WASHINGTON: Violent protests continued for the sixth consecutive day across the United States over the custodial killing of African-American George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who was pinned to the ground in Minneapolis by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath last Monday.
At least five people have died and curfew has been placed in 40 US cities. Police have arrested at least 2,564 people in two dozen US cities over the weekend. Nearly a fifth of those arrests were in Los Angeles.
Considered to be the worst ever civil unrest in the US in decades, the violent protests have engulfed at least 140 cities across America in the days following the death of Floyd. Some of the protests have turned violent, prompting the activation of the National Guard in at least 20 states.
The unrest initially began in Minneapolis in Minnesota but has now spread across the country, with reports of violence coming in from across major cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington DC.
The police fired tear gas near the White House on Sunday night to dissuade protesters who had smashed the windows of prominent buildings, overturned cars and set fires, with smoke seen rising from near the Washington Monument, it said.
For the past few days, thousands of protestors have gathered outside the White House raising slogans against President Trump.
President Trump was briefly taken to the underground bunker for some time during the protest outside the White House, while First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron were also taken to the bunker, a leading US channel reported.
In New York, demonstrators marched across the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges, snarling traffic. The Manhattan Bridge was briefly shut down to car traffic. Chaos erupted in Union Square, with flames leaping up two stories from trash cans and piles of street debris, the Times said.
"It is the first time so many local leaders have simultaneously issued such orders in the face of civic unrest since 1968, after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr," the report said.
President Trump made no public appearances on Sunday, but in a series of tweets he blamed the media for fomenting hatred and anarchy in the country. The Trump administration alleges that it appears the violence is planned, organised, and driven by anarchistic and far left extremists, using ANTIFA-like tactics, many of whom travel from out of state to promote the violence.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, in a late night statement said that several dozen covering the protests have been harassment, as well as arrested by law enforcement agencies. From Minneapolis to Washington DC, from Louisville to Las Vegas, reporters are facing assault and arrest while reporting on widespread protests and unrest. Freelance photographer Linda Tirado became "permanently blind" but that she would in her left eye after she was struck by a rubber bullet.