US cities were curfewed when police brutality clashes broke out across America, with demonstrators ignoring President Donald Trump's warnings that his government would "coldly" stop the violent protests.
Minneapolis, the riot epicenter, was hit by violence on Saturday for a fifth consecutive night, in which the police fired tear gas in combat gear and fired grenades at protesters who raged during an arrest at George Floyd, an unarmed black man City on Monday.
Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta were among two dozen cities that ordered people to stay in the house overnight as more and more states called in National Guard soldiers to control the unrest that had not been observed in the United States for years.
From Seattle to New York, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding more severe murder charges and further arrests for the death of Floyd, who stopped breathing after the Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
In Los Angeles, officials fired rubber bullets and waved batons during a difficult battle with protesters who set fire to a police car.
Police and demonstrators clashed in numerous cities, including Chicago and New York. Officials responded to projectiles with pepper spray while shattering shop windows in Philadelphia.
Trump blamed the extreme left for the violence, including widespread looting and arson in Minneapolis, and said rioters dishonored Floyd's memory.
"We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to destroy our cities and devastate our communities," said the president.
"My government will stop the violence against mobs. And we will stop it coldly," he added, accusing the casual militant anti-fascist network Antifa of orchestrating the violence.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden condemned the violence of the protests, but said on Sunday that US citizens had every right to demonstrate.
"Protesting against such brutality is right and necessary," he said. "But burning communities down and unnecessary destruction isn't."
Rioters should be "decimated"
There were also peaceful protests, including in Toronto, as the movement spread beyond America's borders.
Protesters everywhere sang slogans such as "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe," which Floyd, who has become a new symbol of police brutality, repeatedly said before his death.
"We are no longer turning our cheeks. Black lives are important. They will always be important. And we are here today to show that," said makeup artist Melissa Mock, who joined several thousand protests in Miami during the day.
The governor of Minnesota, Tim Walzs, said he was mobilizing the state's 13,000-strong National Guard to deal with rioters who ransacked the business and located it on Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
All major highways leading to Minneapolis were closed on Saturday evening with military helicopters as the state was prepared for further unrest, arson and looting. Locals said that much of the violence was done by outsiders.
People used to gather in Minneapolis and sang peacefully with brooms to clean up damaged shops and streets.
Some placed flowers in front of the shop where Floyd was arrested on Monday before his death was recorded in the hands of the police in a terrible cell phone video that has since been seen around the world.
In Houston – where Floyd was born and grew up – an old friend of his, Sam Osborne, said that as an African American he feared for his life.
"I'm really messed up, they killed him. I wonder what could happen to me?" he said AFP.
Houston's mayor announced at a press conference that Floyd's body would be returned to the city of Texas.
At least eight states – including Texas, Colorado and Georgia – activated the National Guard, which was also stationed in the White House, to deal with the protests there.
"Black lives count"
In Washington, protesters faced Secret Service agents outside the White House for a second night in a row when Trump faced the worst unrest of his presidency in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
Looting took place in Miami, where a curfew was announced, while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said a video showing an NYPD police car driving demonstrators in Brooklyn was "annoying," but he blamed officials Not.
In Los Angeles, the city's mayor extended a curfew when looting broke out. Extensive emergency services tried to extinguish the two flames on Melrose Avenue when similar scenes took place in Washington, in which officers in a hotel in Layfayette Square put out a major fire.
The protests are expected to continue even after Chauvin, the now dismissed Minneapolis police officer accused of Floyd's death, was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder.
Floyd's family and many protesters want a harder charge and have also demanded that three officials who helped him be charged as well.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)