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Protesters march again in US, demanding justice after George Floyd death

People attend a rally at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall during protests over the death of George Floyd on June 7, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (AFP photo)

A new wave of anti-racism protests has once again swept across the United States, demanding police reform following the death in custody of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis last month.

Protesters took to the streets in several US cities on Sunday to demand justice for George Floyd, who died on May 25 after an officer kneeled his neck for nearly nine minutes.

A protester kneels and pleads for a police officer to listen to her as protesters block Tremont Street in a small standoff with police after a larger protest to call for Police Department reform in Boston, Massachusetts on June 7, 2020. (AFP photo)

In Los Angeles, a crowd estimated by a local television station at 20,000 assembled in Hollywood Boulevard after a Twitter message from the rapper YG on Saturday.

In New York, at least half a dozen groups of protesters marched through midtown Manhattan, carrying handmade signs with slogans like "Defund the Police, Fund Schools," among others.

One large group stopped outside Trump International Hotel in Manhattan, chanting, “Throw him out” on their way to Central Park.

Some other protesters marched toward Times Square but were stopped by police who blocked access to the famous "Crossroads of the World," best known for the annual New Year's Eve ball drop.

Criticized by activists, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the curfew was being lifted on Sunday, a day ahead of schedule.

De Blasio, who activists say should have reined in NYPD officers during recent protests, also announced a series of reforms he claimed were designed to build trust between city residents and the police department.

In the nation's capital, a large and diverse crowd of demonstrators packed streets near the White House, chanting, "This is what democracy looks like!" and "I can't breathe."

Members of the US National Guard stand near the White House as people protest against racism and police brutality in Washington, DC on June 7, 2020 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

"I have cops in my family, I do believe in a police presence," said Nikky Williams, a black Air Force veteran who marched in Washington. "But I do think that reform has got to happen."

A newly built fence around the White House was decorated by protesters with signs, including some that read, "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No Peace."

Utah’s Republican senator Mitt Romney – a critic of Donald Trump – also participated in the protests in Washington D.C. late on Sunday afternoon.

Sizable protests were also held in other cities including Chicago, Austin, Boston, Philadelphia, Compton, Milwaukee and elsewhere.

People listen as the names of those killed by police are read during a candle light vigil on June 7, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (AFP photo)

In Minneapolis, the mayor reiterated on Sunday that he did not support abolishing the city's police force hours after the city council voted to do so.

"A veto-proof majority of the MPLS City Council just publicly agreed that the Minneapolis Police Department is not reformable and that we're going to end the current policing system," Alondra Cano, a member of the Minneapolis council, said on Twitter.

Mayor Jacob Frey, however, said, "We're ready to dig in and enact more community-led, public safety strategies on behalf of our city. But, I do not support abolishing the Minneapolis Police Department."

A day earlier, he told an angry crowd, "I do not support the full abolition of the Minneapolis Police Department," prompting booing and chants of “Go home Jacob, go home” and “Shame, shame, shame.”

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