MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Demonstrations across the U.S. to condemn racism and police abuses remained large but mostly without the violence of previous nights on the eve of a Thursday memorial service for George Floyd that kicks off a series of events to mourn the man whose death empowered a national movement.
The most serious new charge Wednesday was an accusation of second-degree murder against Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck.
Floyd’s name has become a rallying cry in other countries, too, unleashing protests against police violence and racial injustice.
Some demonstrators lay down to represent the amount of time a white police officer pressed a knee into Floyd’s neck while he pleaded for air.
An overpowering security force — including officers from the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Prisons and, according to a senior defense official, at least 2,200 National Guard soldiers — was out in force Wednesday as thousands of peaceful protesters demonstrated in the nation’s capital.