NYPD SUV 'drives into protesters' as George Floyd protests rage on

31 May 2020, 09:35 | Updated: 31 May 2020, 09:58

By Kate Buck

NYPD police cars have been filmed driving into protesters as protests against the death of George Floyd rage into their fifth night.

Many American cities have seen mass demonstrations against police brutality, which began after Mr Floyd died after a police officer held a knee to his neck until he stopped breathing in Minneapolis.

The officer in question, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired from the force and was charged with third degree murder four days after Mr Floyd's death.

In New York, during the city's third night of unrest, an NYPD SUV was filmed idling in the middle of a Brooklyn street, before protesters begin to push against it with a metal barrier and throw bottles and traffic cones at it.

A second SUV then appears and drives into the demonstrators, before the driver of the first one then begins to drive into the barricade being pressed against it.

Screams of terror can then be heard coming from the crowd.

Two NYPD SUV's were filmed ramming into the crowd
Two NYPD SUV's were filmed driving into the crowd. Picture: Twitter
George Floyd was killed on Monday
George Floyd was killed on Monday. Picture: Facebook
An NYPD vehicle burns as violence intensifys
An NYPD vehicle burns as violence intensifys. Picture: PA

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the Queens-Bronx area in Congress, has now called for those behind the wheel to be "brought to justice".

Taking to Twitter, she said: "NYPD officers just drove an SUV into a crowd of human beings. They could‘ve killed them, & we don’t know how many they injured.

"NO ONE gets to slam an SUV through a crowd of human beings. NYC Mayor these officers need to be brought to justice, not dismissed w/'internal reviews'."

NYPD have not commented on the situation at the time of writing.

Protests have broken out across the US
Protests have broken out across the US. Picture: PA
Washington DC has been a focal point for protesters
Washington DC has been a focal point for protesters. Picture: PA

Police vehicles were set ablaze across the country as the country convulsed through another night of unrest after months of coronavirus lockdowns.

The protests - which began in Minneapolis following Mr Floyd's death after a police officer held a knee to his neck until he stopped breathing - have left parts of that city a grid of broken windows, burned-out buildings and ransacked stores.

The unrest has since become a national phenomenon as protesters decry years of deaths at police hands.

More than 1,300 people have been arrested in 16 cities since Thursday, with more than 500 of those happening in Los Angeles on Friday.

Donald Trump has been accused of fanning the flames of the racial tensions in the US multiple times this week, with Twitter even censoring one of his tweets as it "glorified violence".

Chaos has taken over the streets
Chaos has taken over the streets. Picture: PA
Police are targeted with fire works
Police are targeted with fire works. Picture: PA

The White House has become the focal point of tensions in Washington DC, and in a Twitter rant on Saturday, Trump threatened protesters with "vicious dogs" and "ominous weapons".

He also said that the Secret Service had put the "young ones" on the frontline, because they "love it and its good practice".

Trump's latest social media rant came after a 19-year-old was shot dead in Detroit, when an unknown gunman opened fire on demonstrators.

A police officer was also shot and killed in California.

Protesters in Atlanta have been told to get themselves tested for coronavirus, and warned they are putting themselves at a high risk of catching the virus.

The US has been worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 1.7 million cases and over 103,000 deaths.

Washington DC has seen hundreds take to the streets
Washington DC has seen hundreds take to the streets. Picture: PA
Racial tensions have not been more furious in decades
Racial tensions have not been more furious in decades. Picture: PA

As emergency orders imposed at the start of the pandemic are lifted and beaches and businesses reopen across America, protests have now been added to the list of concerns about a possible second wave of infections.

There are similar concerns in Paris and Hong Kong, where anti-government protesters have accused police of using social distancing rules to break up their rallies.

Health experts fear silent carriers of the virus who have no symptoms could unwittingly infect others at gatherings with people packed cheek to jowl and cheering and jeering, many without masks.

One protester said she has no choice but to demonstrate.

"It's not okay that in the middle of a pandemic we have to be out here risking our lives," Spence Ingram, a black woman, said after marching with other protesters to the state capitol in Atlanta on Friday.

Meanwhile President Donald Trump has been accused of fanning the flames of tensions
Meanwhile President Donald Trump has been accused of fanning the flames of tensions. Picture: PA

"But I have to protest for my life and fight for my life all the time."

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in her warning issued on Saturday evening, said: "There is still a pandemic in America that's killing black and brown people at higher numbers."

Minnesota governor Tim Walz said after another night of unrest in Minneapolis that many protesters wearing masks were simply trying to hide their identities and "cause confusion and take advantage of this situation".

The state's health commissioner has warned the protests are almost certain to fuel new cases of the virus.

Minnesota reported 35 coronavirus deaths on Thursday, a single-day high since the start of the outbreak, and 29 more on Friday.

"We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one other," Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey said.

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