Posts Tagged ‘George Floyd killing’

GEORGE FLOYD OOO!-ROTIMI OGUNJOBI- -“Just Another Black Man Dead”-song/video

July 13, 2020

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GEORGE FLOYD OOO!-AARE AFE BABALOLA ON COMPARABLE U.S.A. AND NIGERIAN LAWS ON THE KILLING!

July 13, 2020

PART 2

George Floyd killing: Dissimilarities between Nigerian and US laws (2) ON JUNE 24, 20204

By Aare Afe Babalola, SAN,

Last week, I discussed the incidence of the George Floyd killing and implications of the criminal charges levied against Chauvin and the other three police officers who were complicit in his murder. I equally discussed the Nigerian perspective to the criminal charges levied against Chauvin and the three accomplices who would, rightly, have been charged for the offences of conspiracy to commit murder and murder. This week, I will discuss further dissimilarities between the Nigerian and US laws on the offence of murder, with specific reference to evidential requirements to establish the commission of the murder against an accused person. Proof of murder in Nigeria Generally, the elements of crime in Nigeria are premised on two factors: the commission of the crime (actus reus) and a criminal intention to commit the crime (mens rea). Therefore, the existence of these two elements are germane in establishing a crime in Nigeria and more-often-than-not, the absence of one of these elements is capable of absolving an accused person either totally or a reduction of the charge for a lesser charge. For instance, if a person is charged for the commission of, say, robbery, the failure of the prosecution to establish that the accused person committed the offence (actus reus) is capable of completely absolving the accused from criminal liability. On the other hand, in certain offences, proof of the intention of an accused person to commit the crime is an important factor in determining whether the accused will be convicted of a principal offence or a lesser offence. Homicide is one of the crimes wherein establishing the intention of an accused person is germane to a conviction of either murder or manslaughter. Murder or manslaughter In proper perspective, if, for instance, Mr ABC sets out from his house in his car on his way to work on a Monday morning and suddenly, a young boy crosses the road and gets hit by Mr ABC’s car, it will be difficult for the prosecution to establish that Mr ABC intended to kill the young boy if the boy gets killed by Mr ABC’s car. In this instance, although there is the actual killing of the boy (actus reus), there is, however, the absence of an intention (mens rea) on the part of Mr ABC to kill the boy with his car. ALSO READ: George Floyd killing: Dissimilarities between Nigerian and US laws The case is, however, different if Mr ABC, in an attempt to escape being caught in the offence of armed robbery fires a weapon at a person who seeks to restrain him. In this scenario, Mr. ABC will not only be guilty of the offence of armed robbery but will equally be guilty for murder as clearly, there is an intention on the part of Mr ABC to maul down any resistance to his escape from the scene of the robbery. Section 316 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C39, LFN 2004 provides for what constitutes the offence of murder in Nigeria. It generally entails where the offender intends to cause the death of the person killed or intends to do to the person killed or to some other person some grievous harm, or if death is caused by means of an act done in the prosecution of an unlawful purpose which is likely to endanger human life, or if the offender intends to do grievous harm to some person for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence which is such that the offender may be arrested without a warrant, or for the purpose of facilitating the flight of an offender who has committed or attempted to commit any such offence; or if death is caused by administering any stupefying or overpowering things for either of the purposes last aforesaid; or if death is caused by wilfully stopping the breath of any person for either of such purposes. Section 319 mandatorily prescribes death sentence for any person convicted for the offence of murder in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the prosecution must establish three things to prove the offence of murder against an accused person. First, that the deceased died; second, that the death was caused by the accused; and third, that the accused intended to either kill the victim or grievously harm him. These conditions must be conjunctively established, i.e. where the prosecution fails to establish one of these conditions, the charge of murder will fail. Proof of murder in the US The 2019 Minnesota Statutes, which is the applicable law in the George Floyd killing prescribes what amounts to unintentional second-degree murder which former police officer Chauvin was charged for. Subdivision 2 of Section 609.195 of the 2019 Minnesota Statutes generally provides for what constitutes Unintentional Murder as: (i) causing the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offence; (ii) causing the death of a human being without intent to effect the death of any person, while intentionally inflicting or attempting to inflict bodily harm upon the victim. A conviction for the offence of unintentional manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment. To establish first-degree murder under the Minnesota Law, the prosecution has to prove premeditation and intent on the part of the accused person. Even then, the accused would be sentenced to life imprisonment. For