MINNEAPOLIS- Prominent civil rights activist the Reverand Al Sharpton told mourners on Thursday (June 4) Mr George Floyd’s fatal encounter with police and the nationwide protests his death ignited marked a reckoning for America over race and justice, demanding, "Get your knee off our necks."
Memorial tributes to Mr Floyd in Minneapolis, where he was killed on May 25, and in New York City’s borough of Brooklyn, a major flashpoint for demonstrations stirred by his death, came as protesters returned to the streets of several US cities for a 10th straight day, including Atlanta, Washington D.C., Denver, Detroit and Los Angeles.
The gatherings, while boisterous at times, were for the most part orderly, in contrast to several previous nights punctuated by sporadic arson, looting and clashes between protesters and police.
The change in mood reflected a determination voiced by many protesters and organizers in recent days to transform outrage over Mr Floyd’s death into a renewed civil rights movement, seeking reforms to America’s criminal justice system.
"This is a very seismic moment, and someday I’m going to have a kid, and he or she or they are going to ask me what I did during the uprising of 2020, during the American spring," said Ms Nana Mensah, a writer in her 30s from Brooklyn.
She held a sign that read: "You’re lucky we just want equality and not revenge."
In the nation’s capital on Thursday, hundreds if not thousands assembled for a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, many sitting on the ground listening to speakers and chanting, "Say his name – George Floyd," before an evening thunderstorm dispersed the crowd.
A separate group of protesters congregated near the White House, where construction workers were seen erecting new concrete barriers and fences around the presidential residence.
Delivering the eulogy at a memorial service inside a university chapel in Minneapolis, Rev Sharpton said Mr Floyd’s fate - dying at the hands of police, pinned to the ground under the knee of a white officer – symbolised a universal experience of police brutality for African Americans.
"George Floyd should not be among the deceased. He did not die of common health conditions. He died of a common American criminal justice malfunction," Rev Sharpton said. "It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say, 'Get your knee off our necks.'"
Rev Sharpton led mourners in eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence, the amount of time Mr Floyd lay on a Minneapolis street with a knee pressed into his neck.
In addition to hundreds who gathered inside the North Central University chapel, a crowd of hundreds more clustered outside under trees and in window sills, listening to the service broadcast over loudspeakers.
One was Ms Zsa-Vona Williams, 36, who knew Mr Floyd from his days working at the homeless shelter where she once lived, recalling him as a caring, friendly soul.
"He gave to and fed a lot of people. He was a gentle, peaceful person," Ms Williams said, adding that in death, "He has changed the world."
The prayer service, which drew comic actors Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish as well as US Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, coincided with a separate outdoor memorial tribute to Mr Floyd in Brooklyn.
The day of remembrance capped more than a week of largely peaceful but raucous protests, accompanied by civil unrest that prompted dozens of cities to impose overnight curfews and the mobilisation of the National Guard in several states.
The size and scope of disturbances seemed to ebb after prosecutors in Minneapolis on Wednesday elevated murder charges against one police officer jailed last week in Mr Floyd’s May 25 death and arrested three others accused of aiding and abetting the first.
EX-COPS IN COURT
On Thursday, the three newly arrested officers made their first appearance in court and were ordered to remain held on US$750,000 (S$1.04 million) bond each.
Their principal co-defendant, Derek Chauvin, 44, is slated to appear for his bond hearing on Monday. Chauvin is the officer seen in video footage kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck as Mr Floyd gasped for air and repeatedly groaned, "I can’t breathe," before passing out.
The four former officers, all dismissed from the Minneapolis police department the day after Mr Floyd died, each faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges against them.
Mr Floyd, a Houston native who had worked security for various nightclubs, was unarmed when taken into custody outside a corner market where an employee had reported to police that a man matching his description tried to pay for cigarettes with a counterfeit bill.
His brother, Mr Terrence Floyd, joined an outdoor memorial on Thursday in a Brooklyn park where many in the crowd knelt in the grass in the afternoon sunshine in a symbol of protest and chanted, "No justice, no peace."
