Protesters targeted more statues Saturday across the United States, amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations following the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
In Seattle, authorities were investigating a shooting in the "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone, or CHOP, that left one man dead and another in critical condition, Harborview Medical Center spokesperson Susan Gregg said. The CHOP is an area that protesters cordoned off near a police station following demonstrations against police violence since Floyd’s death.
And in Atlanta, fire investigators issued an arrest warrant in the blaze that gutted the fast-food restaurant where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by Atlanta police officers a week ago, according to Reuters.
The warrant lists Natalie White, 29, wanted on suspicion of first-degree arson. Brooks, 27, mentioned a Natalie White as his girlfriend on the night he was killed, video from one officer’s body camera shows.
A representative for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department declined to comment in an email to Reuters on whether officials were investigating a relationship between Brooks and the suspected arsonist.
The statues were falling in continuing protests following Floyd’s death. The African American man died after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck, an incident that has galvanized protesters around the globe to rally against police brutality and racism.
In San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, North Carolina, Friday was another night of tearing down Confederate statues.
Statue in DC
In the nation's capital, demonstrators toppled the 11-foot (3.4-meter) statue of Albert Pike, the only statue in the city of a Confederate general. Then they set a bonfire and stood around it as it burned, chanting, "No justice, no peace!" and "No racist police!"
President Donald Trump quickly tweeted about the toppling: "The DC police are not doing their job as they watched a statue be ripped down and burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!"
Statues of two Confederate soldiers that were part of a larger obelisk were torn down Friday night by protesters in Raleigh.
Crews take two more
Saturday morning, official work crews came to the North Carolina capitol to remove two more Confederate statues. One statue was dedicated to the women of the Confederacy, and another was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy honoring Henry Wyatt, the first North Carolinian killed in battle in the Civil War, news outlets reported.
Governor Roy Cooper said he ordered the removal for public safety and blamed the Republican majority state General Assembly for the danger.
In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed said she understood the real pain of slavery and oppression and wasn't defending any statue or what it represents, but said protesters should let the entire community discuss and decide what statues are torn down.
In the city’s Golden Gate Park, protesters tore down a bust of Ulysses Grant, who was the U.S. president after he was the general who beat the Confederates and ended the Civil War. Also pulled down was a statue of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." Key owned slaves.
Drinking fountains, pathways and benches were also spray painted, the city said.
"Every dollar we spend cleaning up this vandalism takes funding away from actually supporting our community, including our African-American community," Breed, who is black, said in a statement.
Protesters also pulled down the statue of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, an 18th-century Roman Catholic priest who founded nine of California's 21 Spanish missions and is credited with bringing Roman Catholicism to the Western United States.
Serra forced Native Americans to stay at those missions after they were converted or face brutal punishment. His statues have been defaced in California for several years by people who said he destroyed tribes and their culture.