Thousands of American mourners have paid tribute to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of a white US police officer ignited nationwide protests against US police violence and mistreatment of African Americans.
Mourners streamed into a church in Houston, Texas to honor African-American Floyd as US-wide protests over his death entered a third week.
This was a final stage in a series of ceremonies paying tribute to Floyd before he is laid to rest in his hometown on Tuesday.
His death unleashed protests against police brutality and for racial justice in the US and many world countries.
The Floyd protests, which came amid pent-up despair and anger inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic that has hit US minority communities especially hard, deepened a political crisis for President Donald Trump as he threatened to deploy the military into the streets to put down the protests.
Protesters clamored for an end to police brutality, saying they were hopeful that Floyd’s death would mark a turning point in race relations, police aggression and a lightning rod for change in the way police departments function across the US.
Democrats in Congress unveiled a police reform bill, which would make it easier to prosecute officers for abuse and allow victims to sue law enforcement for damages in civil court, ending a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity.
The Justice in Policing Act would ban chokeholds and place new restrictions on the use of lethal force.
The legislation, however, does not call for US police departments to be de-funded or abolished as activists have demanded sweeping cuts to law enforcement budgets.
Joe Biden, who is challenging Trump in the November election, also opposes the movement to defund police departments but supports the “urgent need” for reform, his spokesman said.
Biden met with Floyd’s relatives for more than an hour in Houston on Monday, according to the family’s lawyer.
Demonstrators gathered in mainly peaceful rallies in New York, Portland, and Phoenix, decrying the killing of Floyd.
A mass demonstration was also held in Los Angeles near a memorial for a number of people killed by police.
In Seattle, Washington, officers used stun grenades and pepper spray to disperse people, after they tried to set up barricades outside the city’s capitol.
In the state of Oregon, thousands of protesters shut down Portland’s interstate highway as part of their ongoing campaign to denounce police racism, saying they will stop their rallies only after concrete reforms end police violence.
Source: Press TV