Protests & Riots in America | World Defense

Protests & Riots in America

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Videos show NYPD cruisers ramming into protesters behind a barricade and sending bodies flying

nypd cruisers

NYPD cruisers were seen on videos ramming into protesters. Twitter/@pgarapon
  • Several videos posted on Twitter on Saturday showed New York Police Department cruisers ramming into a crowd of protesters.
  • Videos showed protesters surrounding one of the vehicles and throwing water bottles and pylons.
  • Within seconds, two NYPD cruisers had lurched into the crowds, with one of them knocking down a barricade and sending protesters flying.
  • The NYPD did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the videos.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
New York Police Department cruisers were seen on videos ramming down protesters behind a barricade, sending bodies flying.
The disturbing videos showed a crowd of protesters surrounding an NYPD cruiser and propping up a barrier in front of it, while throwing what appeared to be water bottles, garbage, and pylons at the car.
A second police cruiser can then be seen driving up along the first car. Suddenly, both cars begin slowly driving into the crowd, before abruptly speeding up and sending protesters scattering. The first cruiser then suddenly rams down the barricade, while the people behind it go flying. Screams could be heard over top of the police sirens.


The incident allegedly took place at the intersection of Flatbush Ave. and St. Mark's St. just three blocks southeast of the Barclay's Center, where last night's Brooklyn protests were centered.
It was unclear whether any of the protesters were injured.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the videos.
The videos quickly began circulating over social media and drawing outrage.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the incident as "troubling" in an interview with NY1, but added that the protesters had been "surrounding" the cruiser and suggested they were to blame.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in, urging de Blasio to bring the officers involved to justice — and not just with "internal reviews."
"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," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "NO ONE gets to slam an SUV through a crowd of human beings."
Saturday marked the fifth night of unrest across the country after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes.
Clashes between protesters and police broke out across New York City, with cruisers set ablaze and protesters vandalizing vehicles.
 

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Genesse Co. Sheriff joins protestors during Flint Twp. march

By Charlie Tinker
Posted: Sun 12:07 AM, May 31, 2020
Updated: Sun 12:09 AM, May 31, 2020

FLINT TWP. (WJRT) - (5/30/2020) - Hundreds of people expressed their frustration during a peaceful protest in Flint Township.


The protestors carried signs and chanted as they made their way by foot and in cars along Miller Road in the heart of the Flint Township business district.

They marched to Police Headquarters where they demonstrated briefly.

While there, police and protestors talked and bumped fists.

Then in a show of solidarity, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson joined the crowed and walked side by side with the large crowd.

The peaceful protest lasted several hours.

It was just one of many taking place across the country, where people are expressing their outrage over the death of George Floyd.

The Minnesota man died while in police custody.

A former police officer has been charged in his death, after video showed him with his knee in Floyd's neck, as he told officers he was struggling to breathe.

Three other officers who were on scene were fired, but have yet to be charged.
 

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Exclusive: The US Military Is Monitoring Protests in 7 States
A National Guard member says troops are ill-equipped to respond to civil unrest.
By Ken Klippenstein


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A protester stands in front of the National Guard line moments before the curfew was scheduled to start in Minneapolis on May 29. (Renee Jones Schneider / Star Tribune via AP)

The US military is monitoring protests in at least seven states, according to Defense Department documents obtained exclusively by The Nation.
In addition to Minnesota, where a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, the military is tracking uprisings in New York, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to a Defense Department situation report. Notably, only Minnesota has requested National Guard support. The documents were originally stored on an unclassified server but were subsequently “elevated” to a classified system. While the documents reveal significant National Guard force capabilities in each of the seven states, one Minnesota Guard member expressed concerns about the troops’ lack of training in responding to civil unrest.

One document pertaining to the Minnesota National Guard, marked “For Official Use Only” (FOUO), describes one operation’s purpose: “Augment MN State Patrol Civil Disturbance Operations with a show of force.” Other operations are variously described as providing security for law enforcement agencies, defending the capitol building, and “maintaining governance.”