He urged the crowd to continue to seek justice but to avoid violence, saying, "My brother wasn’t about that."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took the stage to pledge that Mr Floyd’s death would lead to substantive changes in police practices in the nation’s largest city, and called for greater interracial empathy.
"All of us who know white privilege, we need to do more, because we don’t even fully recognize the daily pain that the racism in this society causes," he said.
Mr De Blasio, who drew scorn for suggesting protesters were to blame after a police cruiser drove into a group of demonstrators last week, was booed and heckled by many in Thursday’s crowd
His wife, Chirlane McCray, who is black and is the mother of their two children, said Mr Floyd’s killing was a reminder of the fear that black families in the country endure on a daily basis.
"We fear for their lives, and we also fear for their ability to live with dignity," she said.
A string of memorial services for Mr Floyd were expected to stretch across six days and three states, including memorials in North Carolina and Houston. A funeral was planned for Tuesday.
WASHINGTON - The US Transportation Department plans to issue a revised order in the coming days that is likely to allow some Chinese passenger airline flights to continue, government and airline officials said.
On Thursday (June 4), China said it would ease coronavirus restrictions to allow in more foreign carriers, shortly after Washington said it planned to bar Chinese passenger airlines from flying to the United States by June 16 due to Beijing's curbs on US carriers.
The change should allow US carriers to resume once-a-week flights into a city of their choice starting on June 8, but that would be still significantly fewer than what the US government says its aviation agreement with China allows.
The Transportation Department did not immediately comment.
The department said on Wednesday Chinese carriers could operate "the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours."
It added the order was to"restore a competitive balance and fair and equal opportunity among US and Chinese air carriers."
The US order would halt the four weekly US roundtrip flights by Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co and Xiamen Airlines Co.
US and airline officials have privately raised concerns about the revised Chinese rules and it is unclear if carriers would agree to fly just once a week to China when they have sought approval for two or three daily flights.
Delta Air Lines and United Airlines asked to resume flights to China this month. Both said they were reviewing the order from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
American Airlines is sticking with its previous plan to resume service to China at the end of October, spokesman Ross Feinstein said.
The CAAC said all airlines can increase the number of international flights involving China to two per week if none of their passengers test positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, for three consecutive weeks.
If five or more passengers on one flight test positive upon arrival, the CAAC will bar the airline for a week. Airlines would be suspended for four weeks if 10 passengers or more test positive.
SINGAPORE - The Republic is building up its vaccine-manufacturing capacity even as researchers around the world race to develop one for Covid-19.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Friday (June 5) that Singapore intends to offer fill-and-finish contract manufacturing services to vaccine developers.
In the pharmaceutical industry, contract development and manufacturing organisations work on a contractual basis to fulfil services such as the manufacture of drugs or vaccines.
"This should help them ramp up production faster, and assure them high standards of safety and quality in the manufacturing process," PM Lee told the Global Vaccine Summit, co-hosted by the British government and Gavi, the vaccine alliance, over a video call.
The discovery, production and distribution of a safe and effective vaccine is vital to getting life back to normal despite Covid-19, he said.
He added: "I hope that this summit will help focus our minds and resources, and forge partnerships to promote 'vaccine multilateralism'."
Singapore is also pulling its weight in the global fight against Covid-19 on other fronts, including investing in international efforts to combat the virus and leveraging its research expertise to develop new cures.
"The Covid-19 pandemic demands a unified and concerted response by all nations," he said, adding that Singapore welcomes this global call for action and is doing its part.
The Republic has contributed about US$13 million (S$18 million) towards international Covid-19 efforts through the World Health Organisation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and in donations of essential medical equipment and supplies, said PM Lee.
The nation is also investing heavily in research and development on diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
On the diagnostics front, for example, Singapore researchers have developed a range of serological and nucleic acid-based diagnostic tests, said PM Lee.
The Fortitude diagnostic kit, for example, was developed and rolled out by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital during the early stages of the outbreak in February.
