Protests over George Floyd’s death spread across the nation

(AP) Developments across the United States in connection with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody:

DENVER — Denver Mayor Michael Hancock called for calm and unity Friday after the first of several planned city protests over George Floyd’s death turned violent, declaring, “Let not the story be about the riots and protests. Let’s keep the focus on the life that was lost.”

“I can tell you not to go out and demonstrate but the reality is it’s going to happen,” Hancock said at a news briefing, stressing he shared outrage over what he’s called the “senseless and tragic murder” of Floyd in Minneapolis.

Hancock and Police Chief Paul Pazen blamed what they called a minority of agitators among peaceful protesters for inciting violence throughout downtown on Thursday. That violence included throwing rocks at police officers, setting small fires, and breaking windows and damaging cars at the state Capitol and at businesses. More protests were planned for Friday and Saturday. Pazen said three officers were injured and that 13 people were arrested for burglary, criminal mischief and assault.

WINDERMERE, Fla. — A group of about 10 protesters gathered Friday near a Florida town home that belongs to a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck.

The protesters arrived after social media postings listed the address of Derek Chauvin in the community of Windermere outside Orlando.

They carried signs that said, “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George,” and “We see you, we hear you ... we love you! #Justice for George.” The handcuffed black man pleaded for air as Chauvin, the white police officer, knelt on his neck during an arrest recorded on video by bystanders.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office tweeted from its official account that Chauvin is not at the residence and is not expected there. The office says it’s confirmed he has no plans to be in the area.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police used a helicopter and tear gas as they retreated from a crowd of people after a confrontation that followed a protest of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Police said officers responded to several shots being fired from a vehicle following a demonstration that had lasted hours. Four individuals were taken into custody, and several protesters became confrontational, police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said.

During the confrontation, protesters waved signs and yelled at officers clad in riot gear. Gallegos said Friday the tear gas was used to allow officers to leave the area and avoid further confrontation.

There were no reports of injuries from the gunshots, and it wasn’t clear whether that incident was related to the protest. Gallegos also said there were no injuries resulting from the confrontation with protesters.

FONTANA, Calif. — Nine people were arrested after rocks were thrown at businesses, vehicles and officers during a Southern California protest stemming from the death of a black man in Minneapolis police custody.

The violence erupted Thursday night in Fontana as about 100 people moved up and down a thoroughfare and blocked traffic. Police say an unlawful assembly was declared and the crowd was ordered to disperse but some persisted.

Elsewhere in the region, demonstrators gathered outside Los Angeles police headquarters but there was no repeat of Wednesday evening’s action in which protesters blocked freeway traffic and attacked two Highway Patrol cruisers.

Fontana is an inland city about 50 miles (80) kilometers east of Los Angeles.

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