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Police Fires Tear Gas at Protesters of George Floyd’s Murder in Minneapolis

by John Asama
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Crowds of protesters clashed with police in Minneapolis during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in custody shortly after being arrested.

Police fired tear gas and donned riot gear as protesters gathered outside the Cup Foods store on the corner where Mr Floyd died.

At a distance from each other, organisers addressed the crowds to chants of “I can’t breathe”, which Floyd said to police as one knelt on his back during his arrest.

The emphasis from the demonstration’s leaders was on keeping the event peaceful, however a small group later began vandalising a third police precinct building and squad cars.

Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix tweeted a picture of a rubber bullet, saying he had been shot in the thigh.

Mr Floyd died on 25 May during a police encounter at a street intersection where a white officer put a knee on his neck for several minutes – even as he repeatedly said he was in pain and that he couldn’t breathe. A graphic video of his death has been shared widely across social and mainstream media.

The four officers involved have now been terminated, as confirmed by Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey, who described the circumstances of Mr Floyd’s death as “wrong on every level”.

The protest was apparently led by organisers from a group called ‘I Can’t Breathe: Protest Against Police Violence.’ Announcing it on their Facebook page, they wrote that “the truth is that MPD officers caused the medical distress and death of the victim through their inhumane actions. We are gathering at the site of Mr Floyd’s death, to demand justice for the victim and his family.”

SEE ALSO: George Floyd: Moment 4 Minneapolis Police Officers Strangled Black Man

The phrase “I can’t breathe” has long been a feature of protests against police treatment of black Americans, originating from the death of Eric Garner, another black man who died at the hands of police in 2014 when put in a chokehold.

Apprehended on suspicion of selling untaxed cigarettes, his death – also caught on video – is one of the most notorious cases underpinning the Black Lives Matter movement.


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