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George Floyd protests: what we know so far

Minneapolis has been rocked by three days of protests over the death of George Floyd

The US has been rocked by a third night of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. Here is what we know so far:

  • Protests against police brutality have continued in cities across the US, including Minneapolis, Denver, New York and Oakland following the killing of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody after a white officer handcuffed him and kneeled on his neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

  • In Minneapolis, police abandoned the 3rd precinct police station, which has been a major protest site. Crowds breached the station and set the entrance on fire. Elsewhere, businesses were looted and blazes set as the evening wore on. There were unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the 3rd precinct building had been cut. In St Paul the police department reported 170 businesses had been damaged.

  • The governor of Minnesota activated the National Guard to respond to the protests and declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis, St Paul and surrounding areas. Governor Walz wrote in the proclamation that he supported peaceful protests but “unfortunately, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including arson, rioting, looting, and damaging public and private property”.

  • Donald Trump has threatened to call in the national guard, labelling the protesters “thugs”.

  • In Denver, shots were heard outside the state capitol. Protestors were ushered inside by state patrol and no one appears to have been hurt.

  • In New York, officers arrested at least 40 at the protests. Charges included civil disobedience. Officers pinned down several demonstrators and used tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd.

  • Martin Luther King III, a human rights leader and son of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted his father, who said, “riot is the language of the unheard”. King is one of many human rights advocates who have condemned the police’s treatment of Floyd. UN Human Rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet said she was “dismayed” to add Floyd’s name to a long list of Black Americans who have been killed by the police.

  • The US attorney’s office and the FBI in Minneapolis said on Thursday they were conducting “a robust criminal investigation” into the death and making the case a priority. The FBI is also investigating, focusing on whether Floyd’s civil rights were violated.

  • The officer who kneeled on Floyd and three others were fired on Tuesday. The next day, the mayor called for him to be criminally charged.

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