- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2