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Autopsy finds police suffocated black man as Trump threatens to deploy military

An autopsy shows George Floyd was suffocated by a US policeman, contradicting a preliminary ruling, which had said the African-American man’s death was caused by pre-existing heart problems.

A week after Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the medical examiner’s office released its official autopsy that called his death a homicide caused by “neck compression” and “asphyxiation from sustained pressure.”

The autopsy blamed his videotaped death on the white police officer who pinned him down by his neck for nearly nine minutes as the unarmed black man was pleading “I can’t breathe!”

“The evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause of death, and homicide as the manner of death,” Aleccia Wilson, a University of Michigan expert who examined his body at the family’s request, told a news conference.

Floyd, 46, was accused of trying to buy cigarettes with a “counterfeit bill.”

The black man’s death has set off snowballing nationwide anti-racism protests, which have turned to a major challenge for President Donald Trump months before presidential election.

Protester killed in Louisville amid ‘harshest’ coast-to-coast curfew

New York became the latest city to impose a nighttime curfew after consecutive nights of protests, enacting the strictest curfew since the race riots of 1943.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the city’s curfew begins at 6 pm, saying that, “The focus needs to stay on taking down systemic racism and ending senseless violence against Black men and women — and we can’t let a small number of people hijack that movement by putting lives in danger and destroying property.”

The curfew is the harshest since the riots in 1992 following the acquittal of the officer who beat Rodney King, CNN said.

The announcement that America’s second-largest city will go into curfew again comes just hours after LA County cities Santa Monica and Beverly Hills said they too would have another night of lockdown. The local entertainment industry hubs of Culver City, Burbank also will be under curfew tonight, as will Glendale.

In Los Angeles and in Oakland, California, just east of San Francisco, peaceful protesters were detained and arrested for being on the streets past the curfew.

More than 40 cities have imposed curfews. Washington’s mayor, Muriel Browser, said a curfew will start Monday at an unusually early 7.00 pm in hopes of preventing a repeat of “the destruction” in the US capital.

Meanwhile, a protester was killed in Kentucky’s largest city Louisville.

Police claimed officers and the National Guard “returned fire” just after midnight after being shot at as they dispersed a crowd in a parking lot.

Louisville has seen especially passionate protests due to the police killing in March of an African American woman, Breonna Taylor, in her own apartment.

Trump threatens to call in troops 

President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military to “dominate” protesters, as he faces a climbing coronavirus death toll and uncertain re-election prospects in November.

“We’re going to clamp down very, very strong,” Trump said. “The word is ‘dominate.’ If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re gonna walk away with you. And we’re doing it in Washington, in DC, we’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before … But we’re going to have total domination.”

Some Pentagon officials expressed concern about Trump’s rhetoric, saying the situation does not yet call for deploying active duty troops unless state governors make a clear argument such forces are needed.

“There is an intense desire for local law enforcement to be in charge,” a Pentagon official said.

Pentagon Chief Mark Esper said there are now more than 17,000 National Guard in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

On Monday, peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed as the National Guard fired tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets.

Military helicopters were seen flying overhead and hovering in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

The helicopters were seen making slow low-level passes, using their propellers to kick up strong wind and debris. The tactic, known as a show of force, is commonly used by the US military in combat zones overseas to drive targets away from a specific area, CNN said.

While presidents traditionally seek to bridge national divides during tumult, Trump was again holed up at the White House tweeting attacks on his political rivals and the media, AFP said.

Trump told state leaders to “dominate” and said they were “going to look like a bunch of jerks” if they are too soft.

The governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, said he was “extraordinarily concerned” by the president’s “inflammatory” rhetoric.

Joe Biden, Trump’s likely Democratic opponent in November presidential election, met Monday with black leaders in Wilmington, Delaware and promised to form a police oversight commission in his first 100 days as president.

“Hate just hides. Doesn’t go away. And when you have somebody in power who breathes oxygen into the hate under the rocks, it comes out from under the rocks,” Biden said.

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