AP PHOTOS: Huge crowds worldwide in name of racial justice
All weekend, the crowds did not let up. From New York to Paris to Sydney, thousands upon thousands of mostly peaceful protesters demanding an end to institutional racism took over plazas, avenues and squares around the world.
In Australia, crowds of demonstrators in state capitals honored the memory of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who was killed two weeks ago by a white police officer, and protested the deaths of indigenous Australians in custody.
In the southern French city of Marseille, protesters held up signs that read, “kill, it is being filmed," in a reference to Floyd's last moments, which were caught on video, and “I'm not black but will fight for you."
And so in Rome, London, Barcelona, Berlin. In a sequence of events that horrified people everywhere, Floyd died after a white Minneapolis officer who had him handcuffed and lying on the ground pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes, including after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.
In the United States, calls to “defund the police” have become rallying cries for many. And a heavy-handed response to demonstrations in many places has underscored what critics have maintained: Law enforcement is militarized and too often uses excessive force.