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US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has again threatened anti-racist protesters with violence as nationwide demonstrations continued over the killing of African-American George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Mr Trump warned protesters on Saturday that anyone who entered the grounds of the White House would be met with “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”
Last week he had revamped a chilling racist slogan, used as a battle cry against the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as he wrote on Twitter: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The message triggered a content warning from the social media giant due to its glorification of violence.
But Mr Trump, who has been accused of holding white-supremacist sympathies, has failed to deter demonstrations across the country.
They continued in Minneapolis, where photojournalist Linda Tirado said she’s been left permanently blind in her left eye by a rubber bullet fired by police.
She said protesters took her to hospital after the police shot her, giving her medical supplies.
In Ferguson, Missouri — where a national anti-racist uprising was sparked by the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in 2014 — protesters let off fireworks at the local police department in anger over Mr Floyd’s death.
In Brooklyn, New York, two police cruisers rammed into a crowd of demonstrators on Saturday, knocking several to the ground.
Two San Diego banks were burned to the ground in the early hours of yesterday morning as protests swept through the usually quiet La Mesa neighbourhood.
Curfews were imposed in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where hundreds have taken to the streets chanting George Floyd’s name and “Black Lives Matter.”
About 3,000 National Guard troops were mobilised in Georgia cities by Republican governor Brian Kemp.
“The protesters need to know we’re going to support their efforts in a peaceful, nonviolent protest,” he claimed, but threatened: “The agitators need to know that we’ll be there … to take them to jail if they’re destroying lives and property.”
The demonstrations have raged since Mr Floyd was killed on May 25, when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes and ignored his pleas of “I can’t breathe.”
Authorities have dismissed four officers involved in the incident, with charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter being brought against officer Derek Chauvin amid pressure from the demonstrations.
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