Friday 29 May 2020

Trump threatens to 'assume control' of Minneapolis in extraordinary tweet about rioter 'THUGS' as National Guard rolls into the city and George Floyd protests erupt across the US

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Riots have erupted in cities across America following the death of unarmed and handcuffed George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer. Chaos fell on Minneapolis, Minnesota this week after footage emerged of Mr Floyd gasping for air as Derek Chauvin pinned him to the floor and knelt on his neck. President Donald Trump has threatened to send the national guard ‘and get the job done right’ as unrest shows no signs of easing. Both peaceful protests and rioting have broken out in a number of US cities including Los Angeles, New York, Denver and Louisville. 

Officers were forced to run from the Minneapolis Third Police Precinct last night after a crowd broke into the building and set it ablaze. Demonstrators are also demanding justice for other African Americans who have been killed by police, including Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead by officers in March at her home in Louisville, Kentucky.

A man prepares to throw a mannequin onto a burning car at the parking lot of a Target store during protests after a white police officer was caught on a bystander's video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

This undated handout photo provided by Christopher Harris shows George Floyd. The mayor of Minneapolis called Wednesday, May 27, 2020, for criminal charges to be filed against officer Derek Chauvin, who is seen on video kneeling against the neck of handcuffed Floyd, who complained that he could not breathe and died in police custody. (Christopher Harris via AP)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: A protester is detained by police during a rally against the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 28, 2020 in Union Square in New York City. Floyd's death was captured in video that went viral of the incident. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called in the National Guard today as looting broke out in St. Paul. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

As around 500 to 600 demonstrators marched through the city’s downtown streets, at least seven civilians were shot dead over the course of the night. Officers said they received reports of gunfire at around 11.30pm. 

Louisville Metro Police confirmed in a statement today that at least one of those victims is in a critical condition. 

The force said there were ‘some arrests’ but police didn’t provide a number. Live video shows protesters behind makeshift wooden barricades which appeared to be made out of picnic tables spray-painted with the words ‘You can’t kill us all’. 

Police in body armour and face shields held batons and lined up around Louisville City Hall, firing rubber bullets and tear gas canisters into the masses, which protesters chanted ‘No justice, no peace’ and ‘Whose streets? Our streets’. 

The city’s mayor Greg Greg Fischer tweeted ‘Understandably, emotions are high’ and shared a Facebook post asking for peace. He added: ‘As Breonna’s mother says let’s be peaceful as we work toward truth and justice.’ Emergency medical technician Ms Taylor, 26, was shot eight times on March 13 after Louisville narcotics detectives knocked down the front door. No drugs were found in the home.

Attention on Ms Taylor’s death has intensified after her family sued the police department earlier this month. The case has attracted national headlines alongside the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighbourhood in February. At around 12.20am Fischer tweeted a video that he said was a message from Ms Taylor’s family. A woman can be heard saying: ‘Louisville, thank you so much for saying Breonna’s name tonight. 

We are not going to stop until we get justice. But we should stop tonight before people get hurt. Please go home, be safe and be ready to keep fighting.’ Thursday’s demonstration came as protesters across the country – from Los Angeles to Memphis, Tennessee, to New York to Minneapolis itself – continue to demonstrated against the death of Mr Floyd in police custody. 
The four police officers involved were responding to a report of a forgery in progress and found a man fitting the suspect’s description. The man was reportedly suspected of trying to pass counterfeit bills at a corner eatery. Police acknowledged he ‘appeared to be in medical distress’ as Mr Floyd, 46, was dragged from his car and handcuffed.

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