Protests have turned violent in the US cities of Minneapolis and Los Angeles over brutal killing of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Demonstrations erupted in Minneapolis against the police violent treatment of George Floyd on Monday.
A video was widely shared on social media, showing a police officer holding George Floyd face-down by his knee as he was repeatedly saying he cannot breathe.
People poured onto the streets in Minneapolis for a second consecutive day against his death.
The peaceful protests turned violent after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators, who were sitting on the ground.
They were holding placards that read, “We demand justice,” “No justice, no peace; abolish the police.”
As the violence escalated, with more businesses looted, a man was shot near the protests and later died, police said.
Protests were also held in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, which led to the arrest of demonstrators.
The protests turned violent at some points as some demonstrators smashed the windows of two police highway patrol cruisers, clambering on the hood of one of the vehicles.
— RT (@RT_com) May 28, 2020
In a statement, Los Angeles Police Department reacted to the protests saying, “We hear your anger & your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period. All we ask is that protests are held in a safe & legal manner.”
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey said he could not understand why the officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck on a Minneapolis street until a restaurant worker went limp has not been arrested.
“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail? If you had done it, or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now,” Frey said.
Floyd’s brutal killing is reminiscent of the killing of African-American Eric Garner, who died after being held in a chokehold by a police officer in New York back in 2014.
Garner’s killing and the death of African American man suspected of robbery and in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 also led to violent protests.
“How many more of these senseless excessive-force killings from the people who are supposed to protect us can we take in America?” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who was retained by Floyd’s family
“There is no reason to apply this excessive fatal force,” Crump said.
Police-involved shootings and killings of unarmed black men in the hands of white police officers have led to mass protests across the country in recent years and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.