DEMONSTRATIONS ARE taking place in Dublin following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was pinned to the ground by a white police officer’s knee in the US last week.
Two protests are set to take place in Ballbridge and Phoenix Park, with people across Ireland eager to show solidarity with those protesting Mr. Floyd’s death.
He died on Monday, May 25, following an incident involving four police officers responding to a call from a nearby grocery store who alleged Mr. Floyd had tried to use a counterfeit $20 note.
According to police, Mr. Floyd dropped to the ground, telling officers he was claustrophobic. They claim he then began to physically resist officers and was subsequently handcuffed.
However, footage widely shared on social media shows one of the officers involved - named as Derek Chauvin - kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for several minutes during the arrest while he pleaded “I can’t breathe”.
A preliminary autopsy carried out by the county medical examiner has since determined that Mr Chauvin had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
By then, officers had already noted that had been non-responsive for almost three minutes. Two minutes before the knee was removed, one officer had been unable to find a pulse.
Mr. Floyd was taken to hospital but pronounced dead roughly an hour later.
Mr. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and is facing more than 12 years in prison if convicted.
Three other officers who were also present at the time of the incident have also been sacked.
In the wake of the death, massive demonstrations have taken place in Minneapolis and across at least 30 cities across the US.
Though they began as largely peaceful protests this past Saturday, May 30, violence flared up later in the day at demonstrations held in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia and San Francisco to name but a few.
Governors in several US states have introduced curfews in an attempt at curbing the protests while National Guard troops have also been called in with unrest continuing to intensify, resulting in broken windows and burned-out buildings in several cities.