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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Death toll grows in national protests over George Floyd's death, injustice

Many of the people killed amid protests were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black families to lose more members of their community amid the unrest.

One man was the beloved owner of a Louisville barbecue restaurant who made sure to provide free meals to officers. Another was a man known as “Mr. Indianapolis," a former star football player. Yet another was a federal officer working security during a protest.

They are among the people who have been killed as protests roiled American cities in the week since 46-year-old George Floyd died when a white officer jammed his knee into the back of the black man's neck.

The deaths have at times been overshadowed by the shocking images of chaos engulfing cities across America, from heavy-handed riot police tactics to violence, vandalism and arson. Tens of thousands have marched peacefully in demonstrations against police brutality and racism.

RELATED: Unrest overshadows peaceful US protests for another night

Many of the people killed were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black families to lose more members of their community amid the unrest.

Dozens more have been hurt in various altercations — vehicles plowing into crowds, police officers suffering head injuries and broken bones and protesters ending up in emergency rooms with a variety of injuries from the melees.

The death toll and circumstances surrounding the killings are still being sorted out in many cities, but here is what we know about the cases so far:

LOUISVILLE

As local police and the National Guard sought to disperse a crowd early Monday, they heard gunshots and returned fire, killing the owner of a barbecue restaurant, David McAtee. The mayor has since terminated the city’s police chief after finding out that officers on the scene did not activate their body cameras. The state police and the U.S. attorney also are investigating.

The 53-year-old McAtee was an African American man known for offering free meals to officers who stopped by.

RELATED: Kentucky's attorney general addresses shooting of west Louisville business owner

“We lost a wonderful citizen named David McAtee,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “David was a friend to many, a well-known Barbecue man.”

The protests in Louisville have centered not just on Floyd’s killing but also the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman killed in her home in Louisville in March. The 26-year-old EMT was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door as they attempted to enforce a search warrant. No drugs were found in the home.

OAKLAND

A federal law enforcement officer was providing security at the federal courthouse in Oakland during a protest when someone fired shots from a vehicle.

Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, died and another officer was critically injured in the shooting.

It was not immediately clear if the drive-by shooting was related to the protests, though the federal building’s glass doors were smashed and the front entrance was sprayed with anti-police graffiti.

Underwood, who was black, and the other officer were contracted security officers and employed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service; they were monitoring a nearby protest.

No one has been arrested and a motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.

Underwood was the brother of Angela Underwood Jacobs, recently a Republican candidate to fill a vacant U.S. congressional district north of Los Angeles.

INDIANAPOLIS

Two people were killed over the weekend amid unrest in Indianapolis, including 38-year-old Chris Beaty, a former offensive lineman for Indiana University.

Beaty was known as “Mr. Indianapolis" and remained involved with the Hoosiers long after his graduation. He also was a prominent businessman in the city and ran multiple nightclubs.

“I am at a loss for words. The news of the passing of Chris Beaty is just devastating,” coach Tom Allen said in a statement. “Since I returned home to coach at Indiana, Chris embraced me, encouraged me and supported me! His passion for life and Indiana Football energized me every time we were together."

The circumstances of his shooting weren't immediately clear but some media reports said it happened near an apartment where he lived. It also occurred the same night that an 18-year-old man also was fatally shot as protests broke out in the city.

MINNEAPOLIS

In what is believed to be the first killing since the protests broke out, a 43-year-old black man was fatally shot outside a pawn shop as rioting broke out last week in Minneapolis and then spread nationally.

The owner of the pawn shop, who is white, was arrested in the death of Calvin L. Horton Jr. Police say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the killing, including whether it was related to protests in the neighborhood.

The shop was described as having been significantly damaged during the unrest.

RELATED: Police open death investigation after man killed near Lake Street

OMAHA, NEBRASKA

A 22-year-old black man was killed after authorities said he tussled with the owner of two bars in downtown Omaha. Surveillance video of the strip of bars shows a group of people, including James Scurlock, approach bar owner Jake Gardner.

Two people are seen on the video tackling Gardner, who ended up on his back and fired shots in the air. Seconds later, Scurlock is seen tackling Gardner, who then fires the gun over his shoulder, striking Scurlock.

Authorities have declined to press charges, calling the shooting self-defense.

DETROIT

A 21-year-old man was killed in downtown Detroit after someone fired shots into a vehicle during a protest. According to a police report, the man was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in a parking lot with two others when someone fired shots into the vehicle and then fled on foot.

CHICAGO SUBURB

Two people were killed during unrest Monday in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, according to a town official. Spokesman Ray Hanania did not provide details about those who were killed but said it happened amid protests there.

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