Protesters block downtown Vancouver streets as unrest over killing of George Floyd grows in U.S.
Demonstrators marched through Downtown Eastside chanting 'black lives matter'
Around 100 people marched through downtown Vancouver on Saturday evening protesting the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week in Minneapolis.
The demonstrators marched in the Downtown Eastside area chanting "black lives matter" in the rain as protesters in the U.S. condemn the deaths of black people by police, leaving cities from New York to Seattle with broken windows and ransacked buildings and stores.
The protests began in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes as the man said "I can't breathe."
In an email, the Vancouver Police Department said the protest is disrupting traffic in all directions in the East Hastings and Main Street area.
More than 100 people are marching through downtown Vancouver calling for justice for George Floyd, the Minnesota man who died Monday after a police officer pressed a knee to his neck until he was unresponsive. The crowd is heading northbound on Main St. <a href="https://twitter.com/cbcnewsbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cbcnewsbc</a> <a href="https://t.co/pGDeBOS7D4">pic.twitter.com/pGDeBOS7D4</a>—@CoryCorreia
"For the most part people are behaved and there have not been any arrests," Sgt. Aaron Roed said.
"We will be updating any traffic disruptions on our social media channels."
National Guard mobilized as riots intensify across U.S.
The officer who held his knee to Floyd's neck as he begged for air was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Many protesters are demanding the arrests of the three other officers involved.
At least a dozen major U.S. cities have imposed overnight curfews as protests intensify.
Hundreds of people were arrested Friday, and police used batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray to push back crowds in some cities. Many departments reported injured officers, while social media was awash in images of police using forceful tactics, throwing protesters to the ground, using bicycles as shields and trampling one protester while on horseback.
Police in St. Louis were investigating the death of a protester who climbed between two trailers of a Fed Ex truck and was killed when it drove away. And a person was killed in the area of protests in downtown Detroit just before midnight after someone fired shots into an SUV, officers said. Police had initially said someone fired into the crowd from an SUV.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz fully mobilized the state's National Guard and promised a massive show of force.
"The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd," Walz said. "It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities."
With files from The Associated Press