Posted on June 4, 2020

Vigilante Residents Wield Their Rifles as They Block Their Street in Florida to Guard Against Looters

Harry Howard, Daily Mail, June 4, 2020

A group of residents including children held rifles and other weapons as they blocked their road to ‘guard it from looters’.

Footage of the group, who were standing next to their cars to block the street, was posted on website LiveLeak and appears to have been filmed in Belleview, Florida.

The residents were allegedly guarding their street to stop looters after stores in many parts of the country were raided during nationwide unrest caused by the death of black man George Floyd.

The video of the guarding residents was filmed by a family in a passing car.

They are seen driving past them before using a roundabout to drive back the other way.

The group, who number at least 12, are standing next to their cars and some are holding rifles.

One man is wearing a military-style helmet, combat boots and pants and is holding a rifle.

As the family pass the residents, an older woman in the car says, ‘he has a gun in the black shirt’ as she refers to the man in the helmet.

A girl in the car then adds: ‘This is in Belleview.’

As she turns the car back around, the older woman then says: ‘Look at all these white people. Look at them with their guns.’

Although it isn’t clear from the video, she claims a teenage boy is also standing with a gun.

‘Look at that little boy, he’s a young man with a gun. He’s like 16,’ she says.

The video was posted on LiveLeak on Tuesday as protesters gathered for a ninth straight day following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

He was killed after white police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck on Memorial Day.

Floyd, who was in handcuffs at the time, died after Chauvin ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe.

His death, captured on citizen video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that quickly spread to cities across America.

Tuesday’s gatherings were quieter than previous nights which had seen looting in areas including Soho in Manhattan.

Stores including Adidas and Verizon were ransacked in New York.

Some demonstrators had also set fires, burning stores down in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

There were also violent clashes with police, who were criticised for being heavy-handed after using tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets to break up crowds.