second-degree murder, all the prosecution has to prove is that the killing was unintentional in the course of committing a felony. According to Richard Frase, a criminal law professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, “second-degree felony murder does not require proof of intent to kill but rather proof of intent to assault someone. The only intent you have to show is an intent to cause bodily harm”. Likewise, the University of Minnesota Law Professor, Susanna Blumenthal, stated that “second-degree felony murder does not require proof of intent to kill. What the prosecutor would need to establish is that the officer caused death while committing or attempting to commit a felony offence, which has been charged in this case as assault in the third degree”. Interestingly, this is similar to the Nigerian position where all the prosecution need prove is an intention on the part of the accused person to commit grievous bodily harm which eventually resulted in the death of the victim. ALSO READ: Atlanta police chief resigns after officer kills black man It does not matter that the accused did not intend to kill the victim. Section 316(4) of the Criminal Code Act provides thus: ‘A person who unlawfully kills another under any of the following circumstances, that is to say… if the offender intends to do grievous harm to some person for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence which is such that the offender may be arrested without a warrant, or for the purpose of facilitating the flight of an offender who has committed or attempted to commit any such offence is guilty of murder … it is immaterial that the offender did not intend to cause death or did not know that death was likely to result’. Nevertheless, the absence of strict criminal prosecution laws in the United States perhaps accounts for the sparse rate of convictions for errant law enforcement agencies who have little or no regard for human life. Commenting on this situation, Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison who added a second-degree murder to the charges against Chauvin, noted that getting a conviction against police officers is difficult, further adding that so far, there had been only one murder conviction in the state – against Mohamed Noor for the killing of Justine Damond. Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American Minneapolis Police Department officer, fatally shot Justine Damond on July 15, 2017. On March 20, 2018, Noor was charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder. Prosecutors later upgraded the charges against Noor to second-degree intentional murder. In April 2019, Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter, but acquitted of intentional second-degree murder. In June 2019, Noor was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison. This is the first and only conviction of a police officer for murder in Minnesota. However, there had been other several incidences of police brutality which, though charged, ended in an acquittal of the police officers involved. One famous incidence is that of Rodney King. On March 3, 1991, King was beaten by Los Angeles Police Department, LAPD, officers after a high-speed chase during his arrest for drunk driving. Upon arrest, King was tasered, baton-beaten for more than 33 times, swarmed by about eight police officers, and by the time King was handcuffed, he was dragged on his abdomen to the side of the road to await the arrival of emergency medical rescue. Police brutality Due to police brutality, King reportedly suffered 11 skull fractures, permanent brain damage, broken bones and teeth, kidney failure and physical trauma. The four police officers involved in the grievous assault were charged with assault and use of excessive force. On the seventh day of jury deliberations, the jury acquitted all four officers of assault and use of excessive force despite being presented with video evidence of the assault! Sadly, after the George Floyd incidence, on June 12, 2020, another black American, Rayshard Brooks, fell victim of police brutality. He was shot and killed by an Atlanta Police Department officer, Garrett Rolfe, following a complaint about Brooks being asleep in a car blocking a fast-food store’s drive-through lane. Brooks had, before the shooting, wrested away a taser from one the two officers (Rolfe and Brosnan) involved and ran away. He turned and fired the taser in Rolfe’s direction without hitting him. In response, Rolfe shot his gun at Brooks three times, striking him twice in the back. Both officers stood over Brooks and only began medical assistance after two minutes. Rolfe was charged with eleven counts including “felony murder, five counts of aggravated assault, four police oath violations and damage to property”. Brosnan, on his part, was charged with aggravated assault and two counts of violation of oath. As I had earlier noted, all the police officers involved in both George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks killing would have been charged for the offence of murder in Nigeria. In any event, the rarity of convictions in the US, particularly for law enforcement officers, underscores the fact that much remains to be done by US legislators in curbing the spate of unjustified killings in the country. But until then, the world awaits the outcome of the George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks murder trial. Will those trials result in convictions for the murderous police officers, or should we expect a similar outcome as that of Rodney King? Time will tell. Vanguard All rights reserved.

