A week after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who was suffocated by a white police officer who was restraining him in Minneapolis, the protests spread from coast to coast and the mostly peaceful protests led to Sunday night. in riots.
In the capital Washington there were disorders in the vicinity of the White House with destruction, fires lit by protesters, burning American flags and walls painted with anti-police slogans.
The White House was in the dark and the President had to be housed in the bunker.
“What happened in the city last night is an absolute disgrace,” Trump said. in a speech delivered at the White House at the same time that the police dispersed a protest a few meters from the building.
Trump announced that he will deploy military personnel in the capital to stop “the riots, looting, vandalism, attacks and the free destruction of property.”
“I am sending thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers,” he said. and threatened the rest of the cities that if they do not make decisions to stop the protests, they will deploy the US military to “quickly fix the problem.”
Shortly after police cleared protesters stationed outside Saint John’s Church, a historic building near the White House damaged on Sunday night on the margins of the protest, Trump arrived at the scene with a Bible.
This Monday, the mayor of Washington advanced the start of the curfew by four hours, which began at 7:00 p.m. local time (00:00 GMT). In New York, the movement restriction will start from 23:00 local time.
During the day, Trump blamed the “radical left” for the mobilizations and criticized the governors for “weak” and urged them to “prevail.”
These protests come at a time when more than 100,000 people have died in the United States from the new coronavirus, and when measures taken to mitigate it have hit the economy hard in an election year.
The epidemic has had a devastating impact on the black community and some studies show that this population suffers mortality up to three times more than that of whites.
“We have black children, black brothers, black friends and we don’t want them to die,” a 31-year-old black protester told Saint-Paul Muna Abdi.
“We are tired of this being repeated, this generation will not allow it,” he said.
George Floyd’s family released the results of a second autopsy on Monday, which indicated that the police caused him a mechanical suffocation, contradicting the conclusions of a preliminary autopsy.
The definitive results released by Hennepin County authorities also aligned with this thesis, ruling that Floyd died of “murder” due to “neck compression”.
They also revealed that the victim had used fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug.
Images of George Floyd’s death, after the policeman who restrained him pressed his knee against his neck for nine minutes, outraged public opinion.
Trump condemned Floyd’s death, but also referred to the protesters as “thugs.”
In Minneapolis, the brother of the deceased visited a makeshift memorial at the scene of the incident. Terrence Floyd took a megaphone and said, “Stop thinking that our voices don’t matter and vote” and called for the violence to stop.
At the center of the controversy is the judicial treatment that will have the agent arrested for the death, Derek Chauvin, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and was due to appear in court this Monday, but whose hearing was adjourned for 8 June.
After a video was released showing other officers also restrained the deceased’s torso and legs, protesters cry out for the other three police officers to be arrested as well.
In many protests, protesters fell to their knees, in a gesture popularized by athletes to denounce police violence suffered by blacks in the United States.
Several videos showed police officers in Santa Cruz, California, New Jersey and Michigan making the same gesture to engage in dialogue with protesters.
But in a dozen other cities the keynote was the deployment of riot units and National Guard troops. This response was accompanied by the use of armored vehicles to transport the troops, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets.
Joe Biden, who will likely be the Democrats’ candidate to face Trump in November, met with black community leaders at a church Monday and promised to fight “institutional racism.”
Biden is the only Democratic field contender to face Trump in the Nov. 3 election, but he has yet to be formally nominated at the party convention.