King County seeks further easing of COVID-19 restrictions

SEATTLE (AP) — King County plans to apply for approval to enter into a modified Phase 1 on Monday after Gov. Jay Inslee announced he wouldn’t extend the state’s COVID-19 stay-home orders.

The Seattle Times reports that County Executive Dow Constantine announced Friday that the county, in consultation with officials at Public Health — Seattle & King County, will apply and begin reopening some business activity with limited or modified openings.

The stay-home order, in place since March 23, expired Sunday night.

So far, 26 of the state’s 39 counties are approved to enter Phase 2.

Portland mayor asks governor to call up National Guard

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland’s mayor and the state’s federal prosecutor asked Gov. Kate Brown on Monday to call up the Oregon National Guard to help police in the state’s largest city with protests that have spun into violence for three consecutive nights.

Mayor Ted Wheeler said at a news conference that Brown had declined to call up the National Guard on Sunday, instead opting for more involvement by the Oregon State Police. But when asked, Wheeler said he agreed with a call by U.S. Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams to bring National Guard troops to the city to guard infrastructure such as federal courthouses and police offices.

“What I saw at the Justice Center …. was sickening. This has to stop and in order for that to happen in the city of Portland, we need help,” Williams said. “We need bodies, we need more numbers to do something to stop this ridiculous violence. This just cannot keep up.”

Brown’s office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Police arrested 12 adults during protests Sunday and early Monday morning after authorities said projectiles — including “large, industrial grade mortar-type fireworks” — were thrown at officers as demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd continued in Oregon’s largest city. Two juveniles were also detained.

The violence came after thousands of protesters held a largely peaceful demonstration outside the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland. At one point, some police officers took a knee with protesters and three people in the crowd had a private talk with Police Chief Jami Resch, authorities said.

“We saw people at their very worst and we saw people at their very best,” said Deputy Chief Chris Davis, who thanked protesters who remained peaceful. “Our strategy last night was to make sure that whatever happened, the police bureau was not the cause and so we decided to give them a greater space and give them the time to express themselves.”

Police said protesters smashed windows at the federal courthouse and through loudspeakers authorities declared the late-night gathering a civil disturbance.

Wheeler said, if deployed, the National Guard would not have a role in crowd control but would instead guard federal, state and city buildings.

On Saturday, police arrested 48 people after downtown storefronts were vandalized and fires were set overnight. On Friday, at least 13 people were arrested amid Portland protests.

Elsewhere in Oregon, authorities said between 7,000 and 10,000 people gathered at the federal courthouse in Eugene on Sunday and marched to a local park in a peaceful demonstration. After the event ended, about 1,000 people continued to protest.

In Salem, up to 400 people marched and got into a confrontation with police that resulted in between six to eight arrests.

The demonstrations were in response to the killing of Floyd, a black man who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing. His death has prompted protests across the U.S. and Europe.

‘Hate just hides’: Biden vows to take on systematic racism

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed to address institutional racism in his first 100 days in office as he sought to elevate his voice Monday in the exploding national debate over racism and police brutality.

The former vice president offered emotional support and promised bold action during an in-person discussion with black leaders in Delaware and a subsequent virtual meeting with big-city mayors who are grappling with racial tensions and frustrated by a lack of federal support.

“Hate just hides. It doesn’t go away, and when you have somebody in power who breathes oxygen into the hate under the rocks, it comes out from under the rocks,” Biden told more than a dozen African American leaders gathered at a church in downtown Wilmington, his face mask lowered around his chin as he spoke.

Without offering specifics, he promised to “deal with institutional racism” and set up a police oversight body in his first 100 days in office, if elected. Biden also said he’d be releasing an economic plan focused on education, housing and “access to capital” and investments, especially for minority Americans, later this month.

“I really do believe that the blinders have been taken off. I think this tidal wave is moving,” Biden told the mayors of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and St. Paul, Minnesota. “I realize we’ve got to do something big, we can do it, and everyone will benefit from it.”

Biden has struggled in recent weeks to be heard from his makeshift home TV studio over the noise of dueling national crises. But after another night of violent protests, he ventured out into public for the second time in two days and just the third time since the pandemic arrived in mid March.

