George Floyd reaction: Europe heeds call for fresh protests | News | DW | 07.06.2020
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George Floyd reaction: Europe heeds call for fresh protests

From Berlin to Barcelona, thousands of people are rallying against racial inequality and police brutality. The protest movement was denounced as "reckless" for ignoring social distancing rules. Follow DW for the latest.

  • A man drove his car into a group of protesters and shot one person Sunday evening in Seattle
  • Fresh demonstrations have been held in Germany, Spain, Belgium, the UK and Denmark
  • New York City's mayor has lifted a curfew in a bid to defuse tensions between protesters and police
  • Australia's finance minister has denounced protesters as "reckless" for ignoring social distancing rules
  • Joe Biden has vowed to advocate for police reforms and policies to "reverse systemic racism" if elected president

All times in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

That wraps up DW's coverage of Sunday's protests against racism, inequality and police brutality and reactions to the death of George Floyd. You can read more about what US cities are doing to reform their public safety departments here: US cities lift curfews, promise police reforms following peaceful George Floyd protests 

03:05 A man drove a car into a group of protesters Sunday evening in the US city of Seattle and shot one person, the Seattle Times reported. 

The 27-year-old shooting victim is in stable condition at a local hospital, the Seattle Fire Department said in a tweet. Seattle Police said the suspected gunman is in custody.

23:55 James Bennet, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, had resigned from his position. The company also said on Sunday that Jim Dao, the deputy editorial page editor, was being reassigned to another post. The newspaper has named journalist Katie Kingsbury as the acting editorial page editor, replacing Bennet.

Bennet's resignation came after the opinion section of the newspaper published a controversial piece by Tom Cotton, a Republican senator from Arkansas. In the op-ed, Cotton called for a show of force to "restore order" on the streets following protests over the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd. The New York Times apologized after publishing the piece, saying that it did not meet the paper's editorial standards.

James Bennet (picture-alliance/AP Photo/File/L. Neumeister)

Bennet said he did not read the op-ed before it went to print

Bennet had faced opposition from the public as well as within the newspaper after the op-ed was published. He had acknowledged before staffers that he had not read the op-ed before it was published. On Wednesday, Bennet had supported the decision to publish Cotton's piece.

"Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy," Bennet said.

Several journalists in the newspaper said Cotton's op-ed endangered the lives of black journalists at the company.

After the announcement of Bennet's resignation, A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, called the former editor "a journalist of enormous talent and integrity" who oversaw a significant transformation of the opinion department. Sulzberger signaled that the newspaper was contemplating a change to their opinion editorial process.

22:30 The Minneapolis City Council voted to dismantle the city's police department and replace it with a new public safety system.

A Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, faces second-degree murder charges, three other officers are also facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. The four officers were all fired following Floyd's death, which sparked protests against racism and police brutality around the world.

Saying that the current policing system could not be reformed, the council members signed a pledge to start the work of taking apart the current police department.

"It shouldn’t have taken so much death to get us here," said Kandace Montgomery, the director of Black Vision. "We're safer without armed, unaccountable patrols supported by the state hunting black people."

The council did not outline what the future public safety system would look like but said it would work with members of the community to establish the new safety structures.

Defunding police departments has been a key goal of many of the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.

21:00 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has urged people taking part in protests over the killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, to get tested for the coronavirus. Cuomo said the state was planning to open 15 testing sites to enable protesters to get their test results quickly. "I would act as if you were exposed, and I would tell people you are interacting with, assume I am positive for the virus," he said.

Cuomo's statement follows similar calls from the cities of Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle — where protesters are being encouraged to get tested for free at testing centers.

20:45 YouTube screened a virtual commencement celebration for high school and college seniors who missed their graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, "Dear Class of 2020," was headlined by former US president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama and over 40 celebrities, business executives and politicians, including Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Sundar Pichai, Condoleezza Rice, Malala, Jennifer Lopez and the South Korean band BTS.

Singer Beyonce Knowles-Carter addressed the current protests in the US over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in her commencement address. "Thank you for using your collective voice and letting the world know that Black lives matter," said Beyonce.

19:31 Scuffles have broken out in London between police and protesters. Tensions flared when many protesters started moving from the US embassy south of the River Thames to an area near Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office and residence.

