Former US President Barack Obama on Monday condemned the violence at nationwide protests over Racial inequities and excessive police force, while praising the actions of peaceful protesters seeking change.
The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful, but a “small minority” were putting people at risk and harming the very communities the protests are intended to help, Obama wrote in an online essay posted on Medium.
Obama said the violence was “compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause.”
The United States has been rocked by six straight nights of tumult over the death last week of a black man in Minneapolis, George Floyd, after a white police officer pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck.
How George Floyd was murdered
George Floyd, an African-American man, died in Powderhorn, a neighborhood south of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Video of Floyd’s arrest captured by a bystander and posted on Facebook appeared to show the victim pinned to the ground, repeatedly pleading “I can’t breathe” for nearly four minutes as an officer holds his neck to the ground with his knee. He appeared to be in handcuffs in the video footage.
Floyd, 46, appeared to lose consciousness as the officer maintained his position on the victim.
His pulse was checked about three minutes after he stopped gasping for air, but it is unclear from the video what the assessment was at that point. He was then loaded on to a stretcher and moved into an ambulance.