His hopeful and collaborative approach marked a sharp contrast to that of President Donald Trump, who has made little effort to unify the country. The Republican president slammed governors as “weak” during a video teleconference on Monday and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters. Trump also lashed out at Biden on Twitter, writing that “Sleepy Joe Biden’s people are so Radical Left that they are working to get the Anarchists out of jail, and probably more.”

Biden’s softer style may foreshadow how he presents himself in the five months before the presidential election, emphasizing calm and competence as a contrast to a mercurial president. It is an approach that carries the risk of being drowned out by Trump’s much louder voice.

“He’s not in office, and he certainly does not have the megaphone like the person currently occupying the White House does, but I do think our people are looking for someone who can make them feel better during these extremely tough times,” said Rep. Val Demings of Florida, whom Biden is considering as a running mate. “America just needs to be reassured that there’s someone who’s understanding, someone who’s willing to say, ‘Yes, we do have some issues,’ and someone who’s willing to address it.”

Biden delivered a well-received address on Friday calling on white people to shoulder the responsibility of ending America’s systemic racism. But he was largely out of sight over the weekend, which marked the fifth anniversary of the death of his son Beau Biden from brain cancer.

Biden and his wife, Jill, marked Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a veterans’ memorial near his Wilmington home last week, and the former vice president’s campaign posted pictures of him visiting a protest site in the city on Sunday afternoon. Earlier, he wrote a post on Medium expressing empathy for those despairing about the police killing of George Floyd.

In the early moments of Monday’s gathering at the Bethel AME church in Wilmington, Biden listened quietly and took notes. All the attendees, including Biden, wore face masks but lowered them as they spoke.

“The vice president came to hear from us. This is a homeboy,” pastor Sylvester Beaman said before everyone bowed their heads in prayer.

Biden’s standing with the black community weighs heavily as he works to deny Trump a second term. African Americans rescued Biden’s flailing primary campaign, but it’s unclear if they will turn out for him in large numbers in November.

“I want to make something clear. I don’t expect anything from the black community,” Biden said Monday, insisting he has never taken its support for granted. The former vice president has been doing cleanup since telling a prominent black radio host a week and a half ago that African Americans who back Trump “ain’t black.”

Yet the mayors who spoke with Biden, three of whom are black, were clearly frustrated and angry with Trump, who has offered military support to address violent protests while denying them federal support to address the coronavirus fallout and repeatedly attacking them on social media.

“To see the president of the United States say that he’s going to send the military into our communities but hadn’t mentioned sending a single dime of support into our communities, speaks to where we are in America,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Much of Biden’s campaign strategy centers on trying to draw a contrast with Trump on temperament and values. He has called the White House contest a battle for the soul of the nation and has been particularly forceful in condemning Trump’s handling of moments of racial tension.

In an election that is likely to be a referendum on the sitting president, some Biden aides say privately that the best plan may be to let Trump do himself in.

Yet there is also a recognition that Biden needs to do more than simply wait for voters who may be turned off by Trump to turn toward him. Some Democrats who have criticized Biden for not being more visible during the onset of the coronavirus said he is making the right moves now.

“I’m sure they have some reluctance, understandably, right now to politicize it. That’s not who he is,” said Democratic strategist James Carville. “There might be a time for eloquence, but I think that simplicity is eloquence right now.”

BLP to expand grab-and-go free meal service through summer

Bend-La Pine Schools’ Grab and Go free meals for children will be extended beyond the end of the school year and through summer months in order to continue to meet the needs of the local community, according to the district’s Nutrition Services dept.

“We are excited to be able to continue to serve free meals at our school sites throughout the summer months to create continuity for our families, many of whom have come to rely on these free meals,” said Garra Schluter, Nutrition Services Supervisor. “We are currently serving approximately 7,500 meals every day – way beyond our typical free summer meal program.”

Since the Grab and Go program began in mid-March, it has continued to expand, offering breakfast and lunch at all sites and takeaway weekend meals at some sites.

Through the end of May, Bend-La Pine Schools has served 283,000 free meals through this program.

The free meals are available to children age 0 to 18, Monday to Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Visitors are asked to enter through designated doors, pick up a meal from the cafeteria and then take the meal to go. Gathering is discouraged.

Bend-La Pine Schools custodial staff will be cleaning before and after each meal. Adults can purchase a meal for $4.

