Some peaceful protests for George Floyd turn violent, acts of vandalism reported nationwide

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Protesters across the country are continuing to speak out against police brutality in wake of George Floyd’s death.

The 46-year-old black man died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday. A white officer was recorded on camera digging his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground.

Floyd can be heard saying he can’t breathe and pleading with him to stop.

(Photo Credit: Ben Crump Law Firm)

The officer involved has been identified as Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department. On Friday, he was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers who were present have also been fired.

Officer Derek Chauvin

Protests quickly erupted nationwide with some turning violent, including here in Ohio. Governor DeWine activated the National Guard on Saturday to assist law enforcement in Cleveland and Columbus.

“In this time of deep anger, sadness, and frustration, we stand with those who are expressing their First Amendment rights, but we will not stand for those who wish to inflict pain and cause destruction,” said Gov. DeWine.

Here in Cleveland, people were spotted setting Cleveland police cruisers on fire, vandalizing buildings and looting from businesses.

A curfew is now in effect for the Central Business District downtown due to the violence and unrest, according to city leaders. It will last until 8 a.m. Sunday and then go back into effect at 8 p.m. and end again at 8 a.m. Monday.

Our sister station WCMH reported damage at multiple buildings in downtown Columbus as well as at the Ohio Statehouse. Officers were said to be using tear gas to disperse the crowds.

U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Betty of Ohio and a Columbus council member were reportedly pepper sprayed by police while taking part in the protests.

Columbus police said on Friday five people were arrested and two officers were injured by protesters throwing rocks and bricks at them.

The City of Cleveland has not yet said if anyone has been injured or arrested.

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