George Floyd ooo!- Police Kill Again oooo!

July 3, 2020

Sheboygan Police Shot, Killed 32-Year-Old Black Man Man’s Identity Has Not Been Shared; The Wisconsin Department Of Justice Is Investigating By Megan Hart Published: Thursday, July 2, 2020, 4:30pm: 

A Sheboygan police officer shot and killed a man Thursday morning. The Sheboygan Police Department hasn’t released the identity of the man who was killed, but family members told the Sheboygan Press they lost a smart and funny “teddy bear.” They also said the Sheboygan police were aware the 32-year-old Black man had a mental disability. Sheboygan Police Chief Christopher Domagalski said the Sheboygan County dispatch center received a call early Thursday morning about a man armed with two knives chasing a woman. Initially, an officer attempted to deescalate the situation by speaking to the man and subsequently showing his taser, Domagalski said. When the man began to chase the officer, the officer pulled his firearm, he said. The man died at the scene, and the woman was taken to the hospital, he said. She has since been released. The officer, who’s been with the Sheboygan Police Department for more than two years, has been placed on administrative leave. Additional information about the officer will be released in the next couple days, Domagalski said. Sign up for daily news! Stay informed with WPR’s email newsletter. Subscribe The Sheboygan Police Department didn’t offer much additional information on the incident, which is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. Officials declined to take questions at a Thursday afternoon news conference. “I offer my sincere condolences to the family of the deceased, as well as to the Sheboygan community,” Domagalski said. “I understand the impact and the trauma these events cause on the community.” Sheboygan Common Council President Ryan Sorenson said he didn’t want to comment on the incident before the investigation was complete, but he said the Common Council will work to ensure the investigation is fair and that it addresses the community’s questions. Sheboygan is one of many cities across Wisconsin to see Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by Minneapolis police in May. Recent events have highlighted the racial disparities Black people face in Wisconsin and across the country, Sorenson said. He believes the city’s top priority should be addressing them, he added. “We must confront these problems and we must all live to our core values of respect and accountability,” he said. “We must make it clear that Black lives matter in our community and every community.” Wisconsin Public Radio, © Copyright 2020, Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Educational Communications Board. Commenting Policy Wisconsin Public Radio and WPR.org

Violence Against George Floyd Violence Erupts In Madison After Demonstrators Gather Across Wisconsin Demanding Justice For George Floyd Milwaukee Preparing To Settle 2 More Police Brutality Lawsuits Bringing Total To Nearly $30M WPR News

Police KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD OOOO!- BLACK MEN ATE DYING OOO!-NEW YORK TIMES

May 29, 2020

George Floyd Protests LIVELatest Updates What We Know Trump’s Threats Police Department Neck Restraints

Louisville Protest Protests Continue to Rage After Death of George Floyd Protesters breached a police station in Minneapolis and set it on fire, as demonstrations were reported across the country. Published May 28, 2020 Updated May 29, 2020, 7:36 a.m. ET This briefing has ended. Read live updates about the reaction to the death of George Floyd here.

