The national Black Lives Matter protest movement, rekindled in the days after an unarmed George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis last May, continues to shine a light on what it calls systemic racism and police brutality from America’s small towns to its urban centers.
Portland, Oregon, has remained a flashpoint of national and global demonstrations that erupted after video emerged of Floyd pleading that he couldn’t breathe as a police officer pinned him to the ground with a knee to the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes.
As in other parts of the country, the protests in Portland were mostly peaceful, though they have at times devolved into violence, vandalism and arson.
Protesters last weekend pulled down barricades, moved them into streets and attempted to set a building on fire. On Sunday, federal law enforcement officers dispersed protesters with gas, police said.
Nearly two months after Floyd’s death set off massive national and international protests, Black Lives Matter demonstrations are still happening in some places, including:
Protesters gathered near the home of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Saturday – one day after violent clashes left police and demonstrators injured, CNN affiliate WLS reported.
The demonstrators accused police of using excessive force to quell a protest on Friday which targeted a statue of Christopher Columbus at Grant Park.
Police said 18 officers were injured after some people in the crowd used rocks, fireworks, frozen bottles and other objects to attack officers, according to a statement.
About 12 people were arrested, police said.
Lightfoot, a Democrat, said she supports individuals’ right to protest but condemned some protesters and police officers.
Activists with Black Lives Matter Chicago demanded the immediate defunding of the police department.
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) confirmed it was investigating “numerous complaints” of police misconduct.
Los Angeles, California
Black Lives Matter protesters in Los Angeles, chanting and holding signs, have been calling for the ouster of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey for two and a half years.
Lacey is the county’s first Black and female prosecutor. She was raised in South Los Angeles.
Demonstrators have gathered nearly every Wednesday, but their calls have intensified since Floyd’s death. They blame Lacey, a Democrat, for what they see as an unwillingness to prosecute police officers.
Lacey said she has more in common with protesters than they realize, and that in many of the cases they cite, she was handcuffed by the law.
“While you may look at a shooting by an officer and say, ‘Oh, they could have shot him in the leg, they didn’t have to respond that way,’ that’s not the test under California law,” Lacey said. “The test is when somebody’s life is in danger.”
New York City
The NYPD on Wednesday dispersed the last remaining Black Lives Matter protesters outside City Hall. The process was peaceful and most left voluntarily, NYPD Commissioner of Operations Ray Spinella said.
The nearly monthlong protest encampment started with protesters demanding that the NYPD be defunded.
About a week into the protest, the city had already slashed $1 billion from the police budget, reallocating the funds to other departments.
Protests in downtown Boise on Tuesday were mostly peaceful, with only two people arrested for hopping barricades into a police-only area, CNN affiliate KBOI reported.
It helped that Black Lives Matter held its rally at Boise State University, while counter-protesters gathered in front of City Hall. Later in the evening, a small group of BLM protesters also gathered at City Hall, but were kept on the other side of the street by police.
Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with law enforcement supporters during rallies on Sunday at Civic Center Park in Denver, CNN affiliate KMGH TV reported.
Police said they used pepper balls and pepper spray to disperse the larger BLM contingent.
Ron MacLachlan, founder of Pro Police Rally Colorado, told the station its members were standing “with our men and women in law enforcement. Without them, we are in chaos and anarchy.”
Counter-protesters with pots and pans, whistles and small sirens crashed the event and attempted to drown out the speakers, the station reported.
Scuffles erupted before police moved in to disperse the crowds.
Los Gatos, California
About 100 demonstrators marched in the town of Los Gatos in Northern California on Sunday, CNN affiliate KGO reported.
The Black Lives Matter march, attended by a small group of counter demonstrators, was largely peaceful and caused backed up traffic on Highway 17, the station reported.
Black Lives Matter demonstrators have not only demanded justice in Floyd’s name but also in the name of countless other Black lives cut short, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Elijah McClain.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot multiple times after police broke down the door to her apartment while executing a nighttime, no-knock warrant in a narcotics investigation on March 13.
One group of protesters in Louisville has sought to reenergize the movement with a hunger strike that started at noon Monday, CNN affiliate WAVE reported.
“We just want justice; however that is going to look and whatever the outcome,” hunger striker Amira Bryant told the station.
The four hunger strikers will only drink water and supplements, with a medic checking on them, according to the station.
Over the weekend, protesters were arrested during a sit-in on the lawn of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, CNN affiliate WLKY reported.
The protesters called for justice in Taylor’s case and warned of more events to come.
The theft of Black Lives Matter signs in Roseville, Minnesota, led to a rally on Sunday at Evergreen Park, CNN affiliate WCCO TV reported.
The Roseville Rejects Racism rally was organized after police released surveillance camera photos last week of a man and a woman in a truck stealing the signs in June.
Dead racoons were also left in the neighborhood, including one nailed to a utility police, the station reported.
Black Lives Matter held a rally on Saturday on the front porch of Regina and Donald Simon, who say there were victims of a hate crime after a noose was put inside their vehicle, CNN affiliate WNEM reported.
The rally has encouraged the couple to continue to speak out against racial injustices within their community. “You know that this isn’t just going to be another rally, another march,” Regina said. “I’ve got good plans.”
‘Strike for Black Lives’ in 100 cities
As part of the larger protest movement against systemic racism, thousands of essential workers walked off their jobs on Monday in more than 100 US cities in a call for higher wages, health care benefits and paid sick leave and the right to unionize.
Known as the Strike for Black Lives, the day involved Black and Brown fast food workers, home health aides, janitors, and others in industries where Black workers are disproportionately represented.
The protest included a call for workers to walk away from their jobs for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that a Minneapolis police officer suffocated Floyd in late May.