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US protesters defy curfew as Trump rejects criticism over violent crackdown

US Protesters Defy Curfew As Trump Rejects Criticism Over Violent Crackdown

WASHINGTON – Protesters defied curfews across the United States on Tuesday as leaders rushed to stem anger at police racism while President Donald Trump rejected criticism of his use of force to stop a rally peacefully.
Clashes between police and protesters continued overnight in cities from New York to Los Angeles following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man whose murder sparked once-in-a-lifetime generational protest in the nation in the past week.
But there were fewer reports of the looting and violence that had embittered the street protests the previous nights.
Tens of thousands of people gathered earlier in Houston to pay tribute to Floyd, who grew up in the city of Texas and is to be buried there next week.
“Today we’re talking about the family of George Floyd – we want them to know that George is not in vain,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner to approximately 60,000 people.
Roxie Washington, in tears, the mother of Floyd’s six-year-old daughter, said she wanted justice done for him.
“No matter what anyone thinks, it was good,” she said at a press conference.
In New York, which extended its first curfew since World War II for the entire week on Tuesday, journalists saw hundreds of people refuse to return home after 8 p.m., chanting slogans and peacefully roaming the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Protesters trying to cross the Manhattan Bridge were trapped there for a long time by police on both sides, but were eventually allowed to return to Brooklyn, according to a New York Times reporter at the scene.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN he was “much quieter” a day after looting several luxury stores in Manhattan, praising the “increased presence” of police on the streets.
Minnesota has taken one of the first concrete steps to address the grievances behind the uprising, which began after Floyd’s death on May 25 in the state’s largest city, Minneapolis.
I’m just tired, basically, of being afraid of the police, of not getting justice said Jada Wallace.
The state has launched a Minneapolis Police Department civil rights investigation into possible “systemic discriminatory practices” dating back 10 years, Governor Tim Walz tweeted.
Former President George W. Bush called on the United States to examine its “tragic failures” and to “listen to the voices of so many injured and mourners.”
In Los Angeles, one of dozens of cities affected by the unrest, the police and the mayor Eric Garcetti fell on their knees in a symbolic act of solidarity when they met walkers led by African-American Christian groups.
“A black face should not be a death sentence, or to be homeless, to be sick, to be underemployed, or to be undereducated,” Garcetti told them, urging leaders to the town hall for a discussion on the problems.
But the protesters gathered outside Mr. Garcetti’s residence late in the evening.
An AFP journalist saw a group of at least 200 people, who refused to disperse and were arrested.
In Washington DC, thousands of people returned to the streets on Tuesday for a peaceful “Black Lives Matter” march.
A few hours after the 7:00 p.m. curfew, protesters could be heard chanting as National Guard troops stood in the streets near the White House and helicopters hovered overhead. Broadcast images show police using tear gas soon after midnight, but the overall situation appears calm.
“I’m just tired, basically, of being afraid of the police, of not getting justice,” said Jada Wallace, an 18-year-old protester outside the White House who said she was ready to risk ‘arrest.
At the same location on Monday, federal police brutally used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to beat a non-violent demonstration, paving the way for Mr. Trump to walk outside for a photo op in a damaged historic church the previous night.
The move was strongly condemned by religious leaders, the president’s political rivals and onlookers across the country.
But Trump, who has rejected the traditional presidential role of healer, expressed his joy on Twitter over the response to Washington and accused the New York leadership – led by rival Democratic Party – of succumbing to “Lowlife & Scum”.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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