Today, it has been deployed in 13 public and private hospitals and laboratories in Singapore, as well as in more than 20 other places, including New Zealand and the United States.
PM Lee said Singapore researchers have also been developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, as well as a vaccine, and have started clinical trials of various therapeutics.
Duke-NUS Medical School, for instance, is working with American medicine company Arcturus Therapeutics on a Covid-19 vaccine, which involves getting the human body to produce part of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
SINGAPORE - Staff of eldercare services in operation, including those at daycare centres, will be progressively tested for the coronavirus in June 2020.
This follows the completion of the testing last month of staff and residents at residential care homes.
Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor announced the new group for surveillance testing in Parliament on Friday (June 5), in her reply to Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC) and Ms Cheryl Chan (Fengshan MP).
The Ministry of Health had said on May 31 that it had completed testing all nursing home employees and residents.
Five had tested positive. Four are residents of Orange Valley Nursing Home and the staff member is from Ren Ci @ Ang Mo Kio.
Dr Khor said Covid-19 swab testing complements the existing precautionary measures in place for eldercare services, such as strict infection control, safe distancing and visitor restrictions.
Senior activity centres (SACs) and Community Resource, Engagement and Support Team (Crest) providers have been allowed to gradually resume some activities in Phase 1 after the circuit breaker measures ended on June 1, to address the psycho-social well-being of senior citizens.
Ms Pereira asked if there was training and resources given to staff at these centres for ensuring good and better hygiene habits.
Dr Khor replied: "Before the SACs can resume on-site activities, they are required to undertake a readiness assessment, and also to propose plans on infection prevention and control and safe distancing measures."
She added that the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) would conduct spot checks to ensure the measures are implemented.
The AIC had also conducted webinars on the necessary infection prevention and control measures, and provided resource kits to these centres and providers.
As of Friday, 27 senior activity centres have passed the readiness assessment checks and have opened, said Dr Khor.
Parliament: NDP exco to produce packs for 80% of households; those who want one can collect them from CCs
SINGAPORE - The National Day Parade (NDP) executive committee will produce packs for about 80 per cent of all Singaporean and permanent resident households, after taking into account those who said they do not need one.
From prior experience, this should be adequate, and people who want the packs can collect them from community centres for National Day, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told Parliament on Friday (June 5).
The plan to distribute funpacks to every Singaporean and permanent resident household for National Day sparked a debate and an online petition that has garnered some 110,000 signatures so far. Some argued that resources could be better diverted to other causes - especially in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Ng noted that the NDP executive committee aims to be inclusive for every NDP, and will take in views and accommodate different interests where possible.
But he cautioned that "if every interest group pushes for its own agenda, especially during NDP, then our common ground to celebrate this national event shrinks because the exco will simply never be able to satisfy every request adequately".
Responding to Workers' Party Non-constituency MP Leon Perera, Ms Cheng Li Hui (Tampines GRC) and Ms Denise Phua (Jalan Besar GRC), Dr Ng acknowledged that there were some who felt the celebrations were wasteful and that the resources ought to be spent elsewhere, especially given the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and jobs.
"I appreciate their point of view and agree fully with them that we ought to be prudent," he said, adding that this year's NDP should cost at least a third less than usual, with savings from infrastructure costs had the parade been held at the Padang or The Float @ Marina Bay.
However, Singapore should guard against a mood of despondency and not allow individual preferences to divide the country, said Dr Ng.
"If we allow despair to prevail in our national psyche, particularly during this Covid-19 pandemic, then I say that will be the greatest harm to the future of Singapore - much more devastating than the economic impact, the loss of jobs and businesses."
He made the point that Singaporeans have always chosen to celebrate NDP and rally together, even in troubled periods of the nation's history, such as the British withdrawal in 1971, the recession of 1985, the Asian financial crisis in 1998, Sars in 2003, the global financial crisis in 2008 and the H1N1 epidemic in 2009.
"Because of that hope and optimism, Singapore emerged stronger," he said.
