17:26 GMT04 August 2020
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    Riots Sweep US After Black Man Dies During Police Arrest (129)
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    The United States is currently embroiled in protests and riots across the country in response to the death of an African American man at the hands of a police officer. President Trump has condemned the destruction of property but until now former President Obama had remained silent.

    Former President Barack Obama has broken his silence over the death of George Floyd as ongoing protests over police brutality shake the United States.

    The 44th president posted a statement on Twitter on Friday, following current President Donald Trump's call for looters to be shot in a tweet that has not been deleted.

    He began by sharing an anecdote of a conversation he had with a friend, a middle-aged African American businessman, and their different circumstances.

    "We have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’— whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in park", the president said.

    “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives to its highest ideals, we can and must be better", he added.

    ​Obama's message comes as several protests in response to the death of George Floyd after his neck was kneeled on by Officer Derek Chauvin.

    Footage of the incident emerged last week which showed Floyd begging for his living and saying he can't breathe.

    Some of the protests have turned violent, with buildings being burnt down and tear gas used by Minneapolis police in response. On Thursday night, the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis was burned down and seven people have been shot.

    Plumes of smoke rise into the sky in the aftermath of a protest after a white police officer was caught on a bystander's video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., May 29, 2020.
    © REUTERS / CARLOS BARRIA
    Plumes of smoke rise into the sky in the aftermath of a protest after a white police officer was caught on a bystander's video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., May 29, 2020.

    US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the National Guard had arrived on the scene as the situation escalates. He called for protestors to "respect" Floyd's memory and that he "will not have died in vain".

    ​The Floyd case echoes a similar situation that occurred under the Obama presidency. In 2014 Eric Garnerm, an African American man died in New York City after being put in a chokehold while under arrest.

    Garner also notified the police officer that he could not breathe, coining the "I Can't Breathe" slogan which has been used consistently by anti-police brutality demonstrators.

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    Riots Sweep US After Black Man Dies During Police Arrest (129)

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    Tags:
    Barack Obama, Donald Trump, United States, George Floyd killing, George Floyd, Police brutality
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