United Kingdom

Mobility spiked to pre-COVID levels after George Floyd's death

The number of people out walking in Minneapolis in the days after George Floyd's death spiked to levels not seen since before COVID-19 lockdowns as widespread turbulent protests were held against racial injustice. 

Cellphone data from Apple's COVID-19 mobility trends report shows that the percentage of people out walking in Minneapolis increased by 50 percent in the last week. 

The data shows the number of people leaving their homes increased to levels not seen mid-March when stay-at-home orders were put in place across most of the country. 

Huge spikes were also recorded in Houston, Texas and in Cleveland, Ohio where the percentage of people out walking in both cities increased to levels not seen this year. 

Cellphone data from Apple 's COVID-19 mobility trends report shows that the percentage of people out walking in Minneapolis increased by 50 percent in the last week

The spike in mobility coincides with the nationwide protests that erupted in the days after George Floyd was killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25. Pictured above is Floyd's memorial 

In Houston, walking was up at least 72 percent and increased at least 65 percent in Cleveland. 

Walking levels were up at least 40 percent in Louisville, Kentucky; 19 percent in Los Angeles, California; 18 percent in Baltimore, Maryland; and 14 percent in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The spike in mobility coincides with the nationwide protests that erupted in the days after Floyd was killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis on May 25. 

The number of people out walking in cities like New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Chicago are still down considerably compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

But those cities - all of which have seen huge protests - did see an increase in the last week. 

Apple's mobility trends report has been a tool throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to track people's behavior. 

In Houston, walking was up at least 72 percent in the last week, according to the Apple mobility data

HOUSTON: Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody, is surrounded by family members as he speaks at a protest rally against his brother's death on Tuesday

Levels of walking increased at least 65 percent in Cleveland over the past week

CLEVELAND: Protesters raise their arms up during a rally in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday

Walking levels were up at least 40 percent in Louisville, Kentucky, according to the Apple mobility data

LOUISVILLE: Protesters kneel at a demonstration in downtown Louisville on Monday

As demonstrators flooded streets across the US to decry Floyd's killing, public health experts watched in alarm over fears it could fuel new transmissions of coronavirus due to the close proximity of protesters and the failure of some to not wear masks.   

The demonstrations remained large but mostly without the same violence of previous nights on the eve of a Thursday memorial service for Floyd.

The calmer protests followed a decision by prosecutors to charge three more police officers and file a tougher charge against the officer at the center of the case.

The most serious new charge on Wednesday was an accusation of second-degree murder against Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck.  

Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao - the three other officers at the scene - were charged for the first time with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

The move punctuated an unprecedented week in modern American history, in which largely peaceful protests took place in communities of all sizes but were rocked by bouts of violence, including deadly attacks on officers, rampant thefts and arson in some places. 

NEW YORK CITY: Hundreds of protesters gather in New York City on Wednesday outside Madison Square Gardens

WASHINGTON DC: A man protesting the death of George Floyd enters into a staring contest with a member of the National Guard near the White House on Wednesday

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