The Latest: EU: George Floyd’s death was “an abuse of power”

The Latest on the 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:

— EU envoy: George Floyd’s death an “appalling” abuse of power

— Officer shot in Las Vegas, authorities responding to 2nd shooting

— Hungary reprimands soccer player with Floyd slogan on shirt

— Protesters march in Sydney in solidarity with US demonstrators

— New York City imposes a curfew but that doesn’t stop some looting

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BRUSSELS — The European Union’s top diplomat said Tuesday the death of George Floyd was the result of an abuse of power and that the 27-nation bloc is “shocked and appalled” by it.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that “like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd.”

Floyd died last week after he was pinned to the pavement by a white police officer in Minneapolis who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’s neck until he stopped breathing. His death set off protests that spread across America.

Borrell says law enforcement officials must not be “using their capacities in the way that has been used in this very, very unhappy death of George Floyd. This is an abuse of power and this has to be denounced.”

He underlined that Europeans “support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions.”

Borrell says “we trust in the ability of the Americans to come together, to heal as a nation and to address these important issues during these difficult times.”

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BUDAPEST, Hungary — The Hungarian soccer federation has issued a written reprimand to a player of African origin who showed his undershirt with the words “Justice for George Floyd” after scoring for Ferencvaros in its 1-1 draw with Puskas Akademia on Sunday.

Tokmac Nguen was born in a refugee camp in Kenya to parents from South Sudan and grew up in Norway.

The federation’s disciplinary committee said in its ruling issued Monday that any similar actions by Nguen in the future would result in “actual penalties” on each occasion.

Just hours after Nguen’s reprimand, FIFA, the world soccer’s governing body urged soccer competition organizers to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players demanding justice for Floyd during matches.

The German soccer federation is investigating similar actions by four players in the Bundesliga, including American midfielder Weston McKennie, who wore an armband over his Schalke jersey with the handwritten message “Justice for George.”

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LAS VEGAS — An officer has been shot in Las Vegas and authorities are responding to another shooting as people protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said.

The officer was shot in the area of the Las Vegas Strip and an officer was involved in a shooting in the downtown area, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Protesters have been rallying for days across the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man seen on video pleading that he couldn’t breathe while a white police officer pressing his knee into his neck for several minutes before he stopped moving.

Police in Las Vegas said Monday that 338 people were arrested during three nights of protests. Police said suspects were jailed despite a local court policy calling for most people accused of misdemeanors to receive court summons to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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SEOUL — South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says it has far confirmed 79 cases of property damage at stores run by Korean Americans amid U.S. protests over the death of George Floyd.

The ministry, which held a teleconferencing meeting with diplomats based in the United States to review the demonstrations’ impact on Korean Americans and South Korean citizens, said Tuesday it has yet to confirm any injuries or deaths.

The ministry says 50 cases of property damage were reported from Philadelphia, 10 from Minneapolis, five form Raleigh and four from Atlanta.

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SYDNEY — More than 1,000 protesters marched through downtown Sydney on Tuesday in solidarity with Americans demonstrating against the death of George Floyd half a world away.

Police escorted a crowd carrying banners that said: “Black Lives Matter,” “Aboriginal Lives Matter,” “White Silence is Violence” and “We See You, We Hear You, We Stand With You.”

The group marched from Hyde Park to New South Wales state Parliament with plans to continue to the U.S. Consulate.

The protest proceeded despite some organizers canceling it Monday for fear of conflict with counter protesters. But no counter protest emerged.

Around 2,000 demonstrators gathered in Australia’s west coast city of Perth on Monday night to peacefully protest Floyd’s death, and rallies are planned for other Australian cities this week.

Referring to the violence in U.S. streets, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “there’s no need to import things … happening in other countries here to Australia.”

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ST. LOUIS — Police say four officers were hit by gunfire after protests in St. Louis that started peacefully Monday became violent overnight, with demonstrators smashing windows and stealing items from businesses and fires burning in the downtown area.

The police department tweeted early Tuesday that the officers were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. It was unclear who had fired the shots.

The chaos in St. Louis followed continued protests Monday in Missouri over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans, with gatherings also held in Kansas City and Jefferson City.

On Monday afternoon, several hundred people rallied peacefully outside the justice center in downtown St. Louis, including Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards. Protestors later walked to the Gateway Arch National Park and then onto nearby Interstate 64.

But later Monday, protesters gathered in front of police headquarters, where officers fired tear gas. Some protesters smashed windows at a downtown 7-11 store and stole items from inside before the building was set on fire.

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NEW YORK — New York City imposed a late-night curfew Monday that failed to prevent another night of destruction, including arrests after a break-in at the iconic Macy’s store on 34th Street, following protests over George Floyd’s death.

As the 11 p.m. deadline to get off the streets approached, bands of protesters marched peacefully through Manhattan and Brooklyn, but police simultaneously responded to numerous reports of roving groups of people smashing their way into shops and emptying them of merchandise.

The doors of Macy’s flagship Manhattan store were breached. Police pulled two handcuffed men out and put them in a van.

People rushed into a Nike store and carried out armloads of clothing. Near Rockefeller Center, storefront windows were smashed and multiple people arrested. Bank windows were smashed. Wreckage littered the inside of an AT&T store.

Video posted on social media showed some protesters arguing with people breaking windows, urging them to stop, but instances of vandalism and smash-and-grab thefts mounted as the night deepened.

New York joined other cities around the country in imposing a curfew after days of unrest. It comes on top of months of restrictions on public gatherings already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Enough mayhem happened before the curfew took effect that Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that it would move up to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The curfew lifts at 5 a.m.

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Workers in Alabama’s largest city began removing a Confederate monument Monday night after demonstrators failed to knock down the obelisk the night before.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin sent workers with heavy equipment to take down the more than 50-foot-tall Confederate monument made of stone. Late on Monday, after a 7 p.m. curfew took effect and streets were mostly clear, crews began their work.

Live video showed workers attaching straps to the peak of the obelisk so it could be lifted away with a crane. Within a few hours they had removed the top of the monument.

Woodfin said the city would see if the memorial could be given to a museum or another group.

Woodfin said the fine the city may face for violating a state law banning the removal of Confederate and other long-standing monuments is more affordable than the cost of continued unrest in the city.

Attorney General Steve Marshall, in a statement, said the city would face an assessment of $25,000 if it removed the monument, which has been the subject of a court fight between the mostly black city and Republican-controlled state.

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CICERO, Ill. — Two people have been killed during unrest in the Chicago suburb of Cicero as protests continued over the death of George Floyd, according to a town official.

Spokesman Ray Hanania says 60 people were arrested in the town of about 84,000 located west of Chicago. Hanania didn’t provide additional information about those killed or the circumstances of their deaths.

The Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff’s Office were called in to help local police Monday as people broke into a liquor store and other businesses and stole items.

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — A vehicle plowed through a group of law enforcement officers at a George Floyd demonstration Monday night in Buffalo, injuring at least two.

Video from the scene shows the vehicle accelerating through an intersection shortly after officers apparently tackle a protester on the street and handcuff him. Officers are seen scattering to avoid the SUV as it drives off on Buffalo’s east side. Apparent gunshots are heard.

The officers were taken to Erie County Medical Center. Authorities said they were in stable condition.

Categories: National/World