African Union Commission on Friday condemned the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd by police in the US state of Minnesota which has sparked protests across the country.
The Union Commission deputy chairperson, Kwesi Quartey, posted on his personal Facebook page that the AU was “distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male… for no other reason than BEING BLACK”.
“This is one too many. We may be black, but we are people too,” Quartey wrote. “Africa demands a full investigation into this killing.”
The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat also “strongly condemns the murder of George Floyd, and reiterates the African Union’s rejection of the continuing discriminatory practices against Black citizens of the United States of America.”
The statement Friday from Faki’s office called on US officials to “intensify their efforts to ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.”
The Floyd case was reminiscent of the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man in New York City who died after being put in a banned police chokehold as he, too, was heard to mutter, “I can’t breathe.”.
George Floyd, 46, was killed Monday by police after being arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit banknote.
President Donald Trump on Twitter said that he will send the National Guard troops and “get the job done right” if Mayor Jacob Frey failed to bring the city under control.
Four city police officers involved in the incident, including the one shown pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as he lay on the ground, moaning, “please, I can’t breathe,” were fired from their jobs the next day.
Throughout the day, protesters pressed their demands that the four policemen be arrested and prosecuted.
Protesters massing outside the building briefly retreated under volleys of police tear gas and rubber bullets fired at them from the roof, only to reassemble and eventually attack the building head on, setting fire to the structure as police seemed to withdraw.
A car and at least two other buildings in the vicinity were also set ablaze, and looters returned for a second night to a nearby Target discount store, left boarded up and vacant from the previous night, to make off with whatever remained inside.
“There is probable cause right now” to make those arrests, civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton said as he addressed the crowd. “We’re not asking for a favor. We’re asking for what is right.”
Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, said Floyd’s case was like “opening up an old wound, and pouring salt into it.”