Tense protests over the death of George Floyd and other police killings of black people grew from New York to Tulsa to Los Angeles, with police cars set ablaze and reports of injuries mounting on all sides as the country convulsed through another night of unrest after months of coronavirus lockdowns.

The protests, which began in Minneapolis following Floyd's death this week after a police officer pressed a knee on his neck until he stopped breathing, have left parts of the city a grid of broken windows, burned-out buildings and ransacked stores. The unrest has since become a national phenomenon as protesters decry years of deaths at police hands.

Police stands guard as Austin Fire Department put out a car fire under Interstate 35 freeway in Austin, Texas. Photo / AP
Police stands guard as Austin Fire Department put out a car fire under Interstate 35 freeway in Austin, Texas. Photo / AP

Tens of thousands of people were in the streets across the country, many of them not wearing masks or observing social distancing, raising concerns among health experts about the potential for spreading the coronavirus pandemic at a time when much of the country is in the process of reopening society and the economy.

Footage shows hundreds of people taking to the streets and police cars burning in Los Angeles as protests continue to escalate.

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A Los Angeles Police Department kiosk is seen ablaze in The Grove shopping center during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
A Los Angeles Police Department kiosk is seen ablaze in The Grove shopping center during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
Demonstrators stand on US Secret Service vehicles, one with a broken windshield, near the White House. Photo / AP
Demonstrators stand on US Secret Service vehicles, one with a broken windshield, near the White House. Photo / AP
Police officers try to push back demonstrators in Los Angeles during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
Police officers try to push back demonstrators in Los Angeles during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP

Video shared to Twitter shows a police car being set on fire in the middle of a road in LA and there are reports of huge crowds facing off against police in the heart of the city.

CNN reports that there has been widespread looting in the city — with people smashing shop windows and running out with everything from designer clothes to electronics.

A curfew has been put in place and Mayor Eric Garcetti has asked for the National Guard to step in.

Demonstrators block the path of a Los Angeles Fire Department truck during a public disturbance. Photo / AP
Demonstrators block the path of a Los Angeles Fire Department truck during a public disturbance. Photo / AP
Police move towards a protester after curfew in Minneapolis. Photo / AP
Police move towards a protester after curfew in Minneapolis. Photo / AP

Video from Brooklyn, New York, shows protesters challenging two police cars, which then drive through the group of people, sending dozens running and screaming.

Another shows police officers being dragged by protesters along a street in Chicago.

Few corners of America were untouched, from protesters setting fires inside Reno's city hall, to police launching tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, North Dakota, to shattered windows at police headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

A protester poses for photos next to a burning police vehicle in Los Angeles during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
A protester poses for photos next to a burning police vehicle in Los Angeles during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP

— In Indianapolis, police were investigating "multiple shootings" downtown, including one that left a person dead, amid the protests. Police gave few details but said no officers were involved.

In Washington, the National Guard was deployed outside the White House, where chanting crowds taunted law enforcement officers. Dressed in camouflage and holding shields, the troops stood in a tight line a few yards from the crowd, preventing them from pushing forward. President Donald Trump, who spent much of Saturday in Florida for the SpaceX rocket launch, landed on the lawn in the presidential helicopter at dusk and went inside without speaking to journalists.

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In Philadelphia, at least 13 officers were injured when peaceful protests turned violent and at least four police vehicles were set on fire. Other fires were set throughout downtown.

In Salt Lake City, protesters defied a curfew and National Guard troops were deployed by Utah's governor. Demonstrators flipped a police car and lit it on fire, and another vehicle was later set ablaze. Police said six people were arrested and a police officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat.

In Los Angeles, protesters chanted "Black Lives Matter," some within inches of the face shields of officers. Police used batons to move the crowd back and fired rubber bullets. A graffiti-covered police car burned in the street.

And in New York City, dangerous confrontations flared repeatedly as officers made arrests and cleared streets. A video showed two NYPD cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators who were pushing a barricade against one of them and pelting it with objects. Several people were knocked to the ground, and it was unclear if anyone was hurt.

"The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They're repeated violent terrorist offenses and people need to stop killing black people," Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski said.

Not all protests devolved into violence. In Juneau, Alaska, law enforcement officers joined elected officials and residents at a peaceful protest in front of a giant whale sculpture on the city's waterfront.

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"We don't tolerate excessive use of force," Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer told the gathering.

A person jumps on a burning police vehicle in Los Angeles during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
A person jumps on a burning police vehicle in Los Angeles during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
Shocking scenes continue to emerge as the protests escalate in the US. Photo / Twitter
Shocking scenes continue to emerge as the protests escalate in the US. Photo / Twitter

A crowd converged on Chicago's Loop for Saturday's protest march, during which at least one flag was burned, and some protesters climbed onto a bus and a light pole and surrounded police officers.

Following the overnight clashes with protesters, Chicago officials are urging demonstrators to remain peaceful. Demonstrations are expected throughout the weekend.

Chicago police Superintendent David Brown says peaceful protests that began on Friday afternoon turned more confrontational as the night wore on, resulting in 108 arrests.

Protesters blocked traffic along major streets, threw bottles and other objects at police vehicles and shattered the windows of downtown businesses.

A police car burns as another one is seen destroyed during a protest in Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP
A police car burns as another one is seen destroyed during a protest in Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd. Photo / AP

The governor of Ohio is calling out the Ohio National Guard and also asking the highway patrol to help enforce laws in Columbus as the mayors of the state capital and Cleveland both announce 10pm curfews following damage to businesses amid protests.

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Governor Mike DeWine said on Saturday the vast majority of protesters wanted "simply to be heard" and focus attention on Floyd's death.

But the governor added that sadly the calls for justice and change were "being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals". He said "acts of violence cannot, and will not, be tolerated".

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said he believed racism "is a public health and safety crisis" and he wanted to see a more equitable city, but "we are now at a point that we can no longer tell who is protesting for change and an end to racism and who has only chaos and destruction in mind".

Ginther said more than 100 public and private properties in Columbus had been damaged and at least 10 robbed of goods. He said five police officers were injured by thrown bricks or rocks and police vehicles had been set afire.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent more than 1500 state troopers to various Texas cities to help control protests.

Abbott said in a news release on Saturday that troopers were being sent to Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.

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Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said on Twitter nearly 200 people were arrested on Friday and most would be charged with obstructing a roadway, as several protesters blocked an interstate and a highway.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Austin on Saturday outside police headquarters and then marched along Interstate 35.

A television news reporter in Columbia, South Carolina, was injured by rocks thrown during protests outside the city's police headquarters over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

WIS-TV anchor Judi Gatson tweets that reporter Miranda Parnell was being taken to the hospital to be "checked out" after Saturday's incident.

The tweet says Parnell reported that "a person wearing a MAGA hat showed up at the rally, protesters confronted that person & then rocks were thrown."

Several hundred people participated in the demonstration, tearing down the US flag and the South Caroline state flag in front of the police.

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The State newspaper reports that some protesters swarmed a police car, breaking its windows.

Police in Las Vegas say 80 protesters were arrested and 12 police officers injured during violence on Friday.

According to police, the protest on the Las Vegas Strip began with up to 300 people gathering peacefully. But police say rocks were thrown at police and property was damaged several hours later when officers tried to disperse the crowd as tensions mounted. Police said the arrests were made when protesters refused to disperse.

Police initially said at least 31 people were arrested.