Trump says national guard ‘cut through’ protests ‘like butter’

Peaceful protesters marched through the streets of Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, continuing to demonstrate against police brutality toward people of color.

They did so in the face of a threat from the White House to send the military to quell unrest after some demonstrations devolved into looting.

And similar scenes nationwide: In Oakland, protesters drummed and burned the Republican president in effigy. Marchers in Boston chanted "no justice, no peace." Their message echoed in the streets of Detroit, Portland, Oregon, Fort Worth and Memphis.

Even the sandy beaches of Encinitas saw surfers riding the waves for the cause.

"This is what it's about, Black Lives Matter. No justice, no peace. And they're demonstrating peacefully. Very peacefully."

On Wednesday, prosecutors elevated the charges Derek Chauvin, the now-fired police officer whose involvement with George Floyd's death galvanized the protests.

He is now charged with second-degree murder. Three other former officers are also accused of abetting the murder.

Meanwhile, criticisms that President Donald Trump is exacerbating tensions are mounting.

"Right now I think the nation needs law and order."

In an interview with the conservative television channel Newsmax, conducted by Trump's one-time press secretary on Wednesday, the president said his support for using the National Guard in Minneapolis worked to tamp down looting in that city, and that it could be done elsewhere.

"Once they came in it was like a knife cutting butter. It was so easy. But we have other cities, they like to hold out. New York, is a disaster what's going on in New York. [FLASH] If they don't get it straightened out soon, I'll take care of it."

As night fell in New York, a day of peaceful protests turned ugly. Protesters in Brooklyn defying a curfew said they were rushed by cops.

Activists similarly defied curfews in Detroit, Washington and Oakland Wednesday night.