Pick up sites are available:

Bear Creek Elementary School

51 NE 13th St, Bend

Elk Meadow Elementary School

60880 Brookswood Blvd., Bend

Ensworth Elementary School

2150 NE Dagget Lane, Bend

La Pine High School

51633 Coach Road, La Pine

Mountain View High School

2755 NE 27th St., Bend

Pilot Butte Middle School

1501 NE Neff Road, Bend

Silver Rail Elementary School*

61530 SE Stone Creek Lane, Bend

Three Rivers School

56900 Enterprise Drive, Sunriver

Westside Village Magnet at Kingston School

1101 NW 12th St, Bend

*This is a new location as of Monday, June 1, replacing R.E. Jewell Elementary School.

NWS: Tornado-like damage, but no official tornado Saturday in Culver

By TED TAYLOR
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Saturday’s violent thunderstorms in Central Oregon did not produce a tornado, but the wind speeds and damage left behind certainly equated to one, according to the National Weather Service.

The Pendleton office of the NWS on Monday issued a “preliminary” statement saying wind speeds ranged from 60 mph to 100 mph as the storm cut a path of destruction through Culver and Metolius areas of Jefferson County. An EF-1 tornado typically sees wind speeds between 86 and 109 mph, the NWS said.

Submitted by Amber D. Searcy

The agency said the bulk of the damage was blown either from south to north or from southwest to northwest, “this indicates the prevalence of a divergent straight-line wind pattern rather than the circular convergent pattern associated with a tornado.”

“Even though no tornado could be confirmed, such intense straight-line winds are equally capable of significant life-threatening damage,” the statement said.

The damage was part of two severe thunderstorms that rolled through Central Oregon on Saturday afternoon, starting in south Deschutes County near La Pine around 1 p.m. moving northeast through Bend, Redmond, and into Jefferson County.

Golf-ball sized hail fell in some areas as heavy rains and strong winds battered the entire region. But most of the heaviest damage happened near Prineville and Culver.

A tree uprooted in Prineville. Submitted by Amber D. Searcy

The winds uprooted trees and downed power lines, cutting electricity to some 10,000 customers in Jefferson County and beyond.

On Sunday, Deschutes Valley Water District and the cities of Madras, Culver, and Metolius asked all customers to stop all outdoor watering for the next 24-48 hours.

Power to the hydro facility at Opal Springs was down and expected to be restored Monday.

“Power is necessary to pump the water from the canyon to the various water tanks throughout the district,” according to Marc Heckathorn, Undersheriff Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. “The district is currently serving the communities with water held in the holding tanks.

Pacific Power posted on its Facebook page Monday “crews continue to make steady progress to restore power to the remaining 1,283 customers impacted. We estimate power will be restored to all customers by the end of the day today.”

Central Oregon Daily’s Brooke Snavely is in Jefferson County today to talk to residents about the storm and get an update from officials on the damage.

▶️ Bend woman pleads guilty to killing disabled son

A Bend woman pleaded guilty to murder Monday in the 2018 shooting death of her 7-year-old developmentally disabled son.

The court then reduced the conviction of 30-year-old Tashina Jordan to first-degree manslaughter based on the facts Jordan was “under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance during the time of the act,” according to a statement from Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel.

“At the end of the day, the murder of a child is never justified, while the emotional state of a defendant is always relevant,” Hummel said in a statement. “The resolution of Ms. Jordan’s case holds her accountable, honors Mason’s life, and reflects the mental state she was in at the time of the crime.  Justice was done.”

In addition to murder, Hummel said Jordan pleaded guilty except for insanity to first-degree assault.

“Ms. Jordan met the legal definition for insanity and at the time of the killing she was acting under extreme emotional disturbance,” Hummel told Central Oregon Daily News later Monday.

Doctors diagnosed Jordan with major depression with psychotic features and offered the opinion that she met the legal definition for Oregon’s criminal insanity defense at the time of the offense.

On the manslaughter conviction, the court sentenced Jordan to 10 years in prison.  On the assault conviction, the court sentenced her to a 20-year commitment to the Oregon State Hospital.

Jordan was convicted of fatally shooting her son Mason before attempting to take her own life by overdosing on pills the night of August 20, 2018.

“Her extreme emotional state was the result of being a single mother to Mason, who was a child living with significant developmental disabilities combined with her documented mental health difficulties,” according to the statement.

“Numerous single mothers of children with disabilities contacted me to share their stories of the immense stress, loneliness, and despair they experience on a daily basis.  Other parents of children living with disabilities contacted me to say that it is difficult raising their children, but their child’s health should not be an excuse for murder.

Bend man arrested after allegedly threatening neighbors with machete

A Bend man was arrested late Sunday night after allegedly threatening his neighbors with a machete, according to Bend Police.

Sgt. Tom Pine said officers were dispatched to an apartment on Tempest Drive around 11 a.m. Once officers arrived, the suspect 45-year-old Michael Fuller II, had returned to his apartment.

Fuller then went out to the balcony of his apartment and interacted with officers for about 90 minutes.

Pine said during this time, he made statements that indicated he would continue to pose a threat to the community.

Members of the Central Oregon Emergency Response Team responded to the area, but after continued negotiations with Fuller, he came out and was arrested without incident.

A search warrant was executed on in the apartment and Officers recovered the machete used to threaten the neighbors.

Members of the Deschutes Mobile Crisis Team (MCAT) helped in the assessment of Fuller and he was later taken to St Charles Emergency Room.

Pine said Fuller was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, attempted first-degree burglary, menacing and disorderly conduct.

 Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the Bend Police Department at 322-2960.

Trump slams governors as ‘weak,’ urges crackdown on protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday derided the nation’s governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on protesters in the aftermath of another night of violent protests in dozens of American cities.

Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

The days of protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer. They turned violent in several cities, with looting and mayhem, and fires ignited in the historic park across from the White House.

The president urged the governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited for helping calm the situation Sunday night in Minneapolis. He demanded that similarly tough measures be taken in cities that also experienced a spasm of violence, like New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” said Trump. “We’re doing it in Washington, D.C. We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before.”

The president told the governors they were making themselves “look like fools” for not calling up more of the National Guard as a show for force on city streets.

Attorney General Bill Barr, who was also on the call, told governors that a joint terrorist task force would be used to track the agitators and urged local officials to “dominate” the streets and control, not react to crowds, and urged them to “go after troublemakers.”

Trump’s angry exhortations at the nation’s governors came after a night of escalating violence, images of fires and looting and clashes with police filling the nation’s airwaves and overshadowing the largely peaceful protests. The protests grew so heated Friday night that the Secret Service rushed the president to an underground bunker previously used during terrorist attacks.

Trump continued his effort to project strength, using a series of inflammatory tweets and delivering partisan attacks during a time of national crisis.

As cities burned night after night and images of violence dominated television coverage, Trump’s advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.

Trump did not appear in public on Sunday and was not scheduled to so Monday either.

Secret Service agents rushed Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.

Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks, according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The account was confirmed by an administration official who also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer. The demonstrations in Washington turned violent and appeared to catch officers by surprise. They sparked one of the highest alerts on the White House complex since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

“The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. The Secret Service said it does not discuss the means and methods of its protective operations. The president’s move to the bunker was first reported by The New York Times.

The president and his family have been shaken by the size and venom of the crowds, according to the Republican. It was not immediately clear if first lady Melania Trump and the couple’s 14-year-old son, Barron, joined the president in the bunker. Secret Service protocol would have called for all those under the agency’s protection to be in the underground shelter.

Trump has told advisers he worries about his safety, while both privately and publicly praising the work of the Secret Service.

Demonstrators returned Sunday afternoon, facing off against police at Lafayette Park into the evening.

Trump continued his effort to project strength, using a series of inflammatory tweets and delivering partisan attacks during a time of national crisis.

On Sunday, Trump retweeted a message from a conservative commentator encouraging authorities to respond with greater force.

“This isn’t going to stop until the good guys are willing to use overwhelming force against the bad guys,” Buck Sexton wrote in a message amplified by the president.

In recent days security at the White House has been reinforced by the National Guard and additional personnel from the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police.

The Justice Department deployed members of the U.S. Marshals Service and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration to supplement National Guard troops outside the White House, according to a senior Justice Department official. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

SpaceX’s historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday, following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking in yet another first for Elon Musk’s company.

With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control if necessary, the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked automatically, no assistance needed. The hatches swung open a few hours later, and the two Dragon riders floated into the orbiting lab and embraced the three station residents.

Unlike the SpaceX and NASA flight control rooms, where everyone was spaced well apart, there was no social distancing or masks needed in orbit since the new arrivals had been in quarantine for many weeks.