"So I say, despite the difficulties, and indeed because of the more challenging times that are ahead, we should celebrate this year's NDP as we have done before and just as our founding generation did during the first NDP."
Ms Cheng had also asked whether the funpacks would include essential and care items.
Dr Ng said the packs - dubbed Singapore Together Packs - will include hand sanitisers, among other celebratory items like a full-sized national flag, iron-on patches for masks, face tattoos and a pledge card.
The bag itself is a foldable and reusable grocery bag, and there will be no single-use water bottles, plastic clappers or packaging, as families will be at home, said Dr Ng.
Each pack will cost around $2.40 to produce, and corporations will contribute other items like snacks and drinks, he said, in response to Mr Perera. The usual discount booklets will come in the form of e-booklets, he added.
Collection of the packs will start from July 20 at community clubs and residents' committee centres.
The exercise is expected to be completed by Aug 2. Volunteers will distribute the packs to vulnerable groups.
WASHINGTON - Former US president Barack Obama on Wednesday (June 3) applauded the "profound" protests by Americans demanding racial justice and said demonstrations over last week's killing of a black man in police custody could spark nationwide reforms.
In his first video comments since Mr George Floyd's death on May 25 in Minneapolis triggered unrest across the country, President Donald Trump's predecessor also urged state and local authorities to review their policies on use of force.
Mr Obama directed his comments at young black men and women who he says have often witnessed or experienced too much violence.
"Too often some of that violence has come from folks who were supposed to be serving and protecting you," Mr Obama said in a webcast with activists.
"I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that your lives matter, your dreams matter."
He also said that in the last few weeks, Americans have witnessed "the kinds of epic changes and events in our country that are as profound as anything that I've seen in my lifetime."
The 58-year-old, who remains popular among Democrats, noted the deadly upheaval of the 1960s civil rights movement, and said "a far more representative cross-section of America" is protesting now than as compared to half a century ago.
"There is a change in mindset that's taking place, a greater recognition that we can do better," Mr Obama said.
Young protesters in particular have been galvanised, he said, and their motivation could serve as inspiration for broader change.
"It's very important for us to take the momentum that has been created as a society, as a country, and say 'Let's use this' to finally have an impact," Mr Obama said.
He also addressed the country's local leaders, saying "I'm urging every mayor in this country to review your use-of-force policies with members of your community and commit to report on planned reforms."
Mr Obama did not directly address Mr Trump's handling of the unrest, including the president's controversial demand that authorities "dominate" protesters.
But Mr Obama was reportedly outraged by the use of chemical dispersants on protesters outside the White House Monday before Mr Trump walked to a nearby church and held up a Bible.
Singapore may need to think about dividing itself into regions and creating self-sufficient "bubbles" that can be contained and isolated, to better prepare for a future contagious disease outbreak, suggested the chief executive of the Housing & Development Board yesterday.
Dr Cheong Koon Hean was speaking about how the coronavirus pandemic has forced a rethink of urban planning at a forum on how Singapore can bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis and emerge more resilient in future.
It was organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), which is part of the National University of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
With social distancing being one of the key strategies to hold back the transmission of the disease, cities have had to rethink how to space out as much as possible.
Giving an idea of how this may be done in the longer term, Dr Cheong said this will involve decentralising and localising. She painted a Singapore divided up into self-sufficient regions, with jobs and amenities located close to neighbourhoods and parks within walking distance of people's homes, reducing the need for travel. This will help to thin out crowded areas like the city centre and commercial centres, and also reduce travel on public transport.
In the event of a disease outbreak, the regions can be isolated separately, instead of having the entire country on lockdown, allowing for different regions to link up, akin to the travel bubbles countries are now looking at.
The good news is Singapore is "pretty much on the way to doing some of these things", said Dr Cheong, having already moved towards decentralisation in developing regional centres and organising HDB towns around shops, parks and amenities.
