NYPD cracks down on mayhem, curfew defiance as George Floyd vigils across US draw thousands

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here's what you need to know as you start your day ...

NYPD confronts crowds defying curfew one night after attacks as George Floyd vigils take place nationwide
New York City police officers were seen clashing with demonstrators in another night of mass gatherings Thursday after a citywide curfew took effect, with law enforcement out in force in an attempt to keep the peace and prevent violence that has marred otherwise peaceful demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

Large gatherings began throughout the day around the country hundreds of mourners packed an emotional memorial service in Minneapolis on Thursday to honor Floyd, whose death while in police custody last week has ignited a firestorm of criticism of law enforcement agencies over police brutality. In Southern California, Washington, D.C., and other parts of the country, thousands attended vigils in honor of Floyd.

Still, multiple cities nationwide have imposed curfews in an attempt to prevent widespread rioting and looting that has mostly occurred after dark.

New York has seen some of the worst violence since protests began more than a week ago. On Wednesday, a police officer was stabbed in the neck and two others were shot. Thousands remained in the streets Thursday after the city's 8 p.m. curfew took effect, as well as large numbers of police officers. In the Bronx, officers were seen clashing and aggressively charging toward demonstrators in an apparent attempt to keep crowd control.

Other videos appeared to show the NYPD arresting curfew violators en masse, threatening protesters with jail and wielding batons at them. Many demonstrators have accused the department of aggressively enforcing the city's curfew and engaging in the same militaristic behavior they are protesting against.

Special Interview: Ex-NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly admits NYC may need National Guard

Meanwhile, in St. Louis, hundreds gathered to call for criminal justice reforms. The city has seen a fair share of violence in recent days, seeing four police officers shot and a retired police captain killed while trying to protect a pawn shop from looters this week.

In Chicago, rapper Kanye West marched with Chicago Public Schools students to demand the school district end its $33 million contract with the Chicago Police Department. In Los Angeles County, officials, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, lifted a county-wide curfew order Thursday. However, some cities chose to keep their orders in place out of precaution. Click here for more on our top story.

Other related developments:
- Hundreds, including Al Sharpton, Eric Garner's mom, mourn at Floyd memorial in Minneapolis
- NYC Mayor de Blasio drowned out by boos, faces calls to resign, at Floyd memorial
- Minneapolis City Council president, Dem Jeremiah Ellison claim they'll 'dismantle' police
- Pelosi demands answers from Trump on troops patrolling protesters in DC
- Buffalo protester pushed to ground, starts bleeding, video shows; 2 cops suspended: reports

Landmark lawsuit against Antifa is for 'all Americans who are threatened by these criminals,' lawyer says
The lawyer representing a journalist who is suing the far-left group Antifa said Thursday the legal action seeks to protect reporters and other Americans "who are threatened by these criminals."

Harmeet Dhillon of the Center for American Liberty said she filed the first-ever lawsuit against Antifa on behalf of journalist Andy Ngo after he was repeatedly attacked in 2019 while covering the violence incited by the group in Portland, Ore. On one occasion, the lawsuit claims, Ngo was beaten by a mob that continued to harass him as he attempted to walk away.

In an appearance on "The Ingraham Angle" Thursday, Dhillon told host Laura Ingraham that Ngo "continues to be stalked" and claimed the Portland authorities "continue to do nothing" to protect his safety.

Earlier Thursday, Dhillion told Fox News the timing of the lawsuit was unrelated to the riots that have taken place across the country following the death of George Floyd. Her comments came as FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that Antifa was among the groups being investigated for acts of violence in various cities over the past several days. Click here for more.

Other related developments:
-Antifa accused of coordinating looting of Target store in Austin: Texas officials
-Antifa members talk eye gouging, 'destroying your enemy,' undercover video claims
-How Antifa and other extremists drive discord online

Trump touts letter knocking Mattis military service: 'You lost me'
President Trump continued his war of words against former Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Thursday, tweeting a letter purportedly written by his former attorney John Dowd that attacked Mattis for criticizing Trump's response to ongoing protests.

The letter knocks Mattis' military service and suggests he let "hack politicians" abuse his reputation. Dowd, a retired Marine Judge Advocate who Trump called "a Super Star lawyer," served as Trump's lead counsel in the Russia investigation before resigning in March 2018.

"I slept on your statement and woke up appalled and upset," Dowd wrote. "You lost me. Never dreamed you would let a bunch of hack politicians use your good name and reputation-earned with the blood and guts of young Marines. You did what you said you [wouldn't] -- engage in this discourse. Marines keep their word." Click here for more.

Other related developments:
- Biden calls Mattis' criticism of Trump a 'powerful indictment'


Navy vet Michael White back in US after release from Iran detention.
Biden claims '10 to 15 percent' of Americans are 'just not very good people.'
Emotional Cory Booker decries Rand Paul's opposition to federal anti-lynching bill: 'I am so raw today.'
Texas military family, including 4 kids, 2 cats, found dead inside garage.
Joke about Kenny Chesney fans gets black reporter pulled from Floyd coverage: reports.
Tony Dungy on Drew Brees' national anthem comments: 'He can't be afraid to say that.'
WWII flag swiped from Reno City Hall during George Floyd unrest is returned.

JCPenney shutting down 154 stores after coronavirus-driven bankruptcy.
Pompeo calls Nasdaq's strict rules a model to guard against fraudulent Chinese companies. 
SEC Whistleblower Program: 5 Facts.

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."

Laura Ingraham slams Antifa, says far-left group has hijacked "justified anger and protests" over George Floyd's death.

Not signed up yet for Fox News First? Click here to find out what you're missing.

Click here to find out what's on Fox News and Fox News Radio today!
Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Stay safe, stay healthy, and know that we will get through these extraordinary, tough times together. We'll see you in your inbox first thing Monday morning.