Demonstrators protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. AFP
The United States braced on Friday for massive weekend protests against racism and police brutality, as outrage soared over the latest law enforcement abuses against demonstrators that were caught on camera.
With protests over last week's police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, surging into a second weekend, President Donald Trump sparked fresh controversy by saying it was a "great day" for Floyd.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for November's election, called Trump's comments "frankly despicable," as thousands took to streets across America for a 10th straight day of anti-racism demonstrations.
Massive street demonstrations are set for Saturday, including in Washington where tens of thousands of people are expected. The mayor painted "Black Lives Matter" in giant letters on the road leading to the White House ahead of the crowd's arrival.
Also on Saturday a remembrance for Floyd will be held in Raeford, North Carolina, the state where he was born, following an initial ceremony in Minneapolis that was held Thursday.
The protests, sparked by a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as he pleaded for his life, took place amid a roiling controversy over officers' use of force against largely peaceful demonstrators.
In Buffalo, New York, two policemen were suspended without pay after a video showed them shoving over a 75-year-old protester who fell and suffered a head injury.
Reporting the suspension on Twitter, Mayor Byron Brown said he and the police commissioner were "deeply disturbed" by the video.
An earlier police statement said the man, who appeared unconscious and bleeding heavily from the head, "tripped and fell."
Governor Andrew Cuomo called the incident "wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful," in a tweet.
In Indianapolis, police launched an investigation after a video emerged showing at least four officers hitting a woman with batons and firing pepper balls at her on Sunday night.
And in New York City Thursday, officers baton-charged dozens of peaceful protesters defying a curfew in the Bronx after pinning them in, leaving them with nowhere to run, several reports said.
New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Friday that two officers had been suspended following "several troubling incidents," one for pushing a woman to the ground and another for pulling down an man's face mask and spraying pepper spray at him. Both incidents were caught on video.
Last weekend’s commemorations of the holiday marking the founding of the US 244 years ago was like none which had gone before. Division rather than unity marked July the 4th.
Los Angeles has had more than a quarter of the national arrests, followed by New York, Dallas and Philadelphia. Many of the arrests have been for low-level offenses such as curfew violations and failure to disperse. Hundreds were arrested on burglary and looting charges.
The rallies, dominated by a heavy police presence, were mostly peaceful. Protesters marched on the streets or gathered at public parks carrying posters that said "No Justice, No Peace" and "Sorry For The Inconvenience, We Are Trying To Change The World."
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, praised the efforts of the UAE’s frontline workers after zero coronavirus deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
The president’s comments were made as the US continues to flounder in its fight against Covid-19. A total of 67,417 new cases were reported on Tuesday, the country's highest single-day jump in cases since the pandemic began.
An Indian school principal in Ajman became the latest winner of $1 million in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire and Finest Surprise draw held on Wednesday in Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport.