Government officials, law enforcement officers and protesters in cities across the United States are preparing for a sixth night of mass demonstrations after George Floyd, a black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
Peaceful protests began in the Twin Cities and rapidly spread to metropolitan areas across rural and urban America, escalating in numbers and force as some demonstrators and law enforcement officers began to clash.
The National Guard was mobilized. Buildings were burned and businesses looted. Civilians have been placed under curfew by government officials and fired upon with rubber bullets, pepper pellets and tear gas by authorities in riot gear. Hundreds have been arrested.
Almost a week after Floyd’s death on Memorial Day, it remains unclear whether tensions nationwide are calming or escalating.
In London, hundreds of protesters gathered at Trafalgar Square and outside the new U.S. Embassy, chanting “no justice, no peace” in solidarity with the American-born Black Lives Matter movement.
Curfews were enacted in more than two dozen cities, and about 5,000 National Guard troops have been activated in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
Some of President Trump’s allies are urging him to address the nation about the intensifying unrest. Trump’s Democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden, released a statement expressing solidarity with protesters but condemning the violence that followed Floyd’s death.
Former and current government officials warned Sunday that the mass demonstrations could lead to new waves of infections.
Federal buildings in the nation’s capital were vandalized, and clashes erupted for a second day between Secret Service agents and demonstrators outside the White House.