With population density having become a factor in the spread of Covid-19, IPS deputy director of research Gillian Koh, who moderated the session, asked if Singapore should review its population planning parameter of 6.9 million.
Dr Cheong said a country can create a "healthy density" and reduce crowdedness even with limited land. For instance, having more co-working spaces instead of office buildings, with working from home becoming more common. But she cautioned against "throwing the baby out with the bathwater", saying density is not all bad as cities become more dynamic when people come together.
Dr Neo Boon Siong, former dean of the Nanyang Technological University's business school and another panellist, said what matters more is not the absolute population number itself, but whether the conditions allow people to have a high quality of life.
Associate Professor Vernon Lee, director of communicable diseases at the Ministry of Health, who was also on the panel, said density is only one of the factors that contribute to coronavirus transmission. He cited how places like Hong Kong and South Korea, which are very dense, had managed to control the spread of the virus, while other locations where the population is more spread out had experienced huge epidemics.
Also, while the population number had stayed the same during the circuit breaker period, infection numbers had gone down significantly, highlighting how a change in behaviour and the ways people interact may be more important.
"We need to take all this into consideration before we say cut density and it will solve our problems. That is too narrow a view and won't solve the problems so easily," he said.
Also on the panel were Singapore Management University Behavioural Sciences Institute director David Chan and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng of Unlisted Collection.
SINGAPORE - A 81-year-old woman was the only Singaporean among seven new community Covid-19 cases announced on Wednesday (June 3).
She tested positive for the virus on Tuesday after she began showing symptoms last Friday. She is currently unlinked to other cases.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 569 new coronarivus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total in Singapore to 36,405. Of the new cases, 562 are foreign workers living in dormitories.
There were no imported cases, and 99 per cent of the new cases are linked to known clusters.
The remaining community cases comprise six work pass holders, of which five are Indian nationals who are men, and one is a Chinese national who is a woman. Their ages range from 23 to 40. All six are linked to previously announced cases and are asymptomatic.
The MOH also said that 12 out of 14 pre-school staff members who have tested positive for the virus were likely to be past infections, based on epidemiological investigations, including their positive serological test results. One more serological test came back positive on Wednesday, indicating a likely past infection.
In all, more than 39,000 pre-school staff have been tested, and only one case was likely to be a current infection at the point of screening, as announced last Friday.
Two new clusters were also confirmed on Wednesday, both of them dormitories. They are at 12 Kwong Min Road and 8 Tuas South Lane.
The MOH also said the cluster at 1 North Coast Drive has been closed, as it has not had new cases linked to it for two incubation periods, or 28 days.
The ministry did not add to its list of public places visited by community cases while they were infectious.
The places visited by community cases while they were infected include wet markets, supermarkets, hawker centres, and malls such as Parkway Parade, Jurong Point, Bukit Panjang Plaza, Jem and Junction 8.
The full list of places, along with the dates and times when the locations were visited by the patients, can be found on the ministry's website.
The MOH said there is no need to avoid the listed places and the National Environment Agency will engage the management of these premises to give guidance on cleaning and disinfection.
Those who have gone to these places should monitor their health closely for 14 days from the date they visited, said the MOH, adding that they should visit a doctor promptly if they develop fever, respiratory symptoms or loss of taste or smell.
Those who were identified as close contacts of confirmed cases would already have been notified by the MOH, said the ministry.
When asked if information from digital check-in SafeEntry - which has been utilised in places such as malls, supermarkets, and workplaces - is being used to inform those who had been at these locations at the same time as confirmed Covid-19 cases, the MOH said it does not use SafeEntry information to identify others who had gone to places visited by confirmed Covid-19 cases.
The data collected by SafeEntry is used by contact tracers when interviewing patients to help them remember where they have been and map out these places, said the MOH.
"A robust activity map allows accurate and efficient identification and quarantine of close contacts to contain further transmission of the disease," the ministry said.
It added: "We will continue to leverage technology to supplement our contact tracing efforts."
The daily average for new community cases has decreased to four in the past week from six the week before, said the MOH. Across the same periods, the number of unlinked cases has remained stable at an average of two per day.
