The George Floyd protests: A timeline

Protesters in San Francisco, California, on June 9, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON - The death of Mr George Floyd, a black man, under the knee of a white policeman sparked off worldwide protests and calls for police reforms in the United States. The following is a timeline of the events that followed Mr Floyd's death:

May 25

Mr Floyd dies after being arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Video footage shows a police officer , Derek Chauvin, kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, with Mr Floyd repeatedly pleading, "I can't breathe."

May 26

Protesters take to the streets of Minneapolis, vandalising police cars and the police station. The four officers involved in Mr Floyd's arrest are fired.

May 27

The protests spread to cities like Memphis and Portland, Oregon. Mr Floyd's last words, "I can't breathe," become a protest slogan. The Minneapolis police station where the officers who arrested Mr Floyd were based is set on fire.

May 28

US President Donald Trump weighs in on the protests by blaming a lack of leadership in Minneapolis and threatening to send in the National Guard in a tweet. A second tweet warning "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" is hidden by Twitter for glorifying violence.

May 29

Former police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter, which carry a combined maximum sentence of 35 years.

May 31

Violence spreads across the US in a sixth night of protests, with at least five killed. More than 75 cities saw protests, with more than 4,400 arrests. Curfews are imposed across the US as cities and states try to curtail the unrest.

June 1

Mr Trump warns that he will send in the military to quell the unrest if cities and states fail to "defend their residents" and "quickly solve the problem for them". Police use tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters near the White House so that Mr Trump can have a photo opportunity in front of a damaged church.

June 2

Tens of thousands take to the streets in the eighth night of protests, with one of the biggest crowds in Mr Floyd's hometown of Houston, Texas. Many defy curfews, but the demonstrations are largely peaceful after the three other officers involved in Mr Floyd's death are arrested.

June 4

Hundreds attend a memorial service held for Mr Floyd in Minneapolis. Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton delivers the eulogy for Mr Floyd.

June 7

Anti-racism protests are held worldwide as tens of thousands march in Washington DC. Major demonstrations are held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia that are focused on indigenous Australians. There are also protests in Britain, Germany, France and Spain. The statue of a 17th century slave trader in Bristol is torn down and thrown into the harbour.

June 9

A funeral service for Mr Floyd is held in his home town of Houston. Five hundred guests are in attendance at the Fountain of Praise Church and more gather outside to show support.

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