Sky News reported that objects were thrown at police, who had lined up near the Whitehall government quarter. Police then used batons to disperse the demonstrators.

Police also sent reinforcements to stop protesters from entering St James’s Park by Queen Elizabeth’s residence at Buckingham Palace.

At least 14 police officers were injured during Saturday's protests.

19:18 After US president Donald Trump faced widespread censure for threatening to send in the military over the sometimes-violent anti-racism protests, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has offered his support to the embattled leader. Vucic told Serbian TV that Trump faces a "serious and tough enemy" in quelling demonstrations that were sparked by the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd.

"I hope the US will come out of the crisis," said the populist, nationalist president, in an apparent show of solidarity with Trump. He added that he wished the US leader the "best of luck" in dealing with protesters.

Vucic also waded into the row over US soccer team LA Galaxy's decision to fire Serbian player Aleksandar Katai after a series of social media posts by his wife in which she urged police to "kill'' protesters and referred to protesters as "disgusting cattle."

The president said the decision "only speaks about the chase and chaos that has been conducted against President
Trump."

19:00 New York state governor Andrew Cuomo has urged those who attended protests in the last few days to get tested for coronavirus. Social distancing at protests was largely not adhered to in the city.

"If you attended a protest, assume you may have been exposed to COVID. Get tested," he wrote on Twitter.

In his daily press conference, he also criticized those who have condemned all protesters as “looters.”

"The looting has nothing to do with protesting. Protesting is different," he said. Cuomo also dismissed one of protesters’ key messages — to defund the police — saying "No police? You get looting. That’s what you get. Nobody wants that."

18:43 Chicago has lifted the curfew on the city after days of peaceful protests. Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote on Twitter "I’m grateful to our residents for working together to navigate this challenging time."

Chicago was among the US cities that implemented overnight curfews in the wake of George Floyd's killing in an effort to curb protesters, citing violence and bans on gatherings due to the coronavirus. Many protesters defied the restrictions but the violence has died down in recent days. Philadelphia and New York City lifted similar curfews on Sunday.

18:05 Anti-racism protests across Europe are beginning to draw to an end for the day, with tens of thousands having shown up for peaceful protests from Brussels to Budapest.

The Italian city of Milan, once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, saw several thousand people. Among the crowd were migrants or the children of migrants, and some signs referred to the controversial law that makes it impossible for foreigners born in Italy to receive citizenship until they are 18 years old. Many protesters wore masks and gloves. Similar protests took place in Rome and other Italian cities.

In Germany, protests in cities like Cologne and Berlin were more subdued after tens of thousands turned out on Saturday. Some 93 people were arrested on Saturday night in the German capital after the rally officially ended, but Sunday’s protests saw people peacefully gathering at the US embassy.

Protesters in Cologne (DW/S. Bonney-Cox)

Hundreds of protesters in Cologne waved 'No hate, no fear' and 'White silence is violence' banners

In Budapest, Hungary, hundreds of peaceful anti-racism protesters gathered for speeches and music. The crowd knelt and maintained silence for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the amount of time a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on unarmed black man George Floyd’s neck before he was killed.

In the UK, protests went ahead in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol despite the government warning people to stick to small groups.

In the coastal city of Bristol, once the center of the British slave trade, the statue of influential slave trader Edward Colston was ripped down by protesters and thrown into the harbor.

Protesters also kneeled on the statue’s neck for nearly nine minutes. In London, social media images showed the statue of wartime UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill was defaced with the words "was a racist."

In the city of the European Union headquarters, Brussels, several thousand people showed up with signs outside the main courthouse. Although many wore masks, social distancing was impossible because of the number of people present. Police later fired tear gas to disperse crowds.

Further protests were reported in Marseilles, Krakow, Oslo and countless more cities. Authorities have condemned people for not sticking to distancing measures.

16:41 US Attorney General William Barr has said that he "doesn’t think the law enforcement system in the US is systematically racist." Speaking on US TV, he said he believes policies to address racism with the police are working. "I think the reform is a difficult task but I think it is working and progress has been made."

Barr also addressed the decision to have military troops on standby in Washington D.C. this week. President Donald Trump ordered 10,000 military personnel to be deployed, Reuters news agency reported, but Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Epsen persuaded him to keep them on standby.

Barr denied this claim and said that "Our position was common, which was that they should only be deployed as a last resort and that we didn’t think we would need them. I think everyone was one the same page," he added.