Here’s what you need to know: Protesters overrun a Minneapolis police building and set it aflame. Prosecutors said they haven’t decided whether to charge the officers involved. Twitter said President Trump violated its rules against glorifying violence after implying looting demonstrators could be shot. Dozens of demonstrators were arrested in New York’s Union Square. Protests at State Capitols in Colorado and Ohio turned chaotic. The Justice Department promised a thorough investigation of Mr. Floyd’s death. Democrats request an investigation into three killings of black people. Video Demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd boiled over late Thursday night. Protests broke out after a video went viral this week showing Mr. Floyd, a black man, struggling to breathe as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Mr. Floyd’s neck.CreditCredit…Carlos Barria/Reuters Protesters overrun a Minneapolis police building and set it aflame. Protesters broke windows and charged over fences to breach a police precinct station in Minneapolis and set it on fire late Thursday as officers retreated from violent confrontations that boiled over days after George Floyd died in police custody. A demonstration near the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct grew more intense in the hours after prosecutors said they had not decided whether to charge an officer who had pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes. Some people tossed fireworks and other items toward officers, while the police fired projectiles back. The protests extended to many other cities, including New York, Denver, Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio, where scores of protesters tried to enter the statehouse. By Jin Wu In Minneapolis, police officers retreated from the Third Precinct in vehicles just after 10 p.m. local time as protesters broke into the building, where they smashed equipment, lit fires and set off fireworks, according to videos posted from the scene. “We’re starting fires in here so be careful,” one man shouted as sprinklers doused protesters who had burst inside. Flames began to rise from the front of the building as hundreds of protesters looked on, and soon smoke was billowing from the roof. The city of Minneapolis warned protesters to stay away from the precinct, saying on Twitter that there had been unconfirmed reports of cut gas lines and explosives in the building. John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department, had confirmed earlier that all staff members had fled the building. Footage from helicopter cameras showed nearby local businesses engulfed in flames. But firefighters from the Minneapolis Fire Department could not respond to the area because of safety concerns, Assistant Chief Bryan Tyner said in an email. As the unrest escalated, 500 members of the Minnesota National Guard were sent to Minneapolis and St. Paul, the capital. Gov. Tim Walz had activated the soldiers and declared a state of emergency in the Twin Cities in the afternoon after he saw the level of destruction from Wednesday’s protest — buildings on fire, clashes with the police and looted stores. “Unfortunately, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including arson, rioting, looting, and damaging public and private property,” Mr. Walz wrote in his proclamation. “These activities threaten the safety of lawful demonstrators and other Minnesotans, and both first responders and demonstrators have already been injured.” Rory Purnell said that he raced to his barbershop on 42nd Avenue North on Thursday to put a sign in the window letting protesters know it was an African-American-owned business, but he arrived too late. One of his windows was smashed, and he said crowds had also broken the windows of a neighboring liquor store and cellphone retailer. “We’re seeing people getting out of cars with bats and stuff,” Mr. Purnell said. “I just begged them, leave the barbershop alone.” The smashed window, now boarded up, looks like a black eye on the front of his barbershop. But Mr. Purnell, who seethed with anger as he watched the video of Mr. Floyd’s death, said he was planning to reopen on Monday. There were also protests in the bordering city of St. Paul, where officers in riot gear skirmished with protesters as several businesses were vandalized, according to photographs posted online. Lawmakers and employees at the State Capitol were told to evacuate the building as a precaution after looting continued at nearby stores. There were dozens of fires and more than 170 damaged or looted buildings, the St. Paul police said, but no reports of serious injuries. Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis said at a news conference early Friday morning that he had made the call for officers to flee the Third Precinct, saying “the symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life.” Live Updates: Protests in Minneapolis Updated 22m ago As a police station burned, Trump threatened violence against those protesting a death in police custody. The mayor says the importance of life outweighs the symbolism of a police building. Trump suggests protesters could be shot, and Twitter says the president violated its rules. See more updates Mr. Frey, a Democrat, said he understood the anger of the city’s residents but pleaded with people to stop destroying property and stealing from stores. “It’s not just enough to do the right thing yourself,” he said. “We need to be making sure that all of us are held accountable.” Mr. Floyd, who was black, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital on Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white officer for about eight minutes. A video of the arrest, in which Mr. Floyd is heard pleading “I can’t breathe,” spread widely online. “They executed my brother in broad daylight,” Mr. Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, told CNN on Thursday, breaking down in tears. “I am just tired of seeing black people dying.” Prosecutors said they haven’t decided whether to charge the officers involved. Image Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis during a third night of protests.Credit…David Joles/Star Tribune, via Associated Press Prosecutors said early Thursday night that they had not yet decided whether to charge any of the four Minneapolis police officers, including the one who knelt on George Floyd’s neck shortly before he died. State and federal prosecutors are running simultaneous investigations into Mr. Floyd’s death after a video showed Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressing his knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd, who is black, as Mr. Floyd’s body became limp. Mr. Chauvin and three other officers at the scene, who did nothing to stop Mr. Chauvin, were fired on Tuesday, and Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis has called for Mr. Chauvin to be arrested and charged. The Minneapolis Police Department has identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng. “We’re going to investigate it as expeditiously, as thoroughly and completely as justice demands,” Mike Freeman, the county attorney in Hennepin County, said at a news conference. “Sometimes that takes a little time, and we ask people to be patient.” Mr. Freeman said his office had been flooded with as many as 1,000 calls daily from people who wanted him to bring charges. Video Back -0:00 TRANSCRIPT ‘We Have to Do This Right,’ Says Prosecutor in George Floyd Case Mike Freeman, the county attorney in Minneapolis, urged patience as his office investigates Mr. Floyd’s death while in police custody. State and federal officials are also conducting inquiries. Our office has been flooded with calls. Many as 1,000 a day, as well as email and social media from people in this jurisdiction, in this state, and throughout the country. The main question is, ”What are you going to do about the murder of George Floyd?” We are going to investigate it as expeditiously, as thoroughly and completely, as justice demands. Sometimes that takes a little time and we ask people to be patient. We have to do this right, and that’s what we’ll do. I will say this: that that video is graphic and horrific and terrible and no person should do that. But my job in the end is to prove that he violated a criminal statute. And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to wade through all of that evidence to come through with meaningful determination and we are doing that to the best of our ability. We have to do this right. We have to prove it in a court of law. And I will just point to you the comparison to what happened in Baltimore in the Gray case. It was a rush to charge. It was a rush to justice. And all of those people were found not guilty. I will not rush to justice. I’m going to do this right. And those folks who know me in the African community know I will do my very level best. But I will not rush justice because justice cannot be rushed. Mike Freeman, the county attorney in Minneapolis, urged patience as his office investigates Mr. Floyd’s death while in police custody. State and federal officials are also conducting inquiries.CreditCredit…Reuters He noted that his office had last year convicted a police officer of murder, but also said he did not want to rush charges against Mr. Chauvin, comparing it to the failed prosecution of the Baltimore officers who had arrested Freddie Gray, who died in police custody in 2015. “That video is graphic and horrific and terrible, and no person should do that,” Mr. Freeman said of the Minneapolis officer’s actions. “But my job, in the end, is to prove that he violated a criminal offense, and there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge.” Mr. Freeman did not elaborate on any additional evidence. The police had detained Mr. Floyd, a resident of St. Louis Park, Minn., who recently worked as a bouncer at a restaurant, after someone called the police and accused a man of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a grocery store. Erica MacDonald, the U.S. attorney in Minnesota, pleaded for peace and said lawyers in her office are working quickly to determine whether they will bring charges against Mr. Chauvin for violating federal laws, including civil rights laws. Ms. MacDonald said she had been in touch with Attorney General William P. Barr about the case. Ms. MacDonald also apologized, cryptically, after a long delay before the start of the news conference, saying she had believed there would be “another development” before it began. She declined to elaborate on that statement but said further announcements were to come. Members of Mr. Floyd’s family had earlier called for justice during television appearances. “I would like for those officers to be charged with murder because that’s exactly what they did,” said Bridgett Floyd, his sister. Tera Brown, Mr. Floyd’s cousin, said: “I don’t want the protests to be for just show. I want to see action.” “This was clearly murder,” she added. Twitter said President Trump violated its rules against glorifying violence after implying looting demonstrators could be shot. Image Officers approaching protesters in the parking lot of a Target in Minneapolis.Credit…

