WASHINGTON - Outrage is growing across the globe at the death of George Floyd, the African American man who died last week after being detained by police on a city street in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in Brussels that Floyd’s death resulted from an abuse of power.
“Like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd,” Borrell said.
But with chaotic protests erupting in dozens of U.S. cities for seven nights in a row, Borrell emphasized that Europeans "support the right to peaceful protest, and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind, and for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions."
Thousands marched in downtown Sydney, Australia’s largest city, with more protests planned for Paris and elsewhere in France, along with a demonstration in The Hague in the Netherlands.
The Australian protesters chanted “I can’t breathe,” which Floyd, handcuffed and face down on the street, repeatedly said as a white policeman, Derek Chauvin, held a knee to his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the case.
The Australian demonstrators compared Floyd’s case to that of David Dungay, a 26-year-old Aboriginal man who died in a Sydney prison in 2015 while being restrained by five guards. Dungay also gasped just before he died that he could not breathe.
The protesters carried placards referring to the U.S. demonstrators that said, "We See You, We Hear Your, We Stand With You." Other signs read, "We're here because they aren't," showing pictures of Floyd and Dungay.
African leaders also condemned the death of Floyd while in police custody.
Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo, said in a statement, "It cannot be right that, in the 21st century, the United States, this great bastion of democracy, continues to grapple with the problem of systemic racism."
Kenyan opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he was praying "that there be justice and freedom for all human beings who call America their country."