Another document about the protests in Minnesota, titled “MNNG Civil Disturbance Response Storybook,” is also marked FOUO and dated May 29. It states that National Guard members have been authorized for “weapon status red,” meaning magazines loaded but safety on. The document seems particularly concerned not just with harm to civilians but also potential damage to property, to which it refers several times. For example, the assessment line notes that the Guard will “ensure the safety of citizens and property.”

A situation report details “Protester Actions” and “National Guard Reaction Force Capabilities” in six cities: Denver, Memphis, Phoenix, Louisville, New York City, and Columbus. While troop capacities (labelled “PAX” in the document) range from 100 to 500 troops in each state, the document also reveals that there’s only enough riot gear (RG) for a fraction of these personnel.

Asked why they were generating intelligence reports for six states besides Minnesota, Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a spokesperson for the Defense Department, told The Nation that producing this information amounts to sensible preparation in the event these states require assistance: “Without such situational awareness, it would be more difficult for DOD to respond if it becomes necessary (if requested by the governors of those states).”

The system that some documents were moved to, called the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), is a more tightly secured program than the unclassified one in which these documents had previously been stored. The enhanced security makes it less likely that the documents

The Associated Press’s James LaPorta reported last night that Military Police deployed to Minneapolis had their orders placed in SIPRNet. Last year, LaPorta wrote that Defense Department documents regarding the Trump administration’s military deployment to the US-Mexico border were also on SIPRNet in order to prevent leaks to the press and limit media coverage.

Mitchell told The Nation, “The Department of Defense takes appropriate measures to ensure our information—electronic or otherwise—is safeguarded and handled appropriately. As such, we take necessary and prudent steps to minimize the unauthorized release of unclassified, but sensitive information.”

On Saturday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that he is fully mobilizing the Minnesota National Guard—the first time it’s been called out since World War II.

Benjamin Haas, a D.C.-based attorney with expertise in national security law who is himself a former Army intelligence officer, stressed that while the Guard’s deployment is technically legal, that does not make it wise. “Putting soldiers into a politically charged law enforcement context is a sensitive matter, and Trump’s incendiary rhetoric has made an already tense moment even worse,” Haas said.

Walz also reportedly said during a press conference that the NSA was providing “intelligence support” and intercepted communications regarding the riots.

When Zack Whittaker, a reporter for TechCrunch, asked about the governor’s statement, the NSA declined to comment. Responding to a request for comment from The Nation, the spokesperson for the Minnesota governor’s office declined to go on the record.

While the documents reveal significant National Guard capacities in each of the seven states, National Guard soldiers have very little training in how to respond to civil unrest.

Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, told The Nation via e-mail, “Although the National Guard is a component of the US Armed Forces, their crowd control mission in Minnesota is not a military mission. They are not trying to defeat an adversary, but to support their fellow citizens, to preserve order and to protect the defenseless. And unlike a response to natural disaster, they have to act in an environment of intense anger and provocation without losing their own bearings. It’s a near-impossible task even with the best training and equipment.”

One Minnesota Guard member, who spoke to The Nation on the condition of anonymity, said that many in the Guard were dreading being called up: “We’re a combat unit not trained for riot control or safely handling civilians in this context. Soldiers up and down the ranks are scared about hurting someone, and leaders are worried about soldiers’ suffering liability.”

The Guard member added: “My [colleagues] are people of common sense and common decency. They may not want to step over any lines when doing their jobs, but wanting only goes so far when you’re under-trained and under-equipped.”









Ken Klippenstein is The Nation’s D.C. correspondent. He can be reached via text at (202) 510-1268.
 

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Here Are The Minneapolis Police's Tools To Identify Protesters
As protesters demonstrate in Minneapolis in response to George Floyd's death, law enforcement agencies have access to a host of surveillance tools that could make it easier to target and find them.


Kerem Yucel / Getty Images
State Patrol officers block a road in Minneapolis on the fourth day of protests, May 29.


The Minneapolis Police Department has a wide breadth of surveillance technologies that could be used to monitor and target protesters — including controversial facial recognition software Clearview AI, license plate readers, body cameras, and video analysis tools. The department and law enforcement agencies in neighboring cities have a history of surveilling residents with tech that can speed up the process of identifying and possibly arresting people.