President Trump called the Minneapolis protesters “thugs” and implied looting demonstrators could be shot in two tweets posted early Friday morning, which Twitter later said violated its rules against promoting violence. “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City,” the president wrote, adding that Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, must “get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.” It was unclear if the president intended to send additional troops after Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard to help restore order in the Twin Cities. But the president said he was prepared to have the federal government “assume control.” “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” Mr. Trump wrote of the demonstrators, “and I won’t let that happen.” He added, “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The tweet containing that quote was placed behind what Twitter called a “public interest notice,” which warned users that it “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence” and required readers to take an extra step to read the president’s full comment. “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” the notice said. Mr. Trump had previously described the video of Mr. Floyd’s death as a “very shocking sight” and “a very very sad event,” saying he had asked the F.B.I.’s investigation to be expedited. Mr. Frey did not know about Mr. Trump’s tweets until a reporter read them aloud during a news conference early on Friday. The mayor shook his head and then gave a fiery retort, slamming a podium for emphasis. “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions,” he said. “Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis.” Dozens of demonstrators were arrested in New York’s Union Square. Video Back -0:00 TRANSCRIPT Protesters Clash With Police in Union Square At least 40 people were arrested as demonstrators surged into Union Square in New York City to protest what they called police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. [chanting] I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Black lives matter! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! Black lives matter! At least 40 people were arrested as demonstrators surged into Union Square in New York City to protest what they called police brutality in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.CreditCredit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times More than 40 people were arrested on Thursday night in Manhattan as hundreds of New Yorkers joined nationwide protests against police brutality. One young woman taken into custody at Union Square yelled “Black lives matter!” as the police dragged her to a paddy wagon, a video posted online showed. Images on social media showed sometimes chaotic scenes as the mostly young protesters clashed with uniformed officers. Some protesters carried signs that read “No Justice, No Peace” and chanted “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody has touched a particular nerve in New York because of his dying words, “I can’t breathe.” They have prompted comparisons to Eric Garner, who said the same before he was killed by a police officer on Staten Island in 2014. Mr. Garner’s death galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said on Thursday that he wondered “how many times we have to learn the same lesson.” “I think the situation was so disturbing and ugly, and frightening,” he said of Mr. Floyd’s death. “It was just frightening that a law enforcement officer anywhere in this country could act that way.” Most of the arrests on Thursday were for civil disobedience or disorderly conduct, the police said, but at least three people were facing charges for threatening police officers. One person had been carrying a knife, the police said. A second struck a police officer in the head with a trash can and a third punched a different officer in the face with a closed fist. None of the officers were seriously injured, a police spokesman, Officer Andrew Lava, said. Dante Richardson, 21, was among the people in Union Square incensed at the police treatment of young black men who joined the demonstration. Mr. Richardson said the protesters chanted “N.Y.P.D. racist police.” At one point, Mr. Richardson said, a group of officers on bicycles formed a barricade to hem in the demonstration. “They put their bikes tire-to-tire,” he said, adding, “They were trying to break us up.” Protests at State Capitols in Colorado and Ohio turned chaotic. Image Denver police monitoring the protest outside the State Capitol.Credit…David Zalubowski/Associated Press The State Capitol in Denver was put on lockdown after someone fired a gun near a peaceful demonstration, and protests in Columbus, Ohio, turned chaotic as videos posted by local news outlets showed crowds surging up the steps of the State Capitol and breaking windows. Leslie Herod, a state representative in Colorado, said that she heard several shots near the statehouse, and that she and other demonstrators scattered, believing that the shots had been fired into the crowd. The Denver Police Department said no injuries were reported. “This