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In the hours after President Donald Trump threatened to use the U.S. military against Americans, more than half a dozen police officers were shot during protests that continued across the country for the seventh straight night.
The most serious incident happened on the Las Vegas Strip, where a police officer was shot in the head. The officer is currently on life support at University Medical Center Hospital, according to local media reports.
A police source told 8News Now Las Vegas that the officer was in a fight with another suspect outside the Circus Circus hotel and casino when someone walked up from behind and shot the officer in the head.
In a separate incident on Monday night, officers returned fire after a suspect fired at them outside the Federal Courthouse, which is also on the Vegas strip. The officers were not injured but the suspect was hit, and their status is unknown.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak acknowledged that his office had been notified of the incidents.
Las Vegas is one of the dozens of U.S. cities that has seen a violent police response to protesters demonstrating against police brutality in recent days.
In St. Louis, four police officers were shot during Monday night’s protests.
Two of the officers were shot in the leg, one was shot in the foot and one was shot in the arm, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said in an early morning press conference. All were taken to hospital but none have life-threatening injuries.
The injured officers were dealing with protesters when “some coward randomly shot at the police line” Hayden said, adding that the officers felt a sudden pain, but they didn’t hear shots, the chief said.
READ: I told riot cops I’m a journalist. They forced me to the ground and pepper-sprayed me in the face.
“Can we make some sense out of this? Can we make some sense out of this? That’s all I am trying to say. Mr. Floyd’s death is tragic,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the early hours of Tuesday, two officers and one suspect were shot during a gun fight in Richmond, Virginia.
Just before 1.30 a.m. Richmond Police Department responded to a report of an armed person on Semmes Avenue in the city’s south side.
The officers were fired upon when they arrived, a spokesperson for the RPD said. In the ensuing crossfire, two officers and one suspect were shot. All were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
READ: Trump just threatened to use the U.S. military against Americans
One of the officers is in a “serious condition” local media reported on Tuesday, while the other officer and suspect suffered non-life threatening injuries.
It is unclear if the shootings were linked to protests in the city.
In New York City, a police sergeant was responding to a break-in at a pawn shop just before 1 a.m. on Tuesday when he was struck by a black sedan in a hit-and-run, according to NYPD Detective Adam Navarro.
The sergeant’s condition was described as “serious but stable” by NYPD Lt. Thomas Antonetti, who was speaking to CNN.
The driver fled the scene and no arrests have been made, police said.
Protests against police brutality continued across the country on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, with peaceful protests taking place alongside more violent clashes between protesters and police, as well as widespread looting.
READ: Cops didn’t have their body cameras on when they shot and killed a black man during Louisville’s protests
Police have been criticized for their heavy-handed response to protesters in recent days, including their forceful removal of protesters in Washington DC on Monday night before Trump walked out of the White House to a staged photo opportunity outside St. John’s church.
The protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, even as Floyd protested that he couldn’t breathe.
An independent post-mortem released Monday declared Floyd’s death a homicide.
Cover: Police stand guard as protesters rally at the Trump Tower, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Las Vegas, over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a black man, died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on Memorial Day. (AP Photo/John Locher)