Washington, 6 June 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Washington was preparing for large protests on Saturday, as demonstrations in the US capital city against police brutality head into a ninth day, following the killing of a black man in police custody last week and crackdowns on rallies.
Officials are expecting the largest crowds yet to gather with multiple events planned in different locations, including at Congress, the iconic Lincoln Memorial and the sustained protest outside the White House.
Protests have been taking places across the country following the death of George Floyd, 46, in Minnesota. A police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Four officers have been arrested, one facing murder charges and the others for aiding and abetting.
Instances of rioting and looting nationally have largely, though not totally, stopped. Some cities, including Washington, saw chaos and violence in their streets last weekend and early this week.
The capital has become the focal point of the protests, in part as anger is directed towards President Donald Trump who has taken a tough approach towards protests, using federal forces to disperse mostly peaceful demonstrators outside the White House on Monday.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser has openly supported the protests, renaming the area of the crackdown “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
Videos continue to emerge from numerous cities of police beating protesters at rallies, highlighting the problem of heavy-handed tactics employed by local departments around the country.
Washington Police Chief Peter Newsham said he believes the gatherings in the city may be “one of the largest” he’s seen.
Floyd’s funeral is set for Tuesday in Houston, Texas.