The Memorial Day death of 46-year-old George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police offices sparked a powder keg of long-simmering racial tensions in the U.S. and worldwide.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in all 50 states and in cities around the globe, protesting the death of Floyd and others in incidents of police misconduct or brutality. In response, police tear-gassed demonstrators in several cities, and used rubber-coated bullets, flashbangs, and other crowd-dispersing deterrents, unleashing another wave of protest and criticism.
The degree of civil unrest has been unmatched since the protests following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968. UN Secretary General António Guterres’s message has been consistent: “Grievances must be heard, but they must be expressed… in peaceful ways, and authorities must show restraint in responding to demonstrators.”