George Floyd murder: Curfews defied as protests intensify amid shop looting in the US

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Curfews imposed on cities across the US as a measure to control the unrest sparked by the death of a black man in Minneapolis while in police custody have been defied.

Protests have intensified with other cities joining in riots with shops being looted, cars burned and buildings attacked.

Reports indicate that massive demonstrations have taken place in at least 30 cities across the US.

One of the cities worst affected by unrest is Los Angeles. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the city and activated the National Guard – the reserve military force that can be called on to intervene in domestic emergencies.

A white ex-policeman, Derek Chauvin who has been charged with murdering a black man, George Floyd, was seen in a viral video kneeling on the victim’s neck for several minutes on Monday with Floyd repeatedly says that he is unable to breathe.

The incident reignited anger over police killings of black Americans in the US. It follows the high-profile cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and others that have driven the Black Lives Matter movement.

On Monday night, police received a phone call from a neighbourhood grocery store alleging that George Floyd had paid with a counterfeit $20 note.

Officers were attempting to put him in a police vehicle when he dropped to the ground, telling them he was claustrophobic.

According to police, he physically resisted officers and was handcuffed. Video of the incident does not show how the confrontation started.

According to a preliminary autopsy by the county medical examiner, the police officer had his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds – almost three minutes of which was after Mr Floyd became non-responsive.

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