- Two people were killed and two others shot at during protests in downtown Indianapolis.
- Video footage posted on social media showed two police cruisers driving through a crowd of protesters in New York City.
- A number of US embassies in Africa have also condemned the murder and called for justice.
Despite nighttime curfews being enacted in at least 25 cities in the US, the protests against the death of the African American, George Floyd, continued on Saturday night for the fifth day running. Tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets across the country, and clashes between them and the police became a common scene.
According to Indianapolis chief police Randal Taylor, two people were killed and two others shot at during protests in downtown Indianapolis. This brings the death toll from the protests nationwide to four. On Friday night, a man was killed in Detroit while another man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night.
Protesters again gathered outside the White House, where they set fires and ignited fireworks. In Philadelphia, police cars and Starbucks were set on fire by protesters. Protesters became more rowdy in downtown Las Vegas as the night unfolded.
Video footage posted on social media showed two police cruisers driving through a crowd of protesters in New York City. Several people were knocked to the ground and at least two police vehicles were set ablaze in the city.
The protests, which began on Monday, the day Floyd was killed, have since spread across US cities, and has been characterized by a lot of violence. The protesters, who chanted “no justice, no peace,” carried placards that said “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.” More than 1,000 people have so far been arrested across the cities since the protests began
On the fourth day of the protests, in Minneapolis, the centre of the demonstrations, a group of protesters knelt in front the National Guard members and state patrol officers for nine minutes. The action was symbolic to the nine minutes that Floyd was pinned down by a white police officer who had a knee on his neck.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday, and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. All the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired on Tuesday. On Thursday night, the protesters burned down the third precinct police station in Minneapolis, an incident that prompted the evacuation if the station.
The death of Floyd has sparked outrage from all quarters. The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat , condemned the murder, saying that his organization rejects the discrimination against blacks in US. A number of US embassies in Africa have also condemned the murder and called for justice.
Bridgett Floyd, George Floyd’s sister, said all four officers should face murder charges. “They murdered my brother. He was crying for help,” Bridgett said. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, on his part ,called the incident “a tragic reminder that this was not an isolated incident, but a part of an ingrained systematic cycle of injustice that still exists in this country.”
In a horrifying video, Chauvin, pinned Floyd down with his knee as he lay on the ground during an arrest. The video footage was taken by a witness and was sent on social media. It showed Floyd helpless, asking the police not to kill him. Floyd said several times, “I can’t breathe!”
The officer is then heard telling him to relax he continues to pin him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts,” Floyd cries out. “[I need] water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. . . I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” In the footage witnesses are heard pleading with the police to let go the man but their pleas fell on deaf ears.