At the fiery rally in Atlanta, tensions escalate to violence

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For a fourth day, the Americans took to the streets to decipher the death of George Floyd, whose death was recorded on video in Minneapolis police on Monday.

Protesters set fire to a police car, hit officers with bottles, destroyed CNN headquarters, and broke into a downtown Atlanta restaurant when a demonstration started that started peacefully and quickly changed tone on Friday night.

Picture: A police car in Atlanta burns as people protest near the CNN center in Atlanta (Dustin Chambers / Reuters)
Picture: A police car in Atlanta burns as people protest near the CNN center in Atlanta (Dustin Chambers / Reuters)

Some used barricades to break police car windscreens and jumped from car to car. Hundreds of demonstrators confronted the police outside CNN headquarters. They sprayed the large, iconic CNN logo outside the building and broke an entrance with windows. A protester climbed onto the sign and waved a flag that read “Black Lives Matter” to cheer the crowd.

Some protesters threw officers who came over with bottles and beat some of them. Other bottles thrown at authorities exploded behind the police line, but no officers appeared to be hit. The protesters sang, “Quit your job.”

CNN broadcast scenes from the building’s lobby, where law enforcement officers were positioned. At some point, a few small explosions, which appeared to be fireworks thrown into the building by demonstrators, pushed CNN’s Nick Valencia to retreat further into the building.

According to an NBC subsidiary WXIA, at least nine police vehicles were damaged in a demonstration there. According to the broadcaster, the College Football Hall of Fame was destroyed when fires burned in several places in the city.

The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, made a passionate speech to the demonstrators, asking them not to burn down a city with a deep legacy of African American progress.

“This city has a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs,” said Bottoms. “If you’re interested in this city, go home. It won’t change anything.”

“We are better than that,” she said.

The crowd also spoke out against the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot while jogging, and Breonna Taylor, who was killed by the police in a raid on her home.

In Washington, DC, the White House was blocked when protesters gathered in nearby Lafayette Square. Some buildings in the area have been graffiti-painted.

According to NBC New York, a police ban was burned in New York’s Brooklyn neighborhood when a crowd surrounded it. Several people were arrested across the city.

In Los Angeles, demonstrators gathered near the town hall and in South LA. Protesters appeared to be attacking a policeman who escaped, according to a video broadcast by NBC Los Angeles.

Protesters later blocked one of the 110 freeways in the city center.

Hundreds of people marched on the Las Vegas Strip and sang, “No justice, no peace!” and “Black Lives Matter,” reported NBC subsidiary KSNV.

Several people were arrested during demonstrations in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is expected to host the Republican National Convention in August, NBC subsidiary WCNC reported.

Demonstrations were also expected in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Louisville, Kentucky, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Oakland, California.

In Minneapolis, where a third night of demonstrations broke out on Thursday evening, protesters returned to the streets and blocked Interstate 35W, according to NBC subsidiary KARE.

46-year-old Floyd was killed after police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on the back of his neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes after calling the police for a report about counterfeit money in a market.

Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with murder. Hennepin prosecutor Mike Freeman said he was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

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