News World Celebs speak out and protests spread as fury grows over George Floyd death
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Celebs speak out and protests spread as fury grows over George Floyd death

Los Angeles police officers watch a police car burn during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Photo: AAP
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Several major US cities have been likened to war zones as another night of outrage over the death of George Floyd left buildings torched, stores looted and police cars smouldering. 

Curfews failed to quell violence that replaced peaceful daytime demonstrations over the African-American’s death which has prompted global protests in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mr Floyd’s grieving family members urged protesters to remain peaceful but said they understood why the anger was boiling over into violence amid concerns the police officers involved in the incident would never be convicted.

On Monday morning (Australian time), President Donald Trump further blamed his opponents on the Left for the violence as he urged state leaders to call in the national guard.

George Floyd arrest
A policeman who knelt on George Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder. Photo: Twitter

“These people are ANARCHISTS,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.

About 70 US cities are bracing for further street violence on Sunday night (US time).

Most of the protesters marching and chanting have been peaceful, but there have been outbreaks of violence – at the hands of both citizens and police.

Police and demonstrators have at times also targeted journalists, including Australian media, for unknown reasons despite them legally reporting on the events – with footage posted on social media showing reporters and camera crews handcuffed on the ground.

A person leaves the Apple Store as a police car burns. Photo: AAP

A television reporter in Columbia was hurt by a thrown rock and a journalist in Minneapolis was shot in the thigh by a rubber bullet from police.

Demonstrators also broke windows and vandalised the Atlanta office building where CNN is headquartered.

Police in Louisville, Kentucky, were forced to apologise after an officer fired what appeared to be pepper bullets at a television news crew.

Meanwhile, footage of two police cars driving through a crowd of protestors in Brooklyn has gone viral on social media since the incident on Saturday. Demonstrators can be seen pelting the car with debris.

Celebrities speak up

As protests spread, many celebrities have spoken out against police brutality and racism.

“We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight. We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalise this pain,” Beyoncé said in a video.

George Floyd, 46, worked as a security guard at a Minneapolis bistro and coached basketball and football in his spare time. He was not armed when police slammed him to the ground and an officer put his knee to his neck. Photo: AP

Oprah Winfrey told her Zoom audience “it’s not enough to just say ‘It’s so terrible.’ We can’t tolerate hate crimes perpetrated by authorities in this country.”

“We need to speak up and say ‘That will not happen on my watch.’ We’re going to do the work that it takes to dismantle in our own way,” she continued.

Others took to Instagram to show their support to protestors.

Protests go global

In Berlin, thousands of protesters gathered outside the US embassy next to the iconic Brandenberg Gate to protest Floyd’s death.

Attendees held up signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “Let US Live”, “Justice for George Floyd” and “I Can’t Breathe.”

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Peckham, south London, on Saturday to protest Floyd’s death, at one point stopping all traffic on the main road.

People demonstrate in commemoration of George Floyd near the American embassy at Pariser Platz in Berlin, Germany. Photo: AAP

A number of events are planned in the coming week in London, although none originate directly from the official Black Lives Matter UK group, which has said it is still “discussing the implications of calling a mass march in the middle of a pandemic that is killing us the most.”

A number of social media posts have begun circulating, indicating a mass protest planned in Trafalgar Square on Sunday afternoon (UK time), where attendees are being called upon to take a “Knee for Floyd.”

-with AAP