The protesters clashed with the riot police firing tear gas in Minneapolis for a second night on Wednesday, and were furious with the death of a black man seen in a widespread video when a white officer knelt on the back of his neck.
The video, taken by a viewer of the deadly encounter between the police and George Floyd (46) on Monday night, showed him face down and handcuffed, groaning for help and repeating, "Please, I can't breathe "before he became motionless.
The second day of the demonstrations, accompanied by looting and vandalism, began hours after Mayor Jacob Frey asked the prosecutor to file criminal charges against the white policeman who held Floyd on the street.
Floyd, who was unarmed and allegedly suspected of handing over fake bills in a corner restaurant, was taken to the scene of his arrest by ambulance and pronounced dead in a hospital that night.
The policeman kneeling on Floyd's neck and three involved colleagues were released from the police department on Tuesday when the FBI opened an investigation.
Hundreds of demonstrators, many with their faces hidden, crowded around the Third District Police Station late Wednesday, about half a mile from where Floyd was arrested, and sang, "No Justice, No Peace," and "Me." can not breathe".
The crowd grew to thousands as night fell and the protest became a stalemate outside the station, where police in combat gear set up barricade lines while the demonstrators mocked them behind their own makeshift barricades.
The police, some of whom were standing on rooftops, used tear gas, plastic bullets, and concussion grenades to keep the crowd at bay. Demonstrators threw stones and other projectiles at the police. Some threw tear gas canisters back at the officers.
Television news from a helicopter over the area showed dozens of people ransacking a Target store and running away with clothes and shopping trolleys full of goods.
Fires broke out in several companies, including an auto parts store, after dark. Eyewitnesses said the flames were the work of arsonists. Media said a smaller, peaceful protest had taken place in front of one of the police officers' houses.
Anger on the west coast
Outrage at Floyd's death sparked a rally in his name against police brutality by hundreds of people in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon.
This demonstration became violent after a crowd marched on a nearby freeway and blocked traffic. Then they attacked two California Highway Patrol cruisers and smashed their windows, local media reported. A protester clinging to the hood of a patrol car fell on the sidewalk as it raced away and was treated by medics on site, as news of the incident showed.
The video of the deadly confrontation between the Minneapolis police and Floyd on Monday prompted Mayor Frey to ask Hennepin's prosecutor Mike Freeman on Wednesday to "charge the arrest officer in this case."
The city identified the four officers as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng. No one was said to kneel on Floyd's neck and no further information was given.
The local police union said officials cooperated with investigators and warned of a "rush for judgment."
"We have to check all the videos. We have to wait for the medical examiner's report," the union statement said.
The prosecutor said she would decide what to do once the investigators completed their investigation.
The case commemorated the murder of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man in New York City in 2014, who died after being put in a banned police chokehold.
Garner's dying words "I can't breathe" became a rallying call for the Black Lives Matter movement, which drew attention to a wave of police murders of African Americans with unjustified lethal violence.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)