George Floyd death: Tweet showing difference between Michigan and Minneapolis protests goes viral

Tweet compares Minneapolis protests with stay-at-home demonstrations in April  

Andrew Naughtie,Louise Hall
Thursday 28 May 2020 21:13 BST
Local news reporter films war-like scenes at George Floyd protest in Minneapolis

A tweet highlighting the difference between two protests across America has gone viral in light of protests in Minneapolis after a black man, George Floyd, died following his arrest.

The post on twitter, which has more than 5,000 likes and 2,700 retweets shows the disparity in the atmosphere and treatment of protestors at the two demonstrations.

In one photo from the stay-at-home protests in Michigan, a white man can be seen screaming into the faces of two police officers without reaction from the authorities.

In another from Minneapolis, a Black Lives Matter protest is surrounded by a line of officers in riot gear deploying tear gas.

The photo of the Michigan protester went viral earlier this month when anti-lockdown campaigners descending on statehouses in Virginia, Michigan and Washington state with firearms to demand governors relax stay-at-home orders.

Social media users were quick to point out that anti-authority lockdown protests have been unfolding across the US almost without incident, despite the aggressive nature of the demonstrators.

The other photo emerged from a demonstration in Minneapolis following the death of Floyd, who died on 25 May at the hands of police.

The initially peaceful protests were sparked over outrage at the killing of Floyd after violent footage of him pinned to the ground by a police officer by the knee came to light.

The demonstrations descended into riots on Wednesday and police reportedly resorted to firing tear gas and stun grenades at demonstrators while buildings were vandalised, looted and burned. It has been reported that one person has been killed amidst the rioting.

The emphasis from the demonstration’s leaders was on keeping the event a peaceful protest to Floyd's death before the conflict erupted.

Participants addressed the crowds to chants of “I can’t breathe", which has long been a feature of protests against police treatment of black Americans and was what Floyd said to officers in the footage of his death.

"They offered him no humanity while keeping his knee on his neck. Members of the public were the only ones trying to de-escalate the situation. Not the police," Ben Crump, attorney for Floyd's family told CNN on Thursday, USA Today reported.

However, there have been mixed reactions over the violent escalation of the demonstration.

Mr Crump, who is acting in a number of cases involving the killing of black Americans including Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, warned any instigators of violence in the Minneapolis protests.

"We don't need that. We need people focused on getting justice," he told the broadcaster.

Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, spoke about the complexity of the situation in light of the riots.

“I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt, because they're tired of seeing black men die,” he told CNN.

“These officers (involved in George's arrest) need to be arrested right now ... and held accountable about everything because these people want justice right now."

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