Following the killing of Black man George Floyd after he was pinned down under the knee of a White policeman, thousands of protesters staged demonstrations across the United States. Floyd was arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a grocery store. Protesters blocked traffic, set ablaze cars, business establishments, hypermarkets and lashed out violently at police.
The accused Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter Friday, and authorities imposed an overnight curfew to stem three nights of often-violent protests that left dozens of stores burned and looted.
Protesters chanting “No justice, no peace” attacked police in Louisville, where the police opened fire at a group of protesters killing at least seven persons. Black groups gathered under the banner of Black Lives Matter staged demonstrations in Detroit, Houston and other cities. The incident once again brought to the fore concerns over the law enforcement’s bias against the African American minority, with Floyd’s death being cited as the most recent incident of racially-driven police brutality. The protesters were pressing for legislation outlawing the police “chokehold”. In the 2014, Black man Eric Garner was killed in similar fashion.
According to reports, Chauvin was also accused of ignoring another officer at the scene who had expressed concerns about Floyd as he lay handcuffed on the ground, pleading that he could not breathe.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared a curfew from 8 pm on Friday to 6 am on Saturday. However, protesters defied the curfew in Minneapolis by rallying in the city’s downtown for the fourth day.
A restaurant named Gandhi Mahal in Minneapolis was damaged after it caught fire. The hotel owner was heard saying, “Let my building burn, Justice needs to be served, put those officers in jail,” over phone. “Don’t worry about us, we will rebuild and recover. Gandhi Mahal may have felt the flames last night but our fiery drive to help protect and stand with our community will never die. Peace be with everyone,” read a Facebook post by the restaurant.