News World US Mass protest as Minneapolis rocked by fatal police arrest
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Mass protest as Minneapolis rocked by fatal police arrest

A new incident involving police has rocked Minneapolis. Photo: Getty
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Police and protesters have clashed in Minneapolis following a demonstration at the intersection where a black man was killed in an altercation with police officers a day earlier.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city late on Tuesday (local time) to demand justice after George Floyd, an African American, was killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest.

Shocking video of the incident showed Mr Floyd shouting “I cannot breathe” and “Don’t kill me!” as he was pinned to the ground for about 10 minutes.

The officer involved and three others at the scene were fired on Tuesday, after the footage emerged.

Later, thousands of protesters, some carrying signs saying “I can’t breathe”, marched on the city’s main police station. They damaged windows and a car and sprayed graffiti on the building before, according to Minnesota Public Radio, said a line of police in riot gear eventually confronted them, firing tear gas and throwing flash grenades.

“It’s real ugly. The police have to understand that this is the climate they have created, this is the climate they created,” one protester said.

The incident leaves the Minneapolis Police Department embroiled in another racially charged death controversy less than a year after former officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced to 12.5 years’ prison for murdering Australian life coach Justine Damond.

The latest incident in the US midwest city was live-streamed on Facebook by a bystander.

The video shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, arresting Mr Floyd, in a Minneapolis street. Mr Chauvin is kneeling on Floyd’s neck.

Mr Floyd is handcuffed and can be heard protesting that he cannot breathe, before he becomes motionless and dies.

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey and civil rights groups condemned the incident.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Mr Frey said on Tuesday.

“For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck.

“Five minutes.

“When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help.”

Police said Mr Floyd had matched the description of a suspect in a forgery case at a grocery store and accused him of resisting arrest.

The FBI will investigate Mr Chauvin for possible civil rights violations.

Minnesota law enforcement authorities are also investigating.

Other recent racially charged fatal police shootings in the Minneapolis-St Paul twin cities include two white police officers shooting dead 24-year-old Jamar Clark during a 2015 scuffle.

The police officers were not charged.

In 2017 a police officer was acquitted after shooting dead Philando Castile during a traffic stop while Mr Castile’s girlfriend live-streamed the incident.

Ms Damond, 40, originally from Sydney’s northern beaches, was shot dead by Somali-born police officer Noor.

Ms Damond was in her Minneapolis home just before midnight on July 15, 2017, when she heard a woman’s screams near the alley behind her house.

Fearing the woman was being raped, Ms Damond called 911 and when Noor and his partner, Mathew Harrity, arrived in the alley she approached their police vehicle.

She was dressed in her pyjamas.

Noor, in the front passenger seat and fearing he was being ambushed, shot across Officer Harrity, out the open driver’s window, and fatally struck Ms Damond in the stomach.

A Minneapolis jury found Noor, 34, guilty last year of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Noor has filed an appeal.

Ms Damond’s Sydney-based family launched a $US50 million ($A75 million) civil lawsuit against Minneapolis in 2019. Just days after Noor’s conviction the city agreed to pay $US20 million ($A30 million).

-with agencies