The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has sent shock waves across the world. Mr Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, even after he stopped moving. Days of rioting, looting and clashes with police followed. Citizens vented their anger in protests that have spread across America's major cities. The killing of Mr Floyd led the African Union Commission to take the unprecedented step of condemning what it called "murder" and the "continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens".
Many U.S. embassies in Africa have issued critical statements. A news agency wrote: "Diplomats said it is rare for U.S. embassies abroad to weigh in on domestic U.S. issues. But in this case, the embassies were compelled to respond after...African leaders reacted to Floyd's death with anger." One U.S. ambassador wrote: "I am profoundly troubled by the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The Justice Department is conducting a full criminal investigation as a top priority. Security forces around the world should be held accountable. No one is above the law."