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Protests over George Floyd's Killing Spread Across America

Author: 
Amnesty International US

Anger in the United States over the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd has spread across America with the protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota spreading to more than 20 other cities.

Anger in the United States over the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd has spread across America with the protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota spreading to more than 20 other cities.

More than 1,700 National Guard soldiers were mobilised in Minnesota state to assist the police on the streets as the protests and looting escalated last night with shots being fired at the law enforcement officers.

For many the latest killing of an innocent black man was a tipping point after many years of anger about violence and racism from the police to African Americans in the United States.  

The state attorney on Friday afternoon announced that the former police officer who was seen on the video with his knee on George Floyd's neck, Derek Chauvin,  has been taken into custody and charged with murder in the third degree. He announced that investigations were continuing into the other three officers who were present at the scene and he expected that further charges would be laid.

As well as the State investigations into charges of murder, the Federal government has also started investigations into possible breaches of civil rights laws. This is being carried out by the FBI and the State Department.

In a second video shot from across the street it can be seen that two additional officers were also holding George Floyd down, while the fourth officer stood by and searched his car.  

Floyd can be heard many times calling for help and explaining that he can't breath.  He can also be heard calling for his mother, who has passed away. A witness to the assault can also be heard telling the officers that Floyd is in distress and cannot breath but the police officers in the video take no action.

Following the release of the video the four officers have all been dismissed by the Minneapolis Police Department.  Derek Chauvin's wife has also filed for their marriage to be dissolved. 

As the protests spread to Atlanta the mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made an impassioned call to residents of her city to stay home. "I am a mother to four black children in America, one of whom is 18 years old and when I saw the murder of George Floyd I hurt like a mother would hurt. Yesterday when I heard there were rumours of violent protests in Atlanta I called my son and I said 'where are you'. I said I cannot protect you and black boys should not be out today!" "If you want change in America go and register to vote! Show up at the polls on June 9th. Do it in November? You are disgracing our city you are disgracing the life of George Floyd!

Activist Tamika Mallory expressed a different view, calling on the authorities to arrest all police officers involved in violence and racism against African Americans and associating the violence with the violence of early white settlers in America and their treatment of native Americans.

Amnesty International in the US has started a petition calling on the Minnesota Governor to ensure justice for George Floyd. Amnesty International's US website

 

 

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