“The whole world saw this mission, and we are so, so proud of everything you have done for our country and, in fact, to inspire the world,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a call from Mission Control in Houston.

Hurley credited SpaceX and added, ““It’s great to get the United States back in the crewed launch business.”

It was the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft carried astronauts to the space station in its more than 20 years of existence. NASA considers this the opening volley in a business revolution encircling Earth and eventually stretching to the moon and Mars.

“NASA is not going to purchase, own and operate rockets and capsules the way we used to,” Bridenstine said. “”We’re going to partner with commercial industry.”

The docking occurred barely 19 hours after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Saturday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center, the nation’s first astronaut launch to orbit from home soil in nearly a decade and drawing a Washington delegation led by President Donald Trump. NASA said peak viewership online hit 10 million.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, thousands jammed surrounding beaches, bridges and towns as SpaceX ended a nine-year launch drought for NASA. The achievement, years in the making, is expected to drive down launch costs so more people might be able to afford a ticket to space in the coming years.

Behnken told the welcoming committee at NASA’s Johnson Space Center that the Dragon was “a slick vehicle” and said he was surprised at how rough the ride was on the latter part of ascent, compared with the space shuttle, which he and Hurley rode twice.

“Dragon was huffing and puffing all the way into orbit,” he said.

Two Texas members of Congress at Johnson for the docking — Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Brian Babin — said the flight offered inspiration and hope during a particularly tough time of protests and pandemic.

“Having it go off without a hitch was a tremendous blessing for our country,” Babin told the astronauts.

Gleaming white in the sunlight, the Dragon was easily visible on NASA TV from a few miles away from the space station, its nose cone open and exposing its docking hook as well as a blinking light. Hurley and Behnken took over the controls and did a little piloting less than a couple hundred yards (meters) out as part of the test flight, before putting it back into automatic for the final approach.

Once on board the space station, Hurley said the capsule, newly named Endeavour after the retired shuttle, handled extremely well. He was the pilot on the last U.S. spaceship to visit the space station — the last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, in July 2011.

Restoring American launch capability nine years later, he noted, “is just one effort that we can show for the ages in this dark time that we’ve had over the past several months to kind of inspire, especially the young people in the United States, to reach for these lofty goals.”

There was one small glitch: Hurley bumped his head entering the space station and frequently wiped his forehead during the welcoming ceremony.

NASA turned to private industry to pick up the slack following the shuttle fleet’s retirement, hiring SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 for space station taxi services. Boeing’s first astronaut flight isn’t expected until next year.

Until Saturday, SpaceX had launched only space station supplies or satellites. The company’s employees took to calling the astronauts “dads” to drive home the fact that two lives were at stake in this highly technical effort.

Clearly relieved, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted a big “welcome home” to the Dragon fliers — “America’s two favorite dads.”

NASA has yet to decide how long Hurley and Behnken will spend at the space station, somewhere between one and four months. While they’re there, they’ll join NASA’s Chris Cassidy and two Russian station residents in performing experiments and possibly spacewalks to install fresh station batteries.

While U.S. astronauts will continue to catch a ride on Russian Soyuz rockets, it will be through a barter system now that NASA’s commercial crew program has finally taken flight. NASA had been shelling out tens of millions of dollars for every Soyuz seat.

In a show-and-tell earlier Sunday, the astronauts gave a quick tour of the Dragon’s sparkling clean insides, quite spacious for a capsule.

The blue sequined dinosaur accompanying them — their young sons’ toy, named Tremor — was also in good shape, Behnken assured viewers. Tremor was going to join Earthy, a plush globe delivered to the space station on last year’s test flight of a crew-less crew Dragon. Behnken said both toys would return to Earth with them at mission’s end.

An old-style capsule splashdown is planned.

After liftoff, Musk told reporters that the capsule’s return will be more dangerous in some ways than its launch. Even so, getting the two astronauts safely to orbit and then the space station had everyone breathing huge sighs of relief.

As always, Musk was looking ahead.

“This is hopefully the first step on a journey toward a civilization on Mars,” he said Saturday evening.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Protests flare again in US amid calls to end police violence

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Protesters took to the streets across America again Sunday, with violence flaring in pockets of largely peaceful demonstrations fueled by the killings of black people at the hands of police. A truck driver drove into demonstrators in Minneapolis nearly a week after George Floyd died there after pleading for air as an officer pressed a knee into his neck.