After investigations were opened this month into the deaths of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis and an unarmed black woman in Louisville, Kentucky following police action, protests have broken out across the United States — including in Minneapolis, Denver, Columbus, and New York — expressing grief and outrage and demanding an end to police brutality.

Minneapolis has been the center of these protests following the May 25 death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died after a white police officer detained him and placed him in a knee chokehold. The moments before Floyd's death, which were captured on camera, showed him struggling to breathe, repeatedly telling police, “I can’t breathe” and “they’re going to kill me.”

As protesters take to the streets, they'll be watched by law enforcement agencies that have trialed or are currently deploying a variety of surveillance tools. The Minneapolis Police Department has used an array of technologies in the past —including Clearview AI, which has scraped billions of photos from social media to power its facial recognition tool. Nearby police departments, as well as the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Fusion Center — which maintain jurisdictions that overlay Minneapolis — have also used Clearview.

“At a high level, these surveillance technologies should not be used on protesters,” Neema Singh Guliani, a senior legislative counsel for the ACLU, told BuzzFeed News. “The idea that you have groups of people that are raising legitimate concerns and now that could be subject to face recognition or surveillance, simply because they choose to protest, amplifies the overall concerns with law enforcement having this technology to begin with.”

According to documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News, more than 10 users with the Minneapolis Police Department had run more than 160 searches with Clearview as of February. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the county that includes Minneapolis, had also conducted nearly 400 searches among 10 accounts. And the Minnesota Fusion Center — a specialized section of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) that shares crime intelligence — had run almost 40 searches as of February.

"We have in the past used Clearview AI to help identify unidentified victims in images that are part of human trafficking cases," a spokesperson for the Minnesota Fusion Center told BuzzFeed News. The Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to requests for comment.

The neighboring St. Paul Police Department had conducted nearly 40 searches with Clearview's facial recognition tool as of February. And the police department of Prior Lake, Minnesota, a suburb about 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis, racked up more than 1,100 searches between July 2019 and February 2020 with three Clearview accounts.

The Prior Lake Police Department did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department denied that it had used Clearview after they checked with several units, despite the data seen by BuzzFeed News. In the past, multiple police departments initially denied using Clearview before walking back their statements following full reviews or audits of their officers.

The Minneapolis Police Department has not been forthcoming about its use of facial recognition. In July, a spokesperson for the department told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the organization had no plans to deploy the technology, but at least one user associated with the organization created an account with Clearview AI that month, according to data seen by BuzzFeed News.

Records obtained by local journalist Tony Webster showed that the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has deployed facial recognition since 2013. In July, the Star Tribune reported the office ran a suspect’s photo taken from Instagram through a facial recognition tool to reveal a possible match. It’s unclear if this facial recognition tool was offered by Clearview — which has taken images from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to train its software — or another company.

The Minneapolis PD also uses a wide range of other surveillance tools. In a 2019 white paper, the department said it used automatic license plate readers, or devices that capture images of license plates, allowing police to potentially track the movement of a person throughout a city or region. In 2009, the city paid Tennessee-based traffic camera company PIPS Technology more than $50,000 for both fixed and mobile license plate readers.

Additionally, according to new receipts obtained by BuzzFeed News via public record request, the neighboring Prior Lake Police Department has paid thousands of dollars for Thomson Reuters CLEAR — a law enforcement data aggregation tool that has also been used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — from October 2016 through at least September 2019. CLEAR combines data from cellphones, license plate readers, and real-time arrest records. In aggregate, this data makes it faster and easier for police track and arrest suspects.

The Minneapolis Police Department also uses Securonet, a surveillance tool that lets police upload cellphone footage, integrate it with CCTV footage, and visualize it on a map. The police department started using Securonet in 2017, ahead of the city's hosting of the 2018 Super Bowl. The department signed another contract with Securonet in 2019.

This year, Minneapolis started using BriefCam, a high-definition surveillance camera system used throughout the city’s rail, bus, and metro system. The city's police department said in the white paper that it doesn’t currently combine surveillance cameras with real-time or automated facial recognition but noted that “it is conceivable that this could change in the near future.”

Rich Neumeister, a Minneapolis resident, submitted written testimony to the city subcommittee on data practice on Jan. 30 urging the city to enact restrictions on the use of facial recognition. At the time of writing, no restrictions existed.

