George Floyd died after a white policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25, reigniting the explosive issue of police brutality against African Americans five months before the November 3 presidential election.
Washington DC saw its biggest protests since the shocking death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week, with a distinct diversity of different ages and races represented at marches throughout the capital.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck while detaining him on May 25 outside a convenience store in suspicion of using counterfeit bills to pay for cigarettes has been charged with third-degree murder, but the Floyd family's lawyer has said he expects further charges to be laid. Medical examiners have ruled the death a homicide.
Floyd died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25, reigniting the explosive issue of police brutality against African Americans five months before the November presidential election. Journalists have also been targeted by police.
The crowd remained in place after the city's 7 p.m. curfew passed, defying warnings that the response from law enforcement could be even more forceful.
Although rallies on behalf of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality have been largely peaceful during the day, after dark each night crowds have turned to rioting, vandalism, arson and looting.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered in Denver and Seattle but remained peaceful as darkness fell in the West.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during a press conference that he supported the rights of United States citizens to protest peacefully and does not support the invocation of the Insurrection Act. "It is these rights and freedoms that American service members are willing to fight and die for", Esper said in remarks before taking questions.
"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act".
Such use of the military would mark a stunning federal intervention rarely seen in modern American history.
U.S. President Donald Trump is facing criticism over both his rhetoric around protests and a recent trip to a church for a photo-op.
"I was not aware of law enforcement's plans for the park. I was not briefed on them, nor should I expect to be", Esper said.
A senior White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the president is not rushing to send in the military and that his goal was to pressure governors to deploy more National Guard members. It was loaded onto the back of a truck.
He said an investigation led by State Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero will review the department's policies and actions of the past 10 years.
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, added: "Apparently, the African American man who was killed there was not a human being".
"The emotions and feelings that we see expressed out on the streets of cities all across the country are felt in a way that are substantiated", Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis, who is president of one of the leading black law enforcement groups in the nation, said in an interview with "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. "It is an appalling and avoidable death".
"Of course, black lives matter and I totally understand the anger, the grief that is felt not just in America but around the world and in our country as well", he told parliament.
He said: "We have our military ready, willing and able, if they ever want to call our military. The only point I would make.is that any protest should be carried out lawfully and in this country protests should be carried out in accordance with our rules on social distancing".
Davis also said she has been advocating for a nationwide ban on chokeholds and the neck restraint that was used by a Minneapolis police officer on Floyd.
Three other officers who responded to the scene the day Floyd died were fired by the Minneapolis Police Department but have not been charged.