16:19 The body of George Floyd has arrived in Houston, Texas for a final memorial service and funeral. Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25 when a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite him saying "I can’t breathe."

A six-hour viewing of Floyd’s body is planned on Monday while funeral services and burial will go ahead on Tuesday.

US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is to visit Floyd's family in Houston on Monday, according to two senior aides. 

"I promised George Floyd’s family that he wouldn’t become just another hashtag — and I intend to keep that promise," he wrote on Twitter.

Previous memorials for Floyd, whose death sparked worldwide protests, were held in Minneapolis and his birthplace in Raeford, North Carolina.

16:08 London police chief Cressida Dick says 27 officers were injured in "shocking and unacceptable" assaults during anti-racism protests in central London this week, including 14 this week. One underwent surgery when she fell from her horse.

The Metropolitan police, which has had a horse-mounted branch since 1760, has been criticized for bringing the animals to packed streets, with social media footage showing several protesters injured when a spooked horse ran through the streets.

Tens of thousands in London ignored advice from Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for people not to gather in groups of more than six to avoid spreading coronavirus. Demonstrators packed the road leading to the US embassy on the south bank of the River Thames.

Police said 29 people were arrested on Saturday, but protests remained largely peaceful. No arrests have been reported so far on Sunday, with people clapping, taking to one knee and chanting "George Floyd" and "the UK is not innocent."

15:05 US President Donald Trump has announced that National Guard troops will start withdrawing from Washington D.C. Trump deployed federal forces to the city one week ago.

The US capital has seen sustained peaceful protests in recent days, including the painting of an enormous mural along the street leading to the White House reading "Black Lives Matter."

Trump wrote on Twitter that "everything is under perfect control" in the city. The president received criticism this week after apparently ordering the National Guard to remove mostly peaceful protesters from the White House gates so he could walk outside to deliver an address.

14:35 A statue of English 17th-century slave-owner and merchant Edward Colston has been toppled to the ground by Black Lives Matter protesters in the UK city of Bristol, local media reported.

Rights groups and protesters called earlier in the week for his statue to be removed. Colston left a big legacy on the city of Bristol with many streets named after him.

Protesters across the UK have been calling for Britain to face up to its colonial legacy and the fact that slavery funded many of the UK’s most well-known sites and buildings. The statue has long been a controversial landmark in Bristol.

Black Lives Matter protests were planned across the UK for Sunday. Event organizers in Bristol say around 7,000 people turned out.

14:16 At least 5,000 people have joined a demonstration against racism and police violence in Copenhagen. Protesters gathered in front of the US embassy in the Danish capital’s Osterbro district. Danish radio station DR reported that the call to action was made by the Danish branch of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Protesters marched through the city to the Christiansborg Palace, the Danish parliament. The protest is one of the largest anti-racism demonstrations ever seen in Denmark.

13:47 Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg have become the latest German Bundesliga football teams to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests. Both sides took a knee before the game began, echoing a similar gesture made on Saturday by fellow teams Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin.

Many German footballers have used their platform to speak out against racism in the public sphere since the protests in the US began. The Bundesliga became one of the first European football premier leagues to start playing again, offering a greater chance for exposure from across the continent.

Read more: Black Lives Matter: Black German footballers speak out on racism

13:33 Rome has seen its first major rally against racism as thousands of protesters gathered in People's Square. Most wore masks in the country that has seen one of the highest death rates from COVID-19. 

Participants listened to speeches and waved placards reading "Black Lives Matter." The peaceful rally was attended by people of all ethnic backgrounds and ages. At one point, demonstrators kneeled and raised a fist in solidarity with those fighting racism.

Organizers of the group included the grassroots protest group Sardines as well as US expats' organizations and Neri Italiani, a group for black Italians.

12:29 Thousands of people in Spain have turned out for anti-racism protests. Several thousand gathered in front of the US embassy in Madrid, many holding signs saying "I can’t breathe," among George Floyd’s last words.

The Spanish organization of black, African and African-origin groups in Spain (CNAAE) announced that protests were ongoing in 12 Spanish cities, from the Basque country to the Canary Islands. ​

11:47 New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the curfew in the city was lifted "effective immediately" after peaceful rallies in America's biggest city helped defuse tension between protesters and the police.

"Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city," de Blasio wrote on Twitter. "Tomorrow we take the first big step to restart. Keep staying safe."

The authorities imposed a curfew on Monday after rioters looted shops and smashed storefront windows in various parts of the city. The measure aimed to keep residents indoors after 11 p.m. which was then changed to 8 p.m. De Blasio had insisted the curfew would stay in place over the weekend. On Saturday, police did not enforce the curfew and instead let protesters march through Manhattan and Brooklyn over two hours later.

08:14 In Hong Kong, a small group of demonstrators rallied in front of the US Consulate in protest of police brutality and racism in the US. Out of several dozens of protesters, most were international students or activists from the local League of Social Democrats.

"It's important to get our message across to others around the world to remind them that even though we are far away, we are with them 100% in spirit — black lives matter," 28-year-old British student Quinland Anderson told the Reuters news agency.

The small protest comes after months of political instability in Hong Kong, which saw brutal clashes between protesters and police over autonomy over mainland China. Earlier this week, China commented on the US upheaval by calling racism "a chronic disease of American society" and slamming the police crackdown as a "textbook example of its world-famous double standards."

"Why does the US lionize the so-called Hong Kong independence... while calling people who protest against racism 'rioters'?" asked foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

Yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Beijing's "laughable propaganda." He said that China's Communist Party was "seeking to conflate" the events in the US with its own "denial of basic human rights and freedom" and that its efforts "should be seen for the fraud that they are."

07:59 Protesters toppled a statue of a Confederate general after a rally in Richmond, the capital of the US state of Virginia. Photos published by the local Richmond Times-Dispatch show what appears to be red paint on the monument, and a rope was apparently tied around the throat of the statue of General Williams Carter Wickham, which stood since 1891. A police spokeswoman said she did not know if any arrests have been made.

Many in the US have called for removing monuments dedicated to political and military leaders of the Confederacy, the pro-slavery union in the American Civil War. Last week, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said he would seek the removal of several Confederate monuments in the city center, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that a state-owned statue of the best-known Confederate general, Robert E. Lee, would be removed "as soon as possible."

07:14 Australia's Finance Minister Mathias Cormann slammed the "Black Lives Matter" protesters as "reckless and irresponsible" for violating social distancing rules designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

"I think it is incredibly selfish," Cormann told Sky News after thousands of people marched in Sydney, Melbourne, and other big Australian cities, some of them defying bans issued by the authorities.

Cormann later told reporters that many people had to stay away from funerals of their loved ones amid the pandemic.

"But we are going to have a mass gathering of tens of thousands of people in complete breach of the rules that apply to everyone else — it is absolutely reckless and irresponsible," the conservative politician said.

Australia, with its 25 million people, has seen 7,255 coronavirus cases and 102 deaths. The government has managed to largely contain the outbreak due to strict border controls and social distancing measures.

Senior Labour representative Richard Marles also commented that the crowds made him "uncomfortable" but said he was not casting judgment on the protests, which also focused on the discrimination against Australia's indigenous population.

"I don't feel like I'm in a position to say to indigenous Australians who are protesting against that, that this is a selfish and indulgent act," Marles told the state broadcaster ABC.

06:37 In Berlin, 28 police officers were injured in the aftermath of a largely peaceful protest against racism and the killing of George Floyd. Some 15,000 people attended the rally in Berlin, which was only planned to include 1,500 people due to the coronavirus restrictions. The participants also observed a silence lasting 8 minutes and 46 seconds, honoring African-American George Floyd who died after a white police officer held a knee on his neck for this amount of time.

After the protest, however, a large group of people started throwing stones and bottles at the police and passers-by, leading to scuffles. Berlin police said 93 people were arrested.

03:50 In one of the few skirmishes protesters had with police, authorities in Seattle used flash-bang devices and pepper spray to disperse a crowd of protesters in the city.

The mayhem in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood followed a large, peaceful demonstration earlier in the day with medical workers demonstrating against racism and police brutality.

03:40 The top editor of US newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer has resigned, after a headline on one article about the protests caused an uproar within the newsroom and in the city.

In a column published last week about looting and vandalism on the margins of protests of George Floyd's death, the Inquirer used the headline ''Buildings Matter, Too,'' in reference to the ''Black Lives Matter'' movement that has led the demonstrations.

