Ex Defence Chief Says Trump Fueled US Unrest

All four fired Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death have now been charged. Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder, upgraded from the previous charge of third-degree murder. He also faces a second-degree manslaughter charge. The other three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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US President Donald Trump has outraged faith leaders and protesters for walking to an historic church near the White House and creating a photo opportunity, just minutes after police used chemical smoke canisters and flashbangs on peaceful protesters to clear the area. He also was rebuked by his former defence secretary, Jim Mattis, who said he was trying to sow divisions. Trump’s current defence chief, Mark Esper, also said he opposed Trump’s threat to send in the military to quell unrest.

Those protesting against police brutality have been met with, at times, excessive force by authorities. Journalists have also been targeted by police. Officers have also been injured in the protests.
Protesters have remained undeterred by curfews and the presence of the US National Guard in some cities. Largely peaceful protests have at times turned violent, with looting and vandalism. Wednesday’s protests, however, remained largely peaceful after curfews took effect.

The police department in North Carolina’s largest city is coming under criticism after a video posted to social media appeared to show officers using chemical agents on demonstrators who were boxed in while protesting the death of George Floyd.

The video was recorded Tuesday night by Justin LaFrancois, co-founder and publisher of the alternative Charlotte newspaper Queen City Nerve. He said officers fired tear gas and flash-bangs from behind the protesters, and in front of them as well. He also said officers perched on top of buildings were firing pepper balls down on the crowd.

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