May 31 coverage of nationwide unrest and ongoing protests

George Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 1 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota last week continued to intensify across the U.S. Sunday, as protesters broke local curfews to voice frustration over policing in America.

In Minneapolis, a semi-truck was seen barreling toward a massive group of demonstrators on an interstate, though no protesters appear to have been injured in the incident.

Some elected leaders have blamed the violence that has broken out at some protests on organized extremists, though so far they have offered little evidence to support their claims.

President Donald Trump said Sunday that he would designate the radical lefitst group antifa a terrorist organization after earlier attributing the violence to “thugs” who he said were “dishonoring the memory of George Floyd." The comment drew criticism from Keisha Lance Bottoms, the Democratic mayor of Atlanta, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C, the Senate’s lone black Republican.

Download the NBC News app for the latest updates.

This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading June 1 coverage of George Floyd's death and the nationwide protests.

Philadelphia prepares to lock down Center City

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney plans to extend the city's curfew and impose a lockdown on the City Center area of downtown in an effort to prevent further looting and destruction. 

The city saw at least nine fires and 109 arrests around the city Saturday night into Sunday morning as protesters demonstrated against police violence following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, according to NBC Philadelphia. 

"We're locking down Center City today and tonight and probably extend the curfew," Kenney told the station Sunday.

Groups of people were seen carrying armloads of merchandise from businesses in Port Richmond on Sunday afternoon. Businesses were asked to help close early to help enforce the city's 8 p.m. curfew as looting continues to hit the area, NBC Philadelphia reported

ANALYSIS: Trump envisioned 'American carnage.' Now, he's got it.

Secret Service and park police face off with protesters outside of the White House on May 30, 2020.Eric Baradat / AFP - Getty Images

WASHINGTON — American carnage isn't just one of President Donald Trump's catchphrases anymore.

When Trump first addressed the nation as its president on Jan. 20, 2017, he depicted the nation's cities as domestic combat zones and declared "this American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

Back then, it was hyperbole at best. But it's become reality on his watch, and he has encouraged further violence.

More than 100,000 Americans have lost their lives, and another 40 million have lost their livelihoods, amid a coronavirus pandemic to which Trump was slow to react. Against that backdrop, cities across the country are now combustible cauldrons of fear, anger, fire and tear gas as Trump has responded to the violence with threats and little evidence of understanding its cause.

Read the full analysis here. 

YouTuber Jake Paul says he wasn't looting after viral video shows him at vandalized Arizona mall

Jake Paul attends an event in Los Angeles on May 8, 2019.Rich Fury / Getty Images file

YouTuber Jake Paul released a statement on Sunday after footage of him at a looted Arizona mall surfaced amid claims he and his friends were among those doing the looting.

"To be absolutely clear, neither I nor anyone in our group was engaged in any looting or vandalism," Paul said in a statement.

Paul said he and his friends spent the day joining in peaceful protests of "one of the most horrific injustices our country has ever seen," according to the statement.

Read the full story here. 

Photos: See the fire and fury in protests across America

Fury sparked by George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody spawned massive protests and chaos across the country over the weekend.

See the full photo gallery here.

A protester stands on top of a damaged police car in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles on May 30, 2020.Brock Stoneham / NBC News

Opinion: George Floyd couldn't breathe. We protest because now all of Black America can't either.

George Floyd should have been alive today. George Floyd would have been alive today if his humanity was recognized, valued and respected. George Floyd should have been protected by those who swore an oath to uphold the law and help the communities they serve. George Floyd is no longer with us because even in the middle of a global pandemic, police brutality has not ceased, writes Rev. Al Sharpton for NBC News THINK.

COVID-19 is ravaging us, making it difficult to breathe, and yet systemic racism has been tightening its grip on our throats for years, Sharpton writes. Racism is trauma, passed from generation to generation. Enough is enough.

Read Sharpton's full opinion piece here.

Trump says he will designate Antifa a terrorist organization as GOP points fingers at extremists

President Donald Trump tweeted that he was designating Antifa as a terrorist organization.

That followed Trump and Attorney General William Barr earlier pointing to anti-fascist organizers and anarchists as culprits behind the violent protests following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Others said right-wing extremists such as Boogaloo followers, who hope to bring about a second Civil War, were pushing for such uprising in the protests.

Read the full story here.

Illinois activates National Guard after protests leave six shot, one dead

The Illinois National Guard has been activated to “support” Chicago amid continued protests that led to 240 arrests, six people shot and one death, the Illinois governor and Chicago mayor announced on Sunday.

“At the request of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, I am activating the Illinois National Guard to support the City of Chicago in protecting our communities and keeping people safe,” Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. 

The news come after the mayor put Chicago under a curfew on Saturday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. “until further notice."

Lightfoot said on Twitter she requested “a small contingent of the National Guard to maintain a limited presence and support our police.”

Minnesota governor praises peaceful protesters, more than 50 arrests in Minneapolis area

Gov. Tim Walz on Sunday morning commended peaceful protesters in Minnesota as a celebration of diversity, even as the state reconciles with the destruction that occurred overnight with more than 50 arrested by the early hours of the morning.   

"The beautiful expression of solidarity and community that we saw played out by peaceful protesters, by that beautiful tapestry that is Minnesota," Walz said. "Indigenous dancers leading in the middle while the crowed kneeled around in reverence in making sure that justice was served." 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Sunday noted that the violent incidents Saturday happened alongside joyous protests of people "rallying around a common cause, which is each other," and communities coming out together to clear the debris in the morning. 

"Even though the whole world has seen us at out worst, we can still be at our best," Frey said.

About 25 people were arrested in Hennepin County and another 30 in Ramsey County by 2 a.m., Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Sunday. More arrests were made between then and about 6 a.m., but Harrington did not have an exact count. 

 

Photo: Chicago River bridges remain upright after night of unrest

Several street bridges over the Chicago River remain closed on Sunday after a night of protests.Charles Rex Arbogast / AP