“There needs to be guardrails, standards, and curtailing policies so that the use and rules are not developed by law enforcement agencies in secret,” he said. “Our privacy and civil liberties can be diminished if this onerous and powerful technology is not kept in check.”
“Our privacy and civil liberties can be diminished if this onerous and powerful technology is not kept in check.”
The Minneapolis Police Department also has a five-year contract with police body camera company Axon, which lasts through 2021. The agreement involves providing body cameras to all 888 sworn police officers in the city. The police department received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security in 2018 to help pay for these cameras.

Minneapolis also hosts an array of CCTV cameras, which the police can access. The Minneapolis Police Department said in a surveillance white paper that it uses Milestone software from Arxys — a video management tool that claims to offer "video motion detection" and "video analytics" — to analyze CCTV footage.

The Minneapolis Police Department has paid more than $2 million for ShotSpotter, an audio surveillance tool that listens for gunshots and visualizes possible shooting locations on a map. There’s no evidence, as of right now, that ShotSpotter effectively reduces crime and makes cities “safer,” which the company claims.

As noted in a surveillance white paper, law enforcement agencies operating in Minneapolis, like the state-run Minnesota BCA, have access to even more surveillance tools. For instance, the Minnesota BCA has the ability to deploy Stingrays, a tool that mimics cellphone towers in order to approximate the location of cellphone users. Stingrays have allegedly been used to target Black Lives Matter protesters.

Minneapolis could also be subject to surveillance at the federal level as the protests unfold. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) flew a Predator drone over the city on Friday, according to Jason Paladino, an investigative reporter at the Project on Government Oversight.

In a statement given to congressional staffers on Friday that was obtained by BuzzFeed News, CBP officials said the agency's Air and Marine Operations was "preparing to provide live video to aid in situational awareness at the request of our federal law enforcement partners in Minneapolis." The agency said drones are often deployed around the country to "augment law enforcement and humanitarian relief efforts."
"After arriving into the Minneapolis airspace, the requesting agency determined that the aircraft was no longer needed for operational awareness and departed back to Grand Forks," the statement read.

Additionally, several local police departments in the Minneapolis metropolitan area — including those in Spring Lake Park, Brooklyn Center, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, and Edina — have signed contracts with Ring, Amazon’s home surveillance company, according to the company’s map of active partnerships. Ring contracts give police access to the company’s law enforcement portal, which lets officers request camera footage from residents without obtaining a warrant first. In exchange, Ring has given police free cameras, and it has offered police more free cameras if they convince enough people to download Neighbors, its neighborhood watch app.

Saira Hussain, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told BuzzFeed News that the pervasiveness of surveillance technology could mean protesters face the risk of arrest long after demonstrations end.

“It’s important to know what types of risks there are and knowing that the risks might not just be in the moment,” Hussain said, “but also thereafter, because of all this immense amount of surveillance technology.”

With additional reporting from Hamed Aleaziz.
 

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Trump administration offers active-duty military forces and intelligence to help quell Minnesota unrest
Minnesota National Guard personnel return to their defensive position as protesters make room for them to fall back following a confrontation Friday on East Lake Street in St. Paul. (John Minchillo/AP)

Minnesota National Guard personnel return to their defensive position as protesters make room for them to fall back following a confrontation Friday on East Lake Street in St. Paul. (John Minchillo/AP)
By
Dan Lamothe
May 31, 2020 at 4:44 a.m. GMT+5

The Trump administration has offered the use of active-duty soldiers and intelligence to assist in quelling unrest in Minnesota, including some forces who were put on alert to deploy, national and state officials said Saturday.

Gov. Tim Walz (D) acknowledged the offer as he announced that he was mobilizing the entire Minnesota National Guard. He did so after several nights of rioting in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody this week in Minneapolis while handcuffed and on video.

Walz downplayed the significance of the Pentagon’s offer to send U.S. armed forces, saying that “this has happened before” where soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division and other parts of the Army are put “on readiness.”

“They’re not talking about mobilizing the entire United States Army,” Walz said. “We’re probably talking about in the neighborhood of several hundred” soldiers.

