The killing of George Floyd in the city of Minneapolis on May the 25th has reverberated 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 was pleading for air and then stopped moving. Days of rioting, looting and clashes with police followed as citizens vented their anger over the killing. The protests have escalated across America's major cities. There have also been protests outside U.S. embassies across the world. 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 taken the unusual step of issuing critical statements. The news publication "Foreign Policy" wrote: "Several U.S. 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 seeing how African leaders reacted to Floyd's death with anger and dismay." The U.S. ambassador to Congo 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."