Guns present at protests in St. Louis, Seattle, Louisville: report

Guns present at protests in St. Louis, Seattle, Louisville: report
© UPI Photo

Guns have been present at protests in multiple cities across the country in recent days as those demanding justice for George Floyd an unarmed Black man who died in police custody last month and police reform continue to march through the nation's streets.

Edward Davis, former commissioner of the Boston Police Department, told The Wall Street Journal that guns at protests can make the environment “ripe for an explosion of violence."

A 27-year-old photographer was killed in Louisville on Saturday after a man allegedly opened fire near the edge of a protest in a park. Demonstrators fired back, wounding the alleged shooter, according to police reports.

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A shooting in Seattle's Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) area left one 16-year-old boy dead and another 14-year-old boy in critical condition early Monday morning. It was the second straight week that there was a deadly shooting in the CHOP, an autonomous zone created by protesters void of police presence.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) has said that the Seattle Police Department was working on returning to its abandoned East Precinct in response to the violence.

In St. Louis, protesters on Sunday night were met by a white couple brandishing guns as they made their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson's (D) house. Krewson on Friday had revealed the names and addresses of activists who wrote her demanding sweeping policy reform, prompting widespread calls for her resignation.

The couple told St. Louis police that the protesters had trespassed into their gated community and several of them were armed. The incident has been viewed tens of millions of times on social media.

Davis told the Journal that even when protesters legally bring guns, it makes it harder to discern “good guys from the bad guys."

"Nobody knows who’s a right-wing extremist, who’s a left-wing extremist, who might have pulled the trigger,” Davis said.