The ministry also said 407 more patients were discharged, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 23,573.
Currently, 334 confirmed cases are in hospital, with five in critical condition in intensive care.
Another 12,465 are isolated and cared for at community facilities, which are for those with mild symptoms or who are clinically well but still test positive for Covid-19.
Twenty-four have died from Covid-19 complications, while nine who tested positive for Covid-19 have died of other causes.
WASHINGTON/MINNEAPOLIS (REUTERS) - Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of major US cities on Tuesday (June 2) for an eighth consecutive night of protests over the death of a black man in police custody, defying pleas by mayors as wells strict curfews and other measures meant to curtail them.
Major marches took place in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta and New York City, as well as in Washington DC near the park where demonstrators were cleared on Monday to make a path for President Donald Trump so he could walk from the White House to a historic church for a photo.
Although rallies on behalf of Mr George Floyd and other victims of police brutality have been largely peaceful during the day, after dark each night, crowds have turned to rioting, vandalism, arson and looting. On Monday night, five police officers were hit by gunfire in two cities.
Thousands of demonstrators took to a knee in the grass outside the US Capitol on Tuesday, chanting "silence is violence" and "no justice, no peace", just before a government-imposed curfew as rallies against police brutality swelled in major cities.
The throng at the capitol then stood up and chanted "take a knee" and "who do you protect?" as officers faced them.
Evening curfews were ordered in dozens of cities following a week of protests over the death of Mr Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis police custody. Largely peaceful during the day, the crowds have erupted into vandalism, arson and looting after dark.
Mr Trump has called for the National Guard or United States military to crack down on what he has called "hoodlums", "thieves" and "thugs" responsible for the violence, blaming state governors or local officials for failing to intervene.
But Mr Trump's vow to end the protests and curfews has so far had little effect in dampening the violence that has broken out after dark.
On Tuesday, protesters in several cities massed peacefully in large numbers, including in Los Angeles, Washington and Philadelphia. In New York City, thousands held an orderly march up 86th Street, chanting and holding signs saying "no justice, no peace" and "say his name, George Floyd", followed by a silent vigil.
In Mr Floyd's home town of Houston, thousands gathered for a march organised by his friends and family.
On Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, hundreds of people filled the street from curb to curb. Others gathered outside Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, in some cases hugging and shaking hands with a line of officers outside.
Los Angeles was the scene of violent riots in the spring of 1992, following the acquittal of four policemen charged in the beating of black motorist Rodney King, which saw more than 60 people killed and estimates of US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in damage.
MOST AMERICANS SYMPATHISE
A majority of Americans sympathise with the protests, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
The survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, found that 64 per cent of American adults were “sympathetic to people who are out protesting right now”, while 27 per cent said they were not and 9 per cent were unsure.
More than 55 per cent of Americans said they disapproved of Mr Trump’s handling of the protests, including 40 per cent who “strongly” disapproved, while just one-third said they approved - lower than his overall job approval of 39 per cent, the poll showed.
Mr Floyd died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25, reigniting the explosive issue of police brutality against African Americans. A painful reexamination of race relations has swept the country five months before a divided America votes in a presidential election.
The officer who knelt on Mr Floyd, 44-year-old Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers involved were fired but not yet charged.
In Minneapolis, Ms Roxie Washington, mother of Mr Floyd's 6-year-old daughter Gianna, told a news conference that he was a good man.
"I want everybody to know that this is what those officers took from me," she said, sobbing. "Gianna does not have a father. He will never see her grow up, graduate."
POLICE IN OTHER CITIES FACE CHARGES
The head of the US National Guard said on Tuesday that 18,000 Guard members were assisting local law enforcement in 29 states.
Lawmakers and law enforcement officials seemed stunned by mayhem overnight when police in some cities faced gunfire, rocks and projectiles from hostile crowds.
