American police forces began reforming their practices and using de-escalation tactics as protests against racism and brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death stretched into a second weekend.
On a humid afternoon in Washington, various groups of protesters gathered at points around the city before converging near the White House, where Mr Trump was in residence.
Muriel Bowser, the city mayor, was cheered as she walked near the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Protesters danced on the giant yellow “Black Lives Matter” letters painted on the road near the White House.
Through a megaphone, a protester shouted: “We’re out here for a reason. We’re partying for a purpose.”
Demonstrators chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot”, and held signs including “I’m afraid because it could have been me,” and “White silence is violence.”
Police appeared generally relaxed as demonstrators marched around the city.
Mr Floyd, 46, died in Minneapolis on May 25 while handcuffed as Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as he pleaded, “I can’t breathe”. Chauvin has been charged with murder.
Around 15,000 people turned up in the small town of Raeford, North Carolina to pay their respects at the public viewing of Mr Floyd’s coffin.
At a service Isaac Floyd, his uncle, sang I Won’t Complain. Mr Floyd’s stepmother, Ruby Floyd, said: “God is on our side. We are bringing back love to the universe.”
Amid a flurry of reforms across the country, Democrat leaders in Minneapolis voted to end the use of knee restraints and chokeholds by officers.
A judge in Denver ordered the city’s police to stop using tear gas, plastic bullets and flash grenades. US District Judge R Brooke Jackson said: “These are peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and medics who have been targeted with extreme tactics.”
Seattle banned use of CS gas by officers for 30 days. And Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Mayor and a Democrat, said he planned $150 million (£118 million) in cuts to the LA Police Department.
Calls to “defund the police”, including cutting the New York Police Department’s $6 billion budget, became a rallying cry for some protesters.
Biden wants to Defund the Police! https://t.co/S7zVvXB4EM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2020
Donald Trump wrote on Twitter: “Biden wants to Defund the Police!” Mr Biden condemned Mr Trump as “frankly despicable” for suggesting Mr Floyd would have thought new jobs figures represented a “great day” for America.
In Buffalo, New York, two police officers were charged with assault after a video showed them shoving over a 75-year-old protester who suffered a head injury. All 57 members of their police tactical unit quit in protest at the decision to charge their colleagues.
In Indianapolis, a video emerged showing four officers hitting a woman with batons.
New York suspended an officer who pulled down a protester’s face mask and pepper sprayed him.
Protests were held in many US cities and in Australia, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Belgium and Iraq. In Sydney, aboriginal protesters performed a traditional smoking ceremony at a “Black Lives Matter” protest, and 30,000 people gathered in Brisbane.
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