The St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, USA has been desecrated by protestors staining stairs and spewing graffiti on two walls. The graffiti on one wall on Fifth Avenue and 51st Street read “F–k F–k” in red letters. On an adjacent wall, vandals scrawled “BLM” — for Black Lives Matter — along with “NYPDK” in red letters and “No justice no peace” in black letters.
One of the stairs was spray-painted with “George Floyd” in black letters. Based on reports, the incident began shortly after 6 am on Saturday.
A northern stretch of the FDR Drive on the island’s East Side was shut — first by some 150 protesters and then by the NYPD — after 2 pm.
New York Archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling was unaware of the crime when contacted by Saturday night.
Officers suspected Mr Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 (£16) note and were attempting to put him in a police vehicle when he dropped to the ground, telling them he was claustrophobic. According to police, he physically resisted officers and was handcuffed.
Video of the incident does not show how the confrontation started, but a white officer can be seen with his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck, pinning him down.
Mr Floyd can be heard saying “please, I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me”.
At the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump called the incident “a terrible, terrible thing” and said he had spoken with Mr Floyd’s family, whom he described as “terrific people”.
He said he had asked the justice department to expedite an investigation into whether any civil rights laws were violated in Mr Floyd’s death.
The president also said, “looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters”.
Earlier, he described the rioters as “thugs” who were dishonoring Mr. Floyd’s memory.
Social media network Twitter accused Mr Trump of glorifying violence in a post that said: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Mr Floyd’s family and their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said that the arrest was “welcome but overdue”.
The family said they wanted a more serious, first-degree murder charge as well as the arrest of the other officers involved.
The statement called for the city to change its policing, saying: “Today, George Floyd’s family is having to explain to his children why their father was executed by police on video.”
Former US President Barack Obama also weighed in, saying: “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America.”
His statement added: “If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better”.