The four police officers who arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25 are now all on trial. And his death during the arrest was reclassified as murder, as claimed by hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been demonstrating since last week, authorities said on Wednesday.
The protests, which have sometimes been accompanied by looting and riots in recent days, continued on Wednesday in many US cities despite curfews in place, with no reports of major spillovers.
George Floyd tested positive for new coronavirus, according to autopsy report
The publication of the full report of the autopsy performed on the body of George Floyd, Wednesday evening, revealed that the 46-year-old man had tested positive for the new coronavirus, in early April, but would not have presented with symptoms. A new virological test, performed after his death, also proved positive.
The report was released with the family’s permission, according to the Hennepin County forensic medicine office, where the autopsy was performed. Initial findings released on Monday indicated that Mr. Floyd died on May 25 “By homicide”, after making a ” cardiac arrest “ because of “Pressure” exerted on his neck by the police.
Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the neck of the forties for more than eight minutes, causing his death, was initially charged with manslaughter. The charges against him were reclassified Wednesday as second degree murder (“unpremeditated murder”), more serious, punishable by 40 years in prison. The three other officers who accompanied him are now also being prosecuted for complicity, and placed in detention, to the satisfaction of the family of George Floyd.
These lawsuits were at the heart of the demands of the demonstrators who are voicing their anger across the country. For the Governor of Minnesota, the indictment of the four police officers is an opportunity to “Tackling the problem of institutionalized racism and impunity” which resulted in the death of George Floyd. “This is probably our last chance to remedy it, as a state and a nation”, he said.
New massive protests, nearly 10,000 arrests in recent days
AT Washington a large police force was again deployed to seal off access to the White House, although authorities said they expected peaceful rallies. Monday evening, the surroundings of the White House had been evacuated manu militari to allow Donald Trump to go out in the street and pose with a copy of the Bible in front of the small church which faces the center of the American executive power.
AT New York, the protest was peaceful on Wednesday. An early curfew, pouring rain and improved police tactics seemed to have ended some of the destruction of the previous nights.
AT Los Angeles, protesters once again took to the streets from West Hollywood. And if the curfew schedule had been extended to 9 p.m., there were still many participants in the Downtown area after 10 p.m.
The mayor, Eric Garcetti, acceded to one of the main demands of the movement “Black Live Matters”, which organizes the challenge: reduce the police budget to invest in social and educational programs for black communities. The Democratic mayor has given up on increasing the police budget next year and has decided to allocate $ 250 million for such programs.
AT Seattle (northwest), the local authorities had decided to lift the curfew outright.
In total, the police have carried out in recent days almost 10,000 arrests across the country, according to an estimate reported by the American media.
Defense Minister Jim Mattis accuses Donald Trump of wanting to “divide” America
After the scenes of violence that had enamelled the previous night, President Donald Trump had threatened Monday to deploy the army “To quickly resolve the problem”, remarks immediately denounced by the opposition.
In apparent disagreement with Donald Trump, the US Secretary of Defense said himself on Wednesday against the idea of deploying soldiers in major cities. “I do not support the decree of the state of insurrection”, which would allow the Republican billionaire to deploy active soldiers against American citizens, and not National Guard reservists as is currently the case, said Mark Esper.
Jim Mattis, former Trump defense minister who had resigned, in turn stepped up to accuse the president of ” to divide “ America. “In my lifetime, Donald Trump is the first president who doesn’t try to bring the Americans together, who doesn’t even pretend to try”, wrote the former Marine General.
Donald Trump denies having taken refuge in a bunker
The American president immediately went wild on Twitter, calling Mattis “Most overrated general in the world” and of ” mad Dog “. “I’m glad he left! “, insisted the tenant of the White House.
The billionaire, who extols the virile virtues of order and “Domination” since the start of this crisis, also denied reports on Wednesday that he had been hastily sheltered Friday evening by the Secret Service in a secure bunker during a demonstration outside his official residence.
Donald Trump has said, however, that there will be no need to deploy the military in response to protests in the United States.
The Snap company said on Wednesday that it would no longer highlight Donald Trump’s account in the discovery section of its Snapchat platform, explaining that the President’s inflammatory comments made last week made his account ineligible.
Barack Obama hails “change of mentality” among American protesters
Former President Barack Obama hailed the “Mentality change in progress”, which he said could lead to reforms at the national level. “Remember that this country was founded on a protest movement. It’s called the American Revolution “, Obama said during a video conference with activists.
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