Protests over the death of an unarmed African American man, George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police has sent shockwaves across the United States not seen since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s/70’s.
From Minneapolis to the streets of Los Angeles, crowds gather and chant, ‘ I can’t breathe!’ and ‘Justice for Floyd’, while confronting law enforcement agencies.
Protests have erupted across 30 major American cities so far including Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington DC, right in front of the White House.
While protesters demanded for justice for African Americans killed by the police, others took advantage of the situation to burn and loot stores; including black owned businesses.
In Minneapolis, protesters defied an 8pm curfew and stayed out all night throwing projectiles at law enforcement who responded with teargas cannisters.
In Los Angeles looters ransacked stores, vandalised and burned buildings while in Manhattan protesters clashed with police in the streets.
For the first time since world war II, the National Guard have been activated in nearly 25 cities including Washington DC while other states have mobilised national guard personnel in anticipation of civil unrest.
Hundreds have been arressted so far with one recorded death in the last two days of protests.
While the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with third degree murder, protesters say it is not enough as they want all four police officers involved charged with murder.
As the protests grow more violent, Journalists have also been in the line of fire either getting arrested by police or attacked by groups of protesters.
A CNN reporter was arrested on live television while two photographers were also arressted in Last Vegas. A photojournalist for KDKA TV, Pittsburgh, Ian Smith was assaulted by a group of protesters and rescued by another.
“They stomped and kicked me,” he wrote in a tweet from the back of an ambulance.”I’m bruised and bloody but alive. My camera was destroyed. Another group of protesters pulled me out and saved my life. Thank you!”
“I’m bruised and bloody but alive. My camera was destroyed. Another group of protesters pulled me out and saved my life. Thank you!”