axes, crowbars and metal barriers. Perpetrators were seen making off with boxes of goods. Protests have taken place across the US in reaction to Floyd's death, with looting and burning also occurring in some areas, including Minneapolis. Floyd, a Houston native, died in Minneapolis earlier this week after a police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes as he was recorded saying, "I can't breathe" and "Don't kill me." Four officers involved in the incident have since been fired. The officer who knelt on Floyd was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.
The George Floyd riots are an ongoing series of protest and demonstrations in the United States that initially started in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota before spreading nationwide. The protests began in Minneapolis on May 26, 2020, after George Floyd died shortly after Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest the prior night.
Protests at the MPD's Third Precinct saw some demonstrators skirmishing with law enforcement officers, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. On May 27, a man was fatally shot by a pawn shop owner who thought the man was looting, and the Third Precinct's windows were smashed. Multiple stores were looted, and other buildings were attacked and set ablaze.
For several days following Floyd's death, hundreds of protesters gathered at the driveway of Chauvin's house, which prompted police response. On May 28, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared a state of emergency, and 500 Minnesota National Guard troops were called in by Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz. By the morning more businesses across the Twin Cities were damaged and looted. MPD in the Third Precinct building attempted to hold off the protesters with tear gas, but at around 11:00 p.m., protesters overran the building and set it ablaze after it was evacuated.The protests continued into May 30. Tim Walz, Jacob Frey, and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter imposed curfews. President Donald Trump assured Walz of military support if needed.
As of May 31, there were simultaneous protests in over 100 other cities in the United States and internationally supporting those seeking justice for Floyd as well as speaking out against excessive police brutality. Major cities with protests included Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte; Chicago; Columbus; Dallas; Denver; Fort Lauderdale; Indianapolis; Jacksonville; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon; Richmond, Virginia; San Francisco; Seattle; Salt Lake City; and Washington, D.C.. On May 31, at least 12 major cities declared a curfew on Saturday evening, and governors in 12 states (including Minnesota) had called in the National Guard.