The United States has been gripped by protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died last week in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and police brutality nationwide.
Meanwhile President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the US military unless state governors halt violent protests. Lawyers representing Floyd’s family said independent medical examiners who conducted an autopsy of Floyd determined that asphyxiation from sustained pressure was the cause of death.
Protesters are demanding all four officers involved be charged in Floyd’s death. So far, only one – white officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Two officers were fired over the weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.
Those protesting against police brutality have been met with, at times, excessive force by authorities. Videos have shown police targeting angry but peaceful protesters with tear gas and mace. Journalists have also been targeted by police.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser has said that police fired on peaceful protesters to clear the way for a Trump photo-op.
Former US President Barack Obama on Monday condemned the use of violence at the nationwide protests while praising the actions of peaceful protesters seeking change.
Protesters have remained undeterred by curfews and the presence of the US National Guard in some cities. Some largely peaceful protests turned violent, with looting and vandalism as the night raged on.