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29th May 2020

George Floyd: Riots break out in Minneapolis over killing


george floyd

The killing has sparked riots in Minneapolis

George Floyd was unarmed when he was killed by police in the city of Minneapolis on Monday. A police officer kneeled on his neck until he lost consciousness. He would die shortly afterwards.

His death, yet another example of a black American’s life being taken away at the hands of police, has sparked protests and riots in Minneapolis, protests which have become increasingly violent in nature.

Looting has taken place in the city’s shops and stores, and fires have spread around the city.

Reaction to these protests have been, as you’d expect, mixed. Many people are sympathetic to the cause of those who have experienced more injustice than most people could in a lifetime, and realise that the death of a man at the hands of police was what started these riots. Nothing else.

Some quarters of America, as is always the case, have reacted differently. Right-wing commentators have spouted their usual lines, and the country’s president has managed to shock people once again with his rhetoric.

In a shocking tweet even by his own standards, Trump called protesters and rioters ‘”thugs” and claimed that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

This phrase, if it sounds familiar, was uttered by Miami’s police chief, Walter Headley who in 1967 warned of violent consequences to protests against his department’s stop-and-frisk campaign.