“Please, please, I can’t breathe, officer,” a man pleads, his wrists handcuffed behind his back, his face ground into the pavement. The police officer continues to press his knee into the man’s neck. The man, 46-year-old George Floyd, died later that day. Floyd was black; the cop, white.

The scene, which was captured on video, violently snapped America out of the inertia of the coronavirus pandemic. Floyd was killed on Monday, May 25. By Thursday, American cities were burning.

Protests have racked Minneapolis — where Floyd was killed — for three straight days. On Thursday, mourners held a vigil for Floyd. They marched, demanded justice, had a moment of silence.

But demonstrations later turned tense and sometimes violent. Police fired tear gas, flash-bang grenades, and rubber bullets at demonstrators. Rioters vandalized and looted local businesses. People scaled the walls of a police precinct and set it aflame. (The station was evacuated before protesters entered and started the fire.)

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A protester holds up a “Justice for George” sign next to a burning car outside a Target store in Minneapolis on May 28.
AFP via Getty Images

The fury wasn’t confined to Minneapolis. Protests rippled across the country. In Los Angeles, demonstrators surrounded police headquarters. In Columbus, Ohio, demonstrators smashed a window of the Statehouse, breached the building. In New York City, more than 70 people were arrested after clashes with police.

In Denver, demonstrators marched onto the interstate, disrupting traffic. Pockets of protesters shattered car windows. Shots were fired at the state Capitol, though it’s still not clear if they were connected to the protests.

In Louisville, Kentucky, protesters chanted “no justice, no peace” for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black healthcare worker who was fatally shot by police in her Louisville apartment in March. The peaceful protests in Louisville also escalated, and at least seven people were shot. Police said no officers discharged their weapons.

The rage over the deaths of Floyd, and Taylor may have ignited these uprisings, but the scenes below are a reminder that this is pent-up in a country where violence against black people keeps happening.

Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

Louisville, Kentucky

Columbus, Ohio

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Protesters demonstrated in downtown Columbus in solidarity with nationwide uprisings after the death of George Floyd.
Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

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A peaceful demonstration near the Ohio Statehouse became a clash between police and protesters.
Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

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Protesters in Columbus chanted “black lives matter” and “say his name,” in reference to Floyd.
Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

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A demonstrator pours milk over their face to counteract the effects of tear gas.
Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

New York City

Denver, Colorado

Los Angeles, California

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People take to the streets during a Black Lives Matter protest over the death of George Floyd in downtown Los Angeles.
Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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Demonstrators sitting in the street downtown.
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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LAPD officers line up as protesters react to the death of George Floyd.
Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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A demonstrator holds a United States flag as someone lights it on fire during a protest in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 27.
Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images




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