While the protests across America were triggered by the death of George Floyd, anger over the relationship between police and black residents was already simmering in some states. Here’s how the demonstrations erupted.

The death this week of an unarmed black man at the hands of a Minnesota police officer has unleashed a wave of protests across the United States.
Demonstrators first turned out in the city of Minneapolis where George Floyd died, but rallies quickly broke out in Georgia, California, New York, Kentucky, Florida and Pennsylvania.
The protests are about more than the death of one man.
Mr Floyd’s killing has reopened centuries-old wounds about race relations in the United States especially the way African-Americans are treated by police.
While the protests have largely been peaceful, police in several cities have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
The city of Minneapolis has been left with burned-out buildings and looted stores.
Some of America’s largest cities imposed curfews to get people off the streets, and several state governors have called in National Guard troops.
Here’s how it unfolded.
It all started with a call to police over a $20 bill
On May 25, security guard and former high school football star George Floyd went to buy cigarettes at a store in Minneapolis.
George Floyd was a security guard in Minneapolis when he was killed during an incident with police.(Christopher Harris via AP)
He was arrested after the shopkeeper called police, suspecting that he was trying to pay for cigarettes with a counterfeit $US20 bill.
An hour later, the 46-year-old was dead on the street, and his final pleas and gasps were recorded by bystanders.
Minneapolis Police claim that Mr Floyd tried to avoid getting into the squad car “by intentionally falling down”.
For eight minutes and 46 seconds, Officer Derek Chauvin knelt his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck even as he said “I can’t breathe”, “Mama” and “please”.
According to a criminal complaint filed against him, Officer Chauvin continued to hold Mr Floyd down even when he stopped responding and they could not find a pulse.
Protests immediately begin in Minneapolis
One of the bystanders who recorded the incident posted the video online and it spread quickly on social media.
Minneapolis protests have at times turned violent, with demonstrators targeted by police with tear gas.(AP: Khadejeh Nikouyeh)
The Minneapolis police chief swiftly fired all four officers involved, and called for an FBI investigation.
But protesters quickly took to the streets to demand justice in a city where police have sometimes been accused of unfair treatment against black residents.
In 2016, Philando Castile was shot dead during a routine traffic stop in the suburbs outside Minneapolis.
And in 2018, Thurman Blevins was killed during a police chase in the city. He was captured on police body-cam footage pleading, “please don’t shoot me”.
But these incidents are not unique to the state of Minnesota.
Demonstrations erupted around the US
Protests over the death of George Floyd have spread across states which have also experienced recent killings of African American residents.(AP: Mark Vancleave)
About 1,000 Americans are shot and killed by police every year, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.
And while African-Americans account for just under 13 per cent of the population, they are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.
While the protests across America were triggered by the death of Mr Floyd, anger over the relationship between police and black residents was already simmering in some states.
For example, in Kentucky, protesters are also rallying against the shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was shot eight times on March 13 after Louisville drugs detectives knocked down the front door.
No drugs were found in her home.
In Georgia, the Governor has called in National Guard troops amid community anger over the alleged murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery.
Tensions were already high across the US following the deaths of several African Americans, including Ahmaud Arbery who was killed in February while out jogging.(AP: John Bazemore)
He was killed by a father and son while out for a jog in February, but police did not arrest the pair until a video of the shooting went viral online in May.
Several groups including Black Lives Matter also gathered in New York for protests.
Mr Floyd’s death came just days after a white woman was widely criticised for calling police on a black man who had been bird-watching in New York City’s Central Park.
“We have to remember for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal,'” former US President Barack Obama said in a statement.
“Whether it’s while dealing with the healthcare system or interacting with the criminal justice system or jogging down the street or just watching birds in the park.”
It has been a tense year for the US
Protests over racial injustice are nothing new for the United States.
The deaths of African-Americans including Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and many others have led to huge protests and spawned the Black Lives Matter movement.
But the killing of Mr Floyd comes during a painful year for many Americans of colour.
The coronavirus crisis has been devastating for the US, with more than a million infections and 100,000 deaths.
But the pandemic has disproportionately affected black and Latino citizens, according to data collected by APM Research Lab.
It is believed African-Americans have died at a rate of 50.3 per 100,000 people, compared with 20.7 for white Americans, and 22.9 for Latino Americans.
Data shows that African Americans are disproportionately affected by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.(AP: Bebeto Matthews)
In the city of Chicago, for example, 70 per cent of COVID-10 victims are black despite being less than 30 per cent of the population.
The coronavirus-led economic crisis has also hit African-Americans hard.
US jobs data shows that while the overall unemployment rate was 14.7 per cent in April, it was nearly 17 per cent for black workers.
Among those was Mr Floyd, who had lost his job as a security guard due to the state’s lockdown.
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