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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Protesters continue toppling statues

SAN FRANCISCO — Pre-dawn violence broke out Saturday in a Seattle protest zone largely abandoned by police, where one person was fatally shot and another critically injured.

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SAN FRANCISCO — Pre-dawn violence broke out Saturday in a Seattle protest zone largely abandoned by police, where one person was fatally shot and another critically injured.

Across the United States, rioting protesters tore down more statues, expanding the razing in a San Francisco park to the writer of America’s national anthem and the general who won the country’s Civil War which ended widespread slavery.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLuXC7X0QSY]

On the East Coast, more statues honoring Confederates who tried to break away from the United States more than 150 years ago were toppled.

But several were removed at the order of North Carolina’s Democratic governor, who said he was trying to avoid violent clashes or injuries from toppling the heavy monuments that he said do not belong in places like the state capitol grounds that are for all people.

The statues are falling amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations after the May 25 police killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, the black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck.

In San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park along the Pacific Ocean, vandals sprayed red paint and wrote “slave owner” on pedestals before using ropes to bring down the statues and drag them down grassy slopes amid cheers and applause.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eowj8IVhYVE]

The statues targeted included a bust of Ulysses S. Grant, who was the president after he was the general who defeated the Confederates and ended the Civil War.

Protesters said Grant owned slaves. He married into a slave-owning family, but had no problem fighting to end slavery. Grant also supported the 1868 Republican platform when he won the presidency which called for allowing black men to continue voting in the South.

Also torn down in the San Francisco park was a statue of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the national anthem “Star Spangled Banner.” Key owned slaves.

Gallery: Anti-racism protests continue

[Gallery not loading above? Click here for more photos » arkansasonline.com/621floyd/]

Protesters also pulled down the statue of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, an 18th century Roman Catholic priest who founded nine of California’s 21 Spanish missions and is credited with bringing Roman Catholicism to the Western United States.

Serra forced American Indians to stay at those missions after they were converted or face brutal punishment. His statues have been defaced in California for several years by people who said he destroyed tribes and their culture.

Police officers responded to the park but didn’t intervene. The crowd threw objects at the officers, but no injuries or arrests were reported, San Francisco Police spokesman Officer Adam Lobsinger said.

San Francisco’s mayor said she understands the real pain of slavery and oppression and isn’t defending any statue or what it represents, but said protesters should let the entire community discuss and decide what statues are torn down.

Drinking fountains, pathways and benches were also spray painted, the city said.

“Every dollar we spend cleaning up this vandalism takes funding away from actually supporting our community, including our African-American community,” Mayor London Breed, who is black, said in a statement.

In Seattle, authorities were investigating what led to the shooting in the area known as CHOP, which stands for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone. The occupation has been criticized by President Donald Trump, who has tweeted about possibly sending in the military to exert control.

Police released few other details about the shooting. Two men with gunshot wounds arrived in a private vehicle at a hospital at about 3 a.m. One died and the other was in critical condition, Harborview Medical Center spokesperson Susan Gregg said.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJZ1NAcSqvA]

In Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C., it was another night of tearing down Confederate statues. In the nation’s capital, demonstrators toppled the 11-foot statue of Albert Pike, the only statue in the city of a Confederate general. Then they set a bonfire and stood around it in a circle as the statue burned, chanting, “No justice, no peace!” and “No racist police!”

Trump quickly tweeted about the toppling, calling out D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and writing: “The DC police are not doing their job as they watched a statue be ripped down and burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!”

Information for this article was contributed by Lisa Baum, Ashraf Khalil and Ashley Thomas of The Associated Press.

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People film the only statue of a Confederate general, Albert Pike, in the nation’s capital after it was toppled by protesters and set on fire in Washington early Saturday, June 20, 2020. It comes on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States, amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

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A person who said he goes by the name James Madison carries a rifle as he walks Saturday, June 20, 2020, near what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. Madison is part of the volunteer security team who have been working inside the CHOP zone, and said he and other armed volunteers were patrolling Saturday to keep the area safe. A pre-dawn shooting Saturday near the area left one person dead and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday. The area has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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A pedestrian walks past the Oddfellows Hall, Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the intersection of 10th Ave. and Pine St. next to a barricade for the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. A pre-dawn shooting near the area left one person dead and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday. The area has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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The Oddfellows Hall is shown at right, Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the intersection of 10th Ave. and Pine St. next to a barricade for the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. A pre-dawn shooting near the area left one person dead and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday. The area has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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CHOP is spray painted on a barricade, Saturday, June 20, 2020, inside what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. A pre-dawn shooting near the area left one person dead and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday. The area has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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Caution tape is shown near a sign with the names of victims of police violence, Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. It is unknown who put the tape in place. A pre-dawn shooting near the area left one person dead and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday. The area has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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Crews add The Henry Wyatt Monument to a truck after removing them from the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, June 20, 2020. crews removed one statue dedicated to the women of the Confederacy, and another placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy honoring Henry Wyatt, the first North Carolinian killed in battle in the Civil War. Both statues stood for over a century. It was not immediately clear who ordered the removals. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)

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A sign on a barricade reads “Welcome to CHOP,” Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the intersection of 10th Ave. and Pine St. at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone in Seattle. A pre-dawn shooting near the area left one person dead and critically injured another person, authorities said Saturday. The area has been occupied by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from several blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood near the Police Department’s East Precinct building. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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People film the only statue of a Confederate general, Albert Pike, in the nation’s capital after it was toppled by protesters and set on fire in Washington early Saturday, June 20, 2020. It comes on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States, amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

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