Demonstrators smashed windows and looted luxury stores on tony Fifth Avenue in New York, and set fire to a Los Angeles strip mall. Four police officers were shot in St Louis and one in Las Vegas, who was critically wounded, the authorities said.
Mr Trump has threatened to use the military to battle violence that has erupted nightly, often after a day of peaceful protests. He has derided local authorities, including state governors, for their response to the disturbances.
The protests come on the heels of lockdowns to prevent spread of the coronavirus, which hit African Americans disproportionately with high numbers of cases and job losses.
Some of those who have gathered at the site of Mr Floyd's killing have invoked the non-violent message of the late US civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, assassinated in 1968, as the only way forward.
"He would be truly appalled by the violence because he gave his life for this stuff," said Mr Al Clark, 62, a black man who drove to the Minneapolis memorial with one of King's speeches blaring from his truck.
"But I can understand the frustration and anger."
In Atlanta, six officers will face charges for an incident in which two college students were removed from their car and tasered, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard told a briefing. Two of the six officers were terminated on Sunday.
A police officer in Sarasota, Florida, was placed on leave on Tuesday after video surfaced showing the officer kneeling on a man's back and neck during an arrest in May.
Officers were injured in clashes elsewhere, including one who was in critical condition after being hit by a car in the Bronx, police said.
Nearly an hour after curfew in Washington DC, the protesters at the Capitol joined those in Lafayette Park near the White House, where on Monday police used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the way for Mr Trump to visit St John's church nearby for a photo.
Sitting in single file in their classroom, according to their class register numbers, a class of Primary 6 pupils ate their home-packed food in silence.
This was an unusual scene at Jing Shan Primary School in Ang Mo Kio yesterday during recess. Previously, the pupils would typically be playing games.
At lunch time, they were again sitting apart from one another, this time in the canteen, occupying seats labelled with their register numbers. If they spoke, it seemed to be in hushed tones, as teachers reminded them not to chat while eating because they were mask-less.
These safe distancing measures during meals were among several new rules students had to follow when schools reopened yesterday.
Other changes they will have to grow accustomed to, as part of the new normal in schools, include wearing facial masks throughout the day, not talking to friends without their masks on and walking in single file at least 1m apart.
Still, many like Primary 6 pupil Japhanie Tan were delighted to be back in school, after nearly two months of not seeing their friends face to face. "I am very excited to come back to school because I can step out of my home and meet my friends. And this time, I can see my whole class," said the 12-year-old. "My best friend since Primary 3 sits in front of me, so I am very happy."
Japhanie, whose father is a senior manufacturing engineer and mother an accounts assistant, had returned to school a few times in the past fortnight to attend classes arranged specially for Primary 6 pupils, who will be taking the Primary School Leaving Examination later this year.
But she did not get to see all her classmates as the lessons were staggered. "I missed eating school food, especially laksa. I also missed the interactions with my teachers and friends," she said.
"On the computer, you can't ask questions whenever you want because you will disrupt the lesson. I also tried talking and playing games with my friends on Zoom and Houseparty, but it is very different," said Japhanie, who has an older brother.
Asked if it was difficult to get used to any of the new routines, Japhanie said: "Wearing a mask is not super hard, it is just that we can't hear one another very well and we have to speak louder."
Recess in the classroom "seemed a bit quiet", but she is confident she will adapt to it, albeit slowly.
Another change was the way the physical education lesson was conducted. In the school hall yesterday, Japhanie and her classmates learnt how to dribble a ball on the spot while standing 2m apart at markers on the floor. They hardly moved from their spots, except to collect and return the balls, again doing so in single file. "We just bounced the ball, so there was less interaction," said Japhanie.
Madam Shakila Jamal Mohamed, Japhanie's form teacher and English language teacher, said the pupils had previously got used to routines like wiping down their tables and washing their hands. "But with masks on now, it is a big change, because they love to talk to one another, especially during recess and breaks," she said.
"They are children and need to understand the 'whys' behind all the measures. So, we tell them about the Covid-19 pandemic and why there is a need for social responsibility and good hygiene."