The article was written by architecture critic Inga Saffron, who expressed concern that buildings damaged in violence over the past week could "leave a gaping hole in the heart of Philadelphia."

The paper's black staff members condemned the headline and some 30 members of the Inquirer's 210-member editorial staff called in sick to express their outrage.

In response, the title was changed to ''Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?'' which drew renewed scorn. Eventually, the newspaper settled on the title ''Damaging buildings disproportionately hurt the people protesters are trying to uplift.''

Ultimately, The Inquirer apologized for a "horribly wrong" decision to use the original headline.

Publisher and CEO Lisa Hughes said in a memo to staff that the headline was "offensive and inappropriate" and said the newspaper needed a more diverse workforce.

02:00 US former-Vice President Joe Biden vowed to advocate for police reforms and "long-overdue, concrete policies to reverse systemic racism," if elected president this November.  

Biden made the remarks in an op-ed published by the Los Angeles Times, a day after he clinched the Democratic nomination for president, having reached the required number of delegates. 

"If elected, I am committed to establishing a national police oversight commission within 100 days of taking office," the former vice president promised. 

"We need to implement real community policing and ensure that every police department in the country undertakes a comprehensive review of their hiring, their training, and their de-escalation practices, with the federal government providing the tools and resources needed to implement reforms," Biden said. 

He called on Congress to "take action immediately" to outlaw chokeholds, stop the transfer of weapons of war to local police forces, improve oversight and accountability, and create a standard model on the use of force by police officers. 

01:30 An Associated Press investigation found scant evidence to back President Donald Trump's claim that left-leaning radicals and antifa have been behind the protests against police brutality, in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Trump has said that antifa, whom he has referred to as radical-left thugs engaging in domestic terrorism, was orchestrating the violence, an assertion repeated by Attorney General William Barr.

''The violence instigated and carried out by antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly,'' Barr said in a statement issued Sunday.

Read more: Trump's 'antifa' accusations spark debate in Germany, the movement's birthplace

AP conducted an analysis of court records, employment histories, social media posts and other sources of information for 217 people arrested last weekend in Minneapolis and the District of Columbia. The two cities have been at the epicenter of the protests. 

But the investigation found that more than 85% of those arrested were local residents and only a handful of those charged with offenses such as curfew violations, rioting and failure to obey law enforcement, appeared to have any affiliation with organized groups.

Individuals arrested for looting and property destruction, including arson, burglary and theft, tended to already have criminal records. They were overwhelmingly local residents, who sought to take advantage of the chaos.

Only a few of those arrested were left-leaning activists, including one self-described anarchist, while others appeared to be right-leaning, including some Trump supporters.

Federal law enforcement officials have likewise not offered much evidence that antifa-aligned protesters are behind the protest movement.

00:00 Two police officers from the city of Buffalo in the US state of New York were charged with assault after they were seen on video shoving a 75-year-old protester during a demonstration over the death of George Floyd.

In the clip, the elderly man falls to the ground and the back of his head hits the pavement, loses consciousness and begins to bleed. 

Officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski surrendered to authorities Saturday morning and pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault. The two were released without bail.

The officers were suspended without pay and if convicted of the felony assault charge, they face up to seven years in prison.

McCabe's lawyer, Tom Burton, said his client was a decorated military veteran with a clean record as a police officer, noting that it was not McCabe's intention to hurt the 75-year-old man. 

Burton added that if the victim had followed police commands to back off, ''none of this would have happened.''

Dozens of Buffalo police officers were outraged by their fellow officers' suspension and in a symbolic gesture, stepped down from the department's crowd control unit on Friday.

The video of the encounter sparked outrage online, but also among local leaders. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he believed there was "criminal liability."

"What we saw was horrendous and disgusting, and I believe, illegal," he added.

22:00 US broadcaster Fox News apologized for displaying a chart that correlating the stock market's performance with the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Michael Brown. 

The conservative news outlet aired the graph on Friday on its show ''Special Report with Bret Baier'' to illustrate gains made by the S&P 500 index one week after Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968, the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014, and Geroge Floyd's death while in Minneapolis police custody.  

Fox News said in a statement that the chart "should have never aired on television without full context.''  

''We apologize for the insensitivity of the image and take this issue seriously,'' the broadcaster said. 

