Sun, 12 Jul 2020

DENVER, the United States, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Chaos erupted in Colorado's capital on Thursday after a video went viral of a black man being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the mid-western U.S. state of Minnesota.

Several hundred protesters surrounded the state capitol and were finally dispersed after five hours of angry protesting in which several vehicles and buildings were burned.

Gunshots were fired into the crowd shortly after the protest began at 5 p.m. Thursday (2400 GMT), but no one was hurt, according to the police.

Protesters blocked intersections, stopped traffic on Denver's major superhighway I25, held up signs and chanted, "I can't breathe," the last words said by George Floyd, who was lying on the pavement with a police officer's knee on the back of his neck when he died earlier this week.

Local news stations called the protest "unprecedented," and the most volatile for Denver in decades.

Denver Channel 9 News showed a group of 20 riot-clad police firing rubber bullets over moving vehicles and buses at the crowd.

Political pundits described the protest as not just reaction over George's graphic, disturbing death, but a reaction to police brutality that has been on the rise in the past few years, and has taken place in Denver.

All day Thursday, National Basketball Association (NBA) players voiced their disgust and condemnation of the murder on Twitter and other social media.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted a picture of a famous African-American athlete, Colin Kaepernick, who started a movement whereby black football players would kneel in protest when the American anthem was played.

James showed the white police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck and Kaepernick kneeling at a football game, with the words, "This ... ... Is Why."

"Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? #StayWoke," he wrote in the post.

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