NEWARK, N.J. - As protests continue across the country to express outrage over the death of George Floyd during an encounter with police, New Jersey has been praised on social media for how its citizens appeared to conduct peaceful demonstrations on Saturday.
New Jersey appeared to have little to no looting or vandalism amid protests in several cities. Photos and video circulating on social media showed law enforcement and people in the community marching side by side.
Marchers wore masks and maintained social distance as they chanted, “Justice for George Floyd, no justice, no peace” and “I can’t breathe,” according to northjersey.com.
One video in particular out of Newark shows demonstrators practicing their right to free speech while also dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle.”
The video has garnered over 1.7 million views with hundreds of comments commending the city and state for largely peaceful protests.
Floyd’s death ignited outrage when widely seen video showed former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck, pushing his face and body into the pavement on May 25.
Floyd can be heard in the video pleading with police and telling them he cannot breathe. Chauvin continues to press his knee into Floyd’s neck for minutes, before Floyd eventually loses consciousness.
None of the other officers on the scene attempted to check Floyd’s pulse until the ambulance arrived, despite bystanders’ pleas. He later died at a local hospital.
America’s cities boarded up windows, swept up glass and covered graffiti Sunday as the country's most significant night of protests in a half-century promised to spill into another day of unrest fueled by killings of black people at the hands of police.
The turbulence sparked by the death of Floyd shook not only the streets of New York and Los Angeles, but dozens of smaller communities such as Fargo, North Dakota, and Lincoln, Nebraska. The damage extended even to buildings near the White House.
Peaceful protests involving tens of thousands of people on Saturday gave way, in some places, to rioting, looting and violence, with police vehicles torched, stores emptied and objects hurled at officers. The police response varied from restrained to aggressive, with officers at times firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Police and peaceful protesters alike pleaded for a stop to violence, saying it only hindered calls for justice and reform.Curfews were imposed in major cities around the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. About 5,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C.
The Associated Press and FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul contributed to this story.