The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Jonathan Rath Hoffman, said in a statement on Saturday that Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had talked to Walz twice in the last day and “expressed the department’s readiness to provide support to local and state authorities as requested.”

While there is no request from Walz for active-duty forces at this time, the Pentagon has directed U.S. Northern Command “to increase the alert status of several units should they be requested by the Governor to support Minnesota authorities,” Hoffman said. The units normally maintain a 48-hour recall time to support states through events such as natural disasters, and now are on a four-hour status, Hoffman said.

In Washington, President Trump said that officials in Minnesota need to be tougher, citing police who withdrew from a police station before it was burned on Thursday night. He drew a distinction between the use of active-duty forces and the National Guard.

“We have our military ready, willing and able, if they ever want to call our military,” Trump said. “And we can have troops on the ground very quickly if they ever want our military.”

Trump also tweeted, “Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME! Liberal Governors and Mayors must get MUCH tougher or the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.”

But Walz appeared set to carry out a plan that includes a significantly beefed up National Guard presence instead. He said the mobilization of the entire Minnesota National Guard, which has about 13,200 members, has never happened in the state’s history. The doesn’t mean that all members will be involved, but he said the effort will be significantly larger than the 700 guardsmen who were on duty on Friday night.

“By this afternoon, our hope is to exponentially have that force out there,” Walz said, adding that he also anticipates getting “significant support” from the National Guard forces of neighboring states.

The news of the active-duty alerts was first reported by the Associated Press, which said soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Drum, N.Y., were among those on alert. The units include military police forces, but other forces are involved, a senior defense official said on Saturday, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Senior Pentagon officials are discussing ways that the military might be able to assist in Minnesota that do not require the Insurrection Act, the official said. The law allows Trump to use federal troops to put down lawlessness.

The senior official cited crowd control as one example where the active-duty military might have a role under that limited model, and arrests as one example where they would not.

“No one in the department is talking about invoking the Insurrection Act,” the official said. He added that the Defense Department is “going in support of the governor, and that’s our touchstone: What does the governor need to be successful.”

Walz also said that Esper and Milley were “able to provide their intelligence support of what they’re seeing, what they’re signal intercepting.” He did not elaborate, and defense officials did not immediately have clarification on what that could entail.

Walz said that over the last 48 hours, peaceful protest in Minnesota has “morphed into something very different.” He said that he expects that authorities will soon release information about who some of the people arrested are. Many of them, he said, are not from Minnesota.

John Harrington, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said that they have seen some white supremacists say that they are coming to Minnesota, and others who have advocated for looting.

“We are in the process right now of building that information network, and building that intel network,” he said.

Foreign intelligence services, especially the Russians, often use domestic unrest in the United States to their advantage by exaggerating that unrest through social media and influence operations, said Mick Mulroy, a former Pentagon official and retired CIA officer who is now an ABC News analyst.

The operations often take advantage of legitimate protests, hijacking them by advocating destructive acts such as the burning and destruction of property that reduce the American people’s confidence in their own government, Mulroy said. If there is evidence that any other countries are doing this, he said, there needs to be direct and real consequences for them.

Missy Ryan contributed to this report.
 

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I came across this old news but how ironic it now applies to America in a way too:

 

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An absolute unprecedented chaos in the modern history of the U.S. From peaceful protest to violence, the democrats are now leading the demonstrations with one aim only, bringing down Trump.
 

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An absolute unprecedented chaos in the modern history of the U.S. From peaceful protest to violence, the democrats are now leading the demonstrations with one aim only, bringing down Trump.
Good to see you back

and yes, they have let the violent Democrats out of there cages. Saw a video yesterday, several nonviolent Democrats trying to stop the violent ones from busting the glass on a building, he told one with a baseball bat "You can hit me but I won't let you destroy this building" needless to say they hit him with the baseball bat first, then the glass.
 
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Good to see you back

and yes, they have let the violent Democrats out of there cages. Saw a video yesterday, several nonviolent Democrats trying to stop the violent ones from busting the glass on a building, he told one with a baseball bat "You can hit me but I won't let you destroy this building" needless to say they hit him with the baseball bat first, then the glass.
National Guard should have been called out much earlier. Will the people whose business were effected by the riots, be compensated by the Gov?
 

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