46-year-old Floyd died on May 25 in the northern US city of Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly 10 minutes as he continually gasped, “please, I can’t breathe,” triggering massive rallies and clashes with police in many cities across the US.
Protests then spread to more cities in the US and across the world as the hawkish American President Donald Trump threatened protesters near the White House with the use of “the most vicious dogs and most ominous weapons,” reverberating memories of suppressing the uprising of blacks across the country during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
1000s chant ‘I can’t breathe’ at Amsterdam rally
Nearly 10,000 protesters in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam shouted “I can’t breathe” as they converged on the city center’s Dam Square on Monday to express their solidarity with the protesters in the US.
Ignoring official calls for social distancing, the crowds of demonstrators also chanted “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace” and blocked traffic, though no acts of violence occurred.
New Zealand PM expresses ‘horror’ at Floyd’s killing
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday that she had been “horrified” by the killing of Floyd while in custody of US police officers, and she welcomed peaceful protest rallies in her country in solidarity.
“I think I stand with everyone else in being horrified in what we’ve seen,” Ardern said during an interview with state broadcaster TVNZ.