Nov 5, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Election protesters rally across the U.S.

Police clash with election protestors who were marched streets in Manhattan of New York City
Police clash with election protesters, Manhattan, Nov. 4. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Police and demonstrators clashed in New York and several other U.S. cities into Thursday morning, during nationwide election protests.

Why it matters: The uncertain presidential election results have prompted unrest and some of the biggest protests seen since the summer's massive Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, as supporters of President Trump and Joe Biden took to the streets Wednesday night.

The big picture: While many protests were held without incident, including in Washington, D.C., clashes or standoffs with law enforcement were reported in several cities.

In New York City, hundreds of demonstrators were protesting peacefully to demand all votes be counted before briefly stopping traffic while marching past restaurants in the West Village, chanting "every city, every town, burn the precincts to the ground," the New York Times reports.

  • Law enforcement then "pushed protesters out of the street and sought to contain them on sidewalks," arresting 59 people, per NYT.
  • The NYPD tweeted that officers appreciate and "value the importance of freedom of speech," but pointed to violence at the protest, including an attempt to "hijack a peaceful protest by lighting fires, throwing garbage and eggs in Manhattan."

In Minneapolis, officers on Interstate 94 surrounded members of the media and demonstrators protesting issues including Trump and his vow to contest the election, as well as racism and police brutality, per the Minnesota Daily.

  • Minnesota Daily reporter Samantha Hendrickson said in a livestream just before 11pm ET that as police continued to surround her, other media teams and demonstrators, protest organizers were urging those gathered to remain calm.
  • Officers were not communicating with them beyond saying they were being arrested for offenses including holding an unlawful protest, Hendrickson said.
  • Minnesota State Patrol said in a statement that its troopers were working with the Minneapolis Police Department to arrest the protesters for blocking the road.

In Portland, Gov. Kate Brown called in the Oregon National Guard, a riot was declared, and at least 10 people were arrested during clashes after windows were vandalized, per the Oregonian, which also reported that a separate demonstration on racial justice remained peaceful.

In Los Angeles, police detained two videographers filming a protest downtown, issuing them with "failure to disperse" citations after authorities declared the demonstration unlawful, per the Los Angeles Times.

In Denver, police and protesters clashed late Wednesday.

  • Police said they arrested protesters who at one point appeared to use a flare to burn a "Thin Blue Line" and Trump flag, per CBS News.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, six people were arrested after police declared an unlawful assembly, WNCT notes.

In Arizona, sheriff's deputies in tactical gear moved reporters inside the Maricopa County Elections center as supporters of President Trump — some armed — protested outside the building while elections officials continued to tabulate ballots.

In Las Vegas, Trump supporters reacting to a conspiracy theory that baselessly claims votes were "stolen" briefly gathered outside the Clark County Election Center as votes were counted, the Reno Gazette Journal reports.

In Philadelphia, a "count every vote" protest was also held, as the race outcome in Pennsylvania remained too close to call.

In Detroit, Trump supporters marched to a ballot-counting center chanting "stop the count" before AP projected that Biden would win Michigan.

Go deeper ... In photos: America on edge amid fears of election violence

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