Protests sprang up from Boston to San Francisco, with people stealing from stores in broad daylight in Philadelphia, cities across California and elsewhere. In Minneapolis, the tanker truck sped into a peaceful crowd of thousands on a closed highway, but no one appeared to have been hit, authorities said.

The Minnesota State Patrol said on Twitter that the driver’s actions were “very disturbing” and he was arrested. Protesters swarmed the truck and jumped on the hood, even as it kept moving. Police then came in force to clear the highway in the city where violence erupted after the death last week of Floyd, who was black. The protests quickly spread to dozens of cities large and small, and have lasted for days.

The officer who pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for several minutes has been charged with murder, but protesters demand the other three officers at the scene be prosecuted. All four were fired.

“We’re not done,” said Darnella Wade, organizer for Black Lives Matter in neighboring St. Paul, where thousands gathered peacefully in front of the state Capitol. “They sent us the military, and we only asked them for arrests.”

Minnesota’s governor brought in thousands of National Guard soldiers to help quell violence that had damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in Minneapolis over days of protests. The immense deployment appeared to have worked Saturday night, when there was comparatively little destruction.

On Sunday, in a display of force, long lines of state patrolmen and National Guard soldiers were lined up in front of the Capitol, facing the demonstrators, with perhaps a dozen military-style armored vehicles behind them.

For a second day, the protests reached to the White House, where chants could be heard from around 1,000 demonstrators just across the street in Lafayette Park as they faced police in riot gear behind barricades. The scene was defiant but peaceful, though police used flash bangs to stop another group from reaching the park.

As the protests grew, President Donald Trump retweeted conservative commentator Buck Sexton who called for “overwhelming force.”

Outside the White House, Gabrielle Labrosse-Ellis, 30, from Maryland, held a sign that said, “Humanize black lives.”

“This is unacceptable. This is the last straw,” she said. “It has to be.”

Labrosse-Ellis said she planned to leave before dark because she feared a repeat of the violence that occurred Saturday night.

Across America, demonstrators called again for an end to police violence and many joined police in pleading for an end to the looting Many also joined police in pleading for a stop to fires, vandalism and theft, saying it weakened calls for justice and reform.

“They keep killing our people,” said Mahira Louis, 15, who marched with her mother and several hundred others through downtown Boston. “I’m so sick and tired of it.”

Disgust over generations of racism in a country founded by slaveholders combined with a string of recent racially charged killings to stoke the anger. Adding to that was angst from months of lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately hurt communities of color, not only in terms of infections but in job losses and economic stress.

The droves of people congregating for demonstrations threatened to trigger new outbreaks, a fact overshadowed by the boiling tensions.

“Maybe this country will get the memo that we are sick of police murdering unarmed black men,” said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah. “Maybe the next time a white police officer decides to pull the trigger, he will picture cities burning.”

The scale of the protests, sweeping from coast to coast and unfolding on a single night, rivaled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras.

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.

But still trouble flared.

There was looting on both ends of California, with video in San Jose showing several people in hoods and masks fleeing a Macy’s department store with large bags, while people in Long Beach carried away armloads of clothing and other goods from the smashed windows of stores at a shopping mall after curfew. As police moved in to try to restore order, some protesters ran in to confront the thieves and condemn them for undercutting the message of the demonstration.

In tweets Sunday, Trump blamed anarchists and the media for fueling the violence. Attorney General William Barr pointed a finger at “far left extremist” groups. Police chiefs and politicians accused outsiders of coming in and causing the problems.

At the Minneapolis intersection where Floyd was killed, people gathered with brooms and flowers, saying it was important to protect what they called a “sacred space.” The intersection was blocked with the traffic cones while a ring of flowers was laid out.

Among those descending on Minneapolis was Michael Brown Sr., the father of Michael Brown, whose killing by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, set off unrest in 2014.

“I understand what this family is feeling. I understand what this community is feeling,” he said.

In Indianapolis, two people were reported dead in bursts of downtown violence, adding to deaths reported in Detroit and Minneapolis in recent days.

Buildings around the U.S. were defaced with spray-painted messages, from the facade of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to the historic Hay-Adams hotel near the White House. Some of Floyd’s gasped last words — “I can’t breathe” — were repeated, alongside anti-police messages.

___

Sedensky reported from Philadelphia. Associated Press journalists across the U.S. contributed to this report.