Protesters for racial justice took to the streets in several U.S. streets on Saturday, often clashing with police.
In the western city of Seattle, Washington, police declared a riot, deploying flash bangs and tear gas to control the demonstration, while arresting 45 people. Police said more than 20 officers were injured.
About 2,000 people marched in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in the city’s largest Black Lives Matter protest in a month. The riot declaration came after protesters set fire to a construction site for a juvenile detention facility and threw rocks, bottles and fireworks at the officers.
The demonstrators put up barricades and carried homemade shields and umbrellas to try to fend off police while using leaf blowers to disperse tear gas. All were tactics borrowed from protests in another western city, Portland, Oregon, where activists have clashed nightly with police for nearly two months.
The clashes in Portland have intensified after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump sent in federal law enforcement agents, even though city officials said they did not ask for or want the federal deployment.
The protests have occurred since the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The protests against police abuse of minorities initially erupted in cities coast to coast but have flared again in recent days in scattered cities.
Trump has vowed to send federal law enforcement agents to several cities, ostensibly to curb street crime that he says local police have been unable to stop.
Saturday night, in Austin, Texas, a man was killed when someone shot into a Black Lives Matter march.
Media accounts say the man may have approached a vehicle with a rifle before he was fired upon.
“All I know is that someone dying while protesting is horrible,” Mayor Steve Adler of Austin said in a statement. Adler said he is “heartbroken and stunned.”
In Louisville, Kentucky, a group of armed protesters called for justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who died in Louisville when police entered her home without warning on a “no knock” warrant and shot her in March. Taylor’s boyfriend had fired at the officers first, thinking they were intruders.
One police officer has been fired because of the Taylor incident, but charges have not been brought against the other officers.
The leader of the NFAC group, an armed Black militia involved in the protests, says he wants the police investigation into the Taylor killing to be more transparent.
Police say three NFAC members were injured Saturday when one of the militia’s weapons accidentally discharged.