The Latest: Australians draw parallels to inequality in U.S.
The Latest on the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:
TOP OF THE HOUR:
— Australians rally, draw parallels to inequality in U.S.
— Protesters take to New York City streets after curfew, again.
— NFL stars part of passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.
— Protesters in South Korea condemn what they described as U.S. police brutality toward demonstrators.
— Heavy rain brings an end to Washington protests before dark.
CANBERRA, Australia -- Thousands gathered in Australia’s capital on Friday to remind citizens that the racial inequality underscored by George Floyd’s death was not unique to the United States.
“Australians have to understand that what’s been going on the United States has been happening here for a long time,” said Matilda House, an elder of the Ngambri-Ngunnawal family group who are the traditional owners of the Canberra region.
Australia had to move beyond a colonial attitude “that blacks are only here to be walked on, trodden on and murdered,” House told the crowd at the rally.
A demonstrator who interrupted House was shouted down in a heated confrontation with several protesters. The demonstrator eventually left.
School teacher Wendy Brookman, a member of the Butchulla indigenous people, said Australia should not accept more than 430 indigenous Australians dying in police custody or prison in the past three decades.
One of the protesters’ signs “I can’t breathe,” drew a parallel between Floyd’s death in Minnesota on May 25 and the Australian indigenous experience.
They were among the last words of both Floyd and Aboriginal man David Dungay, who died in a prison hospital in 2015 while being restrained by five guards.
NEW YORK -- Protesters stayed on the streets of New York City after curfew for another day Thursday, spurred by the death of George Floyd.
Actions by the protesters included gathering at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza, the site where police used batons against demonstrators who were out past the city-imposed curfew a night earlier.
Protesters continued past the 8 p.m. curfew Thursday, even after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to deflect criticism over harsh tactics from police enforcing it.
Thousands of protesters were out after curfew, and so were police.
At some locations, officials watched, but didn’t immediately move in. At other spots, they made orderly arrests without the batons and riot gear, like a night earlier.
SEOUL, South Korea -- Dozens of protesters gathered in the South Korean capital Friday to condemn what they described as U.S. police brutality toward demonstrators marching against the death of George Floyd.
In front of the downtown U.S. Embassy, members of human rights groups and other participants called for South Korea’s government to make a statement against the “racial discrimination and state violence” of its ally.
They said South Korea should also address its own problems with racial discrimination and urged the government to push for an anti-discrimination law, which has been resisted by conservatives for years.
“As the U.S. civil society empowered and stood in solidarity with Korean pro-democracy activists in the past, we will now stand in solidarity with citizens in the United States,” said activist Lee Sang-hyun, referring to South Koreans’ bloody struggles against military dictatorships that ruled the country until the late 1980s.
Holding a banner that read “Justice for Floyd,” most of the protesters wore black and some brought flowers in honor of Floyd, who died last month after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his neck with a knee for several minutes while he pleaded for air.
The protesters accused the U.S. government and police of using excessive violence against American demonstrators. They said President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy his military against protesters reminded South Koreans of a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the southern city of Gwangju in 1980 that killed hundreds.
WASHINGTON — Protests in the nation’s capital over George Floyd’s death broke up before dark Thursday as a heavy rain began to fall.
The law enforcement presence at the Lincoln Memorial, where protesters gathered, was much smaller than it had been near the White House during the previous nights’ demonstrations.
Tomora Wright, 29, of Washington, said her parents were concerned that she was coming down to protest but she wasn’t worried. “I know that my people are peaceful and I’m not scared to be around people who believe in the same thing, the same cause. I definitely felt the need to come down here and protest in solidarity.”
She wants to see the killers of George Floyd brought to justice but also reopening of past cases such as Sandra Bland in Texas. “These are unimaginable times. “
NEW YORK (AP) — Patrick Mahomes, Saquon Barkley and Michael Thomas are among more than a dozen NFL stars who united to send a passionate video message to the league about racial inequality.
The 70-second video was released on social media platforms Thursday night and includes Odell Beckham Jr., Deshaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Jamal Adams, Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins, among others.
Thomas, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver who has led the league in receptions the past two seasons, opens the video with the statement: “It’s been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered.” The players then take turns asking the question, “What if I was George Floyd?”
The players then name several of the black men and women who have recently been killed, including Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner.
The video closes with the players insisting they “will not be silenced.” They also demand the NFL state that it condemns “racism and the systemic oppression of black people. ... We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. ... We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. — A police commissioner has suspended two officers following video that shows a Buffalo officer appearing to shove a man who walked up to police.
Video from WBFO shows the man appearing to hit his head on the pavement, with blood leaking out as officers walk past to clear Niagara Square on Thursday night.
The station reports two medics treated the unidentified man. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted that the man was hospitalized and stable, but his exact condition wasn’t immediately known.
WIVB-TV reports that Buffalo police initially said in a statement a person “was injured when he tripped & fell.” But Capt. Jeff Rinaldo later told the TV station that an internal affairs investigation was opened. Later Thursday, news outlets reported that Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood suspended two officers without pay.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office has tweeted that they’re aware of the video.