WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Minneapolis city council members pledged to abolish the police force whose officer knelt on the neck of a dying George Floyd, as the biggest civil rights protests in more than 50 years demanded a transformation of U.S. criminal justice.
Demonstrations have swept a country slowly emerging from the coronavirus lockdown in the two weeks since Floyd, an unarmed black man, 46, died after choking out the words “I can’t breathe” under the knee of a white police officer.
Though there was violence in the early days, the protests have lately been overwhelmingly peaceful. They have deepened a political crisis for President Donald Trump, who repeatedly threatened to order active duty troops onto the streets.
Trump took to Twitter around midnight to lash out at the boss of the National Football League, America’s biggest sport, who, in a sign of a cultural shift, swung behind protesting players and adopted their slogan “Black Lives Matter”.