Host Bret Baier retweeted Fox's apology without further comment. 

21:50 The northwestern US city of Seattle saw its ninth consecutive day of protests over the death of George Floyd. A large crowd of medical workers, many of them wearing lab coats or scrubs, took part in the demonstration.

One sign said, "Nurses kneel with you, not on you."  Another read, "Police violence and racism are a public health emergency."

The demonstrations in Seattle have been among the largest in the city in years.

After police were severely criticized for using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse largely peaceful crowds, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best imposed a 30-day moratorium on the department's use of one kind of tear gas and a review of crowd control policies.

Watch video 02:19

Protests against George Floyd killing go global

21:00 Protesters gathered in New York City, amid lingering tension between demonstrators and police over the city's evening curfew.

Marches have been planned throughout the day and into the evening in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, despite the curfew that begins at 8:00 p.m. local time (midnight UTC). Local politicians and civil liberties advocates have come out against the curfew, saying it causes needless confrontation, as officers try to enforce it.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio has insisted the curfew will remain in place throughout the weekend.

Friday's protests in New York City saw some clashes between protesters and police when law enforcement tried to enforce the curfew.

Images on social media showed officers in Brooklyn surrounding a group of demonstrators and chasing others down with batons. In Manhattan's East Side, police also used force to break up remnants of a march that started near the mayor's official residence.

Black Lives Matter Protest in Washington Square Park in New York City (imago images/Bildbyran/J. Marklund)

Protests were held in several New York City boroughs

19:30 Thousands of protesters are gathering on the streets of US capital, Washington DC, for what is expected to be the largest demonstration in the city against police brutality since the death in the police custody of unarmed African-American George Floyd on May 25.

Washington, like many cities in the US, has seen daily protests over the past week. They have been largely peaceful, with people in the capital marching back and forth from the White House to the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

According to a tweet from the capital's traffic police, there were around 6,000 protesters split between the Lincoln Memorial and in front of the White House, by midday. Officials said they expected crowds of between 100,000 to 200,000, despite soaring temperatures.

Protesters close to the White House held banners and signs that read "no peace without justice," "stop racism now" and "I can't breathe" — the last words of Floyd who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for close to nine minutes.

Ahead of the planned demonstration, military vehicles and officers in fatigues closed off much of downtown Washington to traffic. The White House has been fortified with new fencing and extra security precautions.

Hundreds of demonstrators who marched past the George Washington University Hospital chanted "Hands up, Don't shoot!" "We March for hope, not for hate," and "I can't breathe!"

"Our anger is not just about police brutality," tweeted DW correspondent Alexander von Nahmen, citing Roger Campbell II — one of the speakers addressing protesters at the Lincoln memorial.

18:09 Hundreds of mourners are lining up to pay respects to George Floyd at a memorial service and public viewing at church in Raeford, North Carolina, close to his hometown of Fayetteville.

The line of people waiting to view the 46-year-old's coffin included families with young children and teenagers.

One young woman wore a green and gold graduation cap and gown as she walked beside her parents. Many in the line wore face masks.

When the hearse bearing Floyd's coffin arrived, some mourners chanted "Black Power," "George Floyd" and "No justice, no peace," from beneath the covered entrance.

The unarmed African-American was killed when a US police officer last week knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while three other officers looked no. The four officers have been arrested, with one facing murder charges, and the others for aiding and abetting.

Sometimes-violent protests have been taking place across the US, and globally, since his death on May 25.

17:00 Anti-racism protests drew thousands of people across Germany, with demonstrators filling up city centers from Berlin to Dusseldorf. 

Thousands gathered in Alexanderplatz in Berlin's city center, holding signs that said "Black Lives Matter” and "No justice, no peace.”

"The #Alex is packed. No more people are being allowed in. Distancing is not possible,” one user tweeted.

Protests in Cologne, Münster and Nuremberg also drew large crowds, along with smaller cities such as Flensburg in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. 

Read more: George Floyd killing spurs fresh protests across Europe

15:00 Welcome to DW's rolling coverage of the protests sweeping the US and the rest of the world in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The 46-year-old African American died in Minneapolis last week after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, despite crying out "I can't breathe." Since then, the US has experienced its worst civil unrest since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. 

ed, jcg/mm (AP, Reuters)

Watch video 02:35

Anger in US over police violence resonates across globe

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