As widespread protests against the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer continue to spread across the United States for the fifth consecutive day, at least 25 cities across 16 US states have imposed curfews. Police have arrested nearly 1,400 people in 17 cities, AP reported on Sunday. More than 500 of these arrests were recorded in Los Angeles, where a state of emergency has been declared. Two days after the arrest of Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen in a video pinning down 46-year-old African-American George Floyd with his knee and suffocating him while he was in police custody, violence and destruction continued across the United States.
- A lawyer for the family of George Floyd, whose death sparked unrest across the US, has accused a police officer of “premeditated murder”.
- A 19-year-old man was allegedly shot dead In Detroit, by an unknown suspect who opened fire on a group of demonstrators.
- Several US cities have imposed curfews.
- Three other officers present at the time have also since been sacked.
Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder, but lawyer Benjamin Crump told CBS news it was a case of first-degree murder. He said “We think that he had intent… almost nine minutes he kept his knee in a man’s neck that was begging and pleading for breath,”. The case of Floyd has reignited US anger over police killings of black Americans. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement. has reignited US anger over police killings of black Americans. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The fact that officer Chauvin kept his knee on his neck for almost three minutes after he was unconscious. We don’t understand how that was not first degree murder. We don’t understand how all these officers haven’t been arrested,” lawyer Crump said.
George Floyd’s death:
Floyd, a Minnesota resident, was arrested on Monday after he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 note at a local deli. According to the police, Floyd “physically resisted” the arrest after he was told to exit his car, a claim that was belied by mobile phone footage recorded by several passers-by. A white police officer then went on to restrain Floyd, and kneeled on his neck for at least seven minutes despite the 46-year-old gasping for breath and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”. The officer remained in that position even after Floyd became unconscious. His unresponsive body was then taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!Trump posted on twitter
Impact on other Countries:
People in Lebanon and Jerusalem also show support for US protesters demanding justice after George Floyd’s death.
Over the weekend, Lebanese anti-government protesters flooded social media with tweets sympathetic to US protesters, using the hashtag #Americarevolts. It is a play on the slogan for Lebanon’s protest movement, Lebanon revolts, which erupted on October 17 last year.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the officers “spotted a suspect with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol. Rosenfeld added that no gun was found in the area. Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday issued an apology over the killing.Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said el-Hallak’s family members denied claims that he was carrying a gun, and quoted them as saying “he wasn’t capable of harming anyone”.
Anti-racism protests spread across Europe
Thousands of people protested in London and Berlin on Sunday in solidarity with protesters in the United States demonstrating against the death of a Black man, shown gasping for breath in a video clip, as a white policeman knelt on his neck in Minneapolis. Chanting “no justice, no peace”, and waving placards with the words “How many more?” at Trafalgar Square, the protesters ignored UK government rules banning crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic. Police did not stop them. Demonstrators then marched to the US embassy, where a long line of officers surrounded the building. Several hundred sat in the street and waved placards. Several hundred protesters also staged a rally outside the US embassy in Berlin, holding up posters saying “Justice for George Floyd”, “Stop killing us” and “Who’s next?”.