The United States entered a fifth day of protests yesterday after an unarmed black man died while being arrested by police officers in Minneapolis.
Protests and rioting flared across several states with the White House briefly being in lockdown on Friday night. A teenager was also killed in Detroit on Friday after shots were fired at protesters.
The clashes across the US follow the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died while being arrested by Minneapolis police on Monday. Sacked officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with his murder.
White officer Chauvin was shown in footage kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd, who was handcuffed at the time. A video of the arrest showed Mr Floyd repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”.
Chauvin, 44, and three other officers have since been sacked. He is due to appear in court in Minneapolis tomorrow.
Friday evening saw a fourth night of rioting in Minneapolis. Protesters, defying a curfew, set fire to buildings and started looting. The National Guard moved in at midnight.
The Pentagon has put the military on alert for possible deployment in the city while Minnesota governor Tim Walz admitted he did not have enough manpower to quell the riots.
A state of emergency has also been declared in Portland, Oregon and a nighttime curfew imposed by its mayor. Police in Louisville apologised after shooting pepper bullets at journalists.
In Atlanta, protesters smashed windows at cable news CNN headquarters, set a police car on fire and struck officers with bottles.
The state’s governor declared a state of emergency to activate the state National Guard to help deal with the protests.
The Guard was also on standby in Washington, where a crowd grew outside the White House.
Some protesters tried to push through barriers set up by the Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue, and threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with pepper spray.
The White House was briefly put in lockdown by the Secret Service.
US President Donald Trump said the protesters “had little to do with the memory of George Floyd” and “were just there to cause trouble”.
Trump said protesters breaching the fence would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen”.
The president said on Friday that he had spoken to Mr Floyd’s family and “expressed my sorrow”.
He earlier said the video of Mr Floyd being arrested was “just a horrible thing to witness and to watch, it certainly looked like there was no excuse for it”.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe