Police were out in droves in cities across the country Wednesday night to enforce curfews that were seen as helping reduce late-night rioting, and officials were hoping for a calmer night amid the ongoing George Floyd protests.
In New York City, many protesters opted to stay out past the 8 p.m. curfew, and various videos posted online showed dozens of demonstrators being arrested for violating the policy.
In Brooklyn, tensions escalated as NYPD officers started arresting demonstrators, and cops and protesters clashed after people in the crowd panicked and started pushing each other.
NYPD officers blocked off the Tillary Street entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, preventing cars from driving into Manhattan. NYPD maintained a large presence at the entrance as vehicles were told to turn around.
More than 90 demonstrators in Manhattan were detained by 9 p.m., then loaded onto a bus by NYPD officers for ignoring the citywide curfew that Mayor Bill de Blasio extended through Thursday.
Peaceful protests in dozens of cities across the U.S. at times turned violent as law enforcement clashed with demonstrators who were protesting racial inequality and police brutality.
In Orlando, protesters out past the 8 p.m. curfew were also arrested.
Police used tear gas in Atlanta to disperse a crowd that persisted after the 9 p.m. curfew, and violence broke out in Seattle when protests went from peaceful to violent as some demonstrators started throwing objects at police officers.
New Orleans law enforcement formed a line and fired tear gas at demonstrators on Pontchartrain Expressway heading toward the Mississippi River. Protest organizers reportedly urged the crowds to disperse and come back the next day with goggles.
In Washington, D.C., a group of peaceful protesters was seen near the White House around the time of the 11 p.m. curfew.
Minneapolis protests continued Wednesday, as Gov. Tim Walz extended a 10 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew for Minneapolis and St. Paul through Thursday.
"Minnesotans need more than ever to lean on their neighbors, show up for their communities, and add their voice to this urgent conversation on addressing our systemic problems," Walz said Wednesday. “Yet they’ve made those sacrifices to stay home through the curfew to help keep our neighborhoods safe."
Derek Chauvin, the since-fired Minneapolis police officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes on May 25, had his charge elevated to second-degree murder on Wednesday. Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter when he was arrested last Friday.
The other three officers who were on the scene when Floyd died -- Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao -- were charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
All four officers were fired May 26.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, called the charges a “bittersweet moment.”
Several states were preparing for Floyd’s memorial services, the first of which is set to take place in Minneapolis on Thursday, followed by North Carolina and Texas throughout the next six days. Floyd was a native of Fayetteville, N.C., and later lived in Houston before moving to Minneapolis.
Protests continued in dozens of cities, but Tuesday evening saw a calmer night in Washington, D.C.; New York City and St. Louis -- the city where a retired police officer was shot and killed Tuesday morning after a looting incident.
Brian Powell, son of the retired police officer, gave a message to Fox2Now on Wednesday.
“Know the real reason that you are protesting. Let’s do it in a positive manner,” Powell told the outlet. “We don’t have to go out and loot and do all the other things.”
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded community efforts to clean up after the at-times violent protests and looting in some areas of the city and credited the efforts by the New York Police Department for preventing more widespread damage to neighborhoods and businesses.
“Last night we took a step forward in moving out of this difficult period we’ve had the last few days and moving to a better time,” de Blasio said.
Washington D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters Wednesday that he believes the curfew was helping to combat the riots.
"The curfew gives the police the ability to stop the violence that we saw two nights during the course of this event," he said. "If you have large groups that are clearly peacefully protesting ... those groups are going to be allowed to peacefully protest."
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted the city’s curfew from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Wednesday after a calmer night of protesting.
Bower also said that she will not be ordering any additional National Guard personnel, despite President Trump’s suggestion earlier this week that states and cities “deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers.”