was a completely peaceful rally and someone shot into the crowd and at folks who were protesting in support of the black community and against police brutality,” Ms. Herod said. She added in a text: “This emphasizes how much more we have to do.” In Ohio, the police could be seen rushing to the Capitol and ordering protesters to disperse. The Columbus Dispatch reported that officers also used pepper spray on large crowds of demonstrators downtown after a few protesters tossed smoke bombs and water bottles at lines of officers. At least one person had been arrested, the newspaper reported. A video taken at the Denver protest appeared to show the driver of a black sport-utility vehicle driving through a crowd of protesters who had blocked traffic near the statehouse. As a protester jumps off the car, the driver, blaring the horn, veers around and speeds into the protester and knocks him over. It was unclear whether he was injured. Anabel Escobar, the demonstrator who recorded the video, said she was shaken by what had happened. “I was horrified,” Ms. Escobar said. “It was vicious. She could have killed him.” Gov. Jared Polis said that Coloradans were better than the displays of vandalism and violence. “I share the immense anguish we all feel about the unjust murder of George Floyd,” Mr. Polis said in a statement. “But let me be clear, senseless violence will never be healed by more violence.” Peaceful protests were held in several other cities on Thursday night. Protesters in Albuquerque, many wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus, marched through the streets, some attaching posters to their cars as part of a caravan. In Portland, Ore., a small group of demonstrators waved signs near the Portland Police Bureau. On Wednesday night, there were protests in Memphis and Los Angeles, where law enforcement officials faced off with people blocking the 101 Freeway downtown. The Justice Department promised a thorough investigation of Mr. Floyd’s death. Image Protesters near the home of Derek Chauvin, who was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after detaining Mr. Floyd.Credit…Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times The Justice Department said on Thursday that it would investigate the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death and determine whether they should face federal criminal charges. The investigation will be led by the U.S. attorney in Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, and by F.B.I. agents in Minneapolis. Attorney General William P. Barr and the head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, Eric Dreiband, are closely monitoring their inquiry, a Justice Department spokeswoman said. “The Department of Justice has made the investigation a top priority and has assigned experienced prosecutors and F.B.I. criminal investigators to the matter,” the department said in a statement. The department noted that is a violation of federal law for an officer acting in an official capacity to deprive another person of his or her constitutional rights, including the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. President Trump has condemned the actions by the officers caught on video and urged the department to expedite the investigation, but he has not reached out to Mr. Floyd’s family. During a news conference on Thursday, Mr. Trump declined to say whether the officers should be prosecuted, but he called the video “shocking.” Video Back -0:00 TRANSCRIPT Video Shows George Floyd Telling Police He Can’t Breathe A bystander’s video in Minneapolis shows a police officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck during an arrest. He died a “short time” later, the police said. Arrested man: [moaning] “What you trying to say?” Police officer: “Relax.” Arrested man: “Man, I can’t breathe — my face —” [inaudible] Police officer: “What do you want?” Arrested man: “I can’t breathe!” Bystander 1: “How long you all got to hold him down?” Unidentified speaker: “Don’t do drugs, kids —” Bystander 2: “This ain’t about drugs, bro.” [inaudible conversation] Bystander 2: “He is human, bro.” Bystander 1: “His nose —” Bystander 2: “ — right now bro, you know it’s broken. You can’t even look at me like a man because you a bum, bro. He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro.” Bystander 1: “His nose is bleeding.” Bystander 3: He’s passed out!” Bystander 2: “You [expletive] stopping his breathing, right now, bro. You think that’s cool? You think that’s cool? What is that? What do you think that is? You say — you call what he’s doing, OK?” Police officer: “Get back!” Bystander 2: “You’re calling what he’s doing OK. You call what he’s doing OK, bro?” Police officer: “Only firefighters —” Bystander 4: “Yes, I am from Minneapolis.” Bystander 2: “Bro, you, you, you call — you think that’s OK? Check his pulse!” Bystander 4: “The fact that you guys aren’t checking his pulse, and doing compressions if he needs them, you guys are on —” Bystander 1: “Oh my God!” [inaudible] Bystander 4: “OK, yeah, and I have your name tag.” Bystander 5: “Freedom of speech.” [shouting] Bystander 2: “Don’t touch me!” A bystander’s video in Minneapolis