George Floyd: Night two of protesters and police clashes in Minnesota over death in police custody.
Looting and mayhem continued for a second night as protesters hurled rocks and graffitied their rage on buildings. The protesters were reacting to leaked video footage of a policeman kneeling on an unarmed black man’s neck whilst he struggled to breathe.
The Mayor has tried to quell the rage sweeping the Minneapolis streets after the man, George Floyd, 46, died under police supervision. The mayor said merely being black “should not be a death sentence.”
Four policemen have been fired and the mayor urged for the officer who knelt on the deceased’s neck to be criminally charged for his actions. Hours later, Minneapolis erupted into looting and acts of vandalism with buildings near to the scene of the crime being set ablaze.
The civil unrested started the day before, when hundreds of local residents massed at the site of the crime. The organisers attempted to maintain a peaceful protest while still adhering to the social distancing policies of COVID-19.
The disgruntled protesters then gathered outside Precinct 3, the police station where George Floyd’s attackers held their post. As the evening progressed the mood turned darker as the crowd of angry protesters swelled into thousands.
A supermarket in the vicinity was looted and businesses set ablaze in an entirely different and more violent protest than Tuesday’s gathering. The mayor of Minneapolis called for the National Guard in an attempt to help diffuse the volatile situation.
The unrest in Minneapolis has caused other states to protest in solidarity, including Los Angeles, California, and Tennessee. An emotional Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, called for justice.
Donald Trump stated that George Floyd’s death was “sad and tragic” and assured justice for the deceased would follow. Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, and LeBron James lent their names to those who were shocked and outraged by the apparent brutality of the police.
The incident occurred when police officers approached Floyd’s car, in response to a report involving counterfeit money. After the deceased physically resisted arrest by officers, the footage shows an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he gasps, “please I can’t breathe” and begs the officers not to kill him.
Both the FBI and the US Attorney’s office in Minnesota claimed that “criminal investigation into George Floyd’s death was a “top priority”.