George Floyd protests in chaos-hit Minneapolis: What you need to know

George Floyd protests in chaos-hit Minneapolis: What you need to know

PanARMENIAN.Net - The United States has been convulsed by protests over the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a 46-year old black man, who died in police custody on Monday, May 25, after an officer handcuffed him and kneeled on his neck for several minutes.

In video footage that has since been spreading across all social media platforms, Floyd is seen pleading that he could not breathe. According to Minneapolis police, the encounter between Floyd and officers happened after police were called to the scene on a report of a man attempting to use forged documents at a supermarket. Officers allegedly found Floyd in a car at the scene and ordered him to get out of the car.

The nine-minute video shows a white officer getting Floyd into handcuffs and pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck behind a squad car. After about five minutes, Floyd stops moving and appears unconscious. People in the gathering crowd plead for the officers to check Floyd’s pulse. The officer on Floyd’s neck does not lift his knee until medical personnel arrive and carry him to an ambulance. According to the police, he was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.

Photo: Julio Cortez/AP

From New York City to Denver and other cities across the U.S., protesters have been demanding justice for Floyd for a third night now.

In Minneapolis, the continuously growing crowds breached the police headquarters of the officers involved in his death and set the entrance on fire, after which more than 500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers arrived in the city and surrounding areas.

Demonstrators also tossed fireworks toward the precinct, which is closest to where the man was captured on video with the officer kneeling on his neck before he died.

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Protesters chanted Floyd's name and "I can't breathe" as they marched past burning buildings. The Minnesota National Guard mobilized to several locations including banks, grocery stores and pharmacies, although they their primary task is "to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate".

Minnesota governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis, St Paul and surrounding areas. U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has labeled the protesters “thugs”, though his post has since been hidden by Twitter.

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police and fire engines have now arrived at the epicenter of the protests in Minneapolis, where a number of buildings have been burning. The officers, some in riot gear, immediately launched into action, using pepper spray and batons to disperse crowds near the police station. Police were seen shoving at least one person, while protesters responded by throwing projectiles at the officers as others fled the site.

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