shows a police officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck during an arrest. He died a “short time” later, the police said.CreditCredit…Storyful The Justice Department has declined to charge police officers in other high-profile cases in which a black person has died in their custody. In July, after a five-year investigation, the department said it would not bring federal civil rights charges against Daniel Pantaleo, the Staten Island police officer who killed Eric Garner by wrapping his arm around his neck. The killing was caught on video and widely circulated online. The decision bitterly divided the Justice Department’s civil rights division lawyers, who wanted to charge Mr. Pantaleo, and prosecutors in Brooklyn, who believed they could not win the case at trial. Mr. Barr ultimately sided with the Brooklyn prosecutors, who had argued that they did not have enough evidence to prove that Mr. Pantaleo committed a federal civil rights violation because they could not prove that he had made a clear decision to use a chokehold, which the New York Police Department had banned, when he killed Mr. Garner. Like Mr. Floyd, Mr. Garner also gasped “I can’t breathe” just before he died. Democrats request an investigation into three killings of black people. Image Demonstrators marched through downtown Minneapolis, demanding justice after Mr. Floyd’s death.Credit…Mark Vancleave/Star Tribune, via Associated Press Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department on Thursday to investigate Mr. Floyd’s death along with the recent killings of two other black people: Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot after being pursued by white men near Brunswick, Ga.; and Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police officers in Louisville, Ky., during a “no-knock” raid of her apartment. On Thursday night, seven people were struck by gunfire at a protest in Louisville, Ky., over the death of Ms. Taylor. The committee members asked the department to open so-called pattern and practice investigations into potential police misconduct in all three cases. Federal law prohibits law enforcement officers from engaging in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives people of their constitutional rights. They also asked that the department investigate the local prosecutors who were involved in Mr. Arbery’s case. The two armed men who chased Mr. Arbery had connections to local law enforcement and were not arrested for 74 days, until after a video of the shooting was widely circulated. Mr. Arbery’s death and the subsequent local investigation “are reminiscent of early 20th century lynchings in the Jim Crow South,” the committee members wrote. Jerry Nadler, the chair of the committee, said it is considering legislation to address racial profiling and the excessive use of force by police officers. He noted that the Justice Department has uncovered rampant police abuses in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Cleveland and Chicago, which led the police departments in those cities to negotiate consent decrees with the federal government. The Minneapolis police have received many excessive force complaints. Image A protester who was injured during clashes with the police.Credit…Kerem Yucel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Excessive force complaints against Minneapolis officers have become commonplace, especially by African-American residents. One of the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death, Mr. Chauvin, 44, had several complaints filed against him, three of which led to reprimands for his language and tone. Mr. Chauvin shot a man who was trying to grab an officer’s gun in 2008, according to The Pioneer Press. He was also present at two other shootings, one of them fatal, but it was unclear if he fired his weapon in those cases, according to Communities United Against Police Brutality, a local organization advocating police reform. African-Americans account for about 20 percent of the city’s population, but they are more likely to be pulled over, arrested and have force used against them than white residents, Police Department data shows. And black people accounted for more than 60 percent of the victims in Minneapolis police shootings from late 2009 through May 2019, data shows. The tension between the community and the 800-plus-officer force has unfolded in a predominantly white and progressive metropolis, where the white mayor openly discusses systemic racism, the police chief is a black man who embraces a community-oriented approach and residents elected two black transgender people to a City Council that has taken aggressive action to curb racial segregation. Yet there is a deep rift between the city’s police force — which also is predominantly white — and the community, one that seems to grow larger with each killing. Reporting was contributed by Victoria Bekiempis, Katie Benner, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Audra D.S. Burch, Sopan Deb, John Eligon, Matt Furber, Russell Goldman, Jack Healy, Dan Levin, Edgar Sandoval, Marc Santora and Neil Vigdor. 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