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Protests continue in US cities against police brutality, racism

Demonstrators denouncing systemic racism in law enforcement march through the New York City borough of Brooklyn on June 4, 2020. (AFP photo)

Protests continued into their tenth night in dozens of American cities following a private memorial service in Minneapolis for George Floyd, a black man whose death by white police has sparked widespread protests against police violence and systemic racism.

In New York City, thousands marched over Brooklyn Bridge on Thursday. Police clashed with protesters in Manhattan and arrests were reported after the 8.00 pm curfew passed.

In the city of Buffalo in New York state, two officers were suspended after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground, causing blood to trickle from the man’s ears. The incident drew widespread condemnation on social media.

In Washington, DC, the streets surrounding the White House were the scenes of more demonstrations. Hundreds of people knelt on the pavement and bowed their heads in silence around the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.

Protesters in America’s capital held a “die-in” at the White House and a march to Washington National Cathedral.

In Richmond, Virginia, protesters gathered around a statue of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee, after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced plans to remove the monument.

Floyd died in Minneapolis on May 25 after former police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.

Hundreds of mourners attended an emotional memorial service in Minneapolis on Thursday for Floyd

Floyd's attorney told mourners he would find justice for the 46-year-old. "It was not the coronavirus pandemic that killed George Floyd," said Benjamin Crump, who is representing Floyd's family. "It was that other pandemic. The pandemic of racism and discrimination."

Floyd's death has reignited long-felt anger over police killings of African-Americans and unleashed a nationwide wave of civil unrest unlike any seen in the US since Martin Luther King Jr's 1968 assassination.

US civil rights groups filed a lawsuit Thursday against President Donald Trump, after police fired tear gas to clear peaceful demonstrators outside the White House before the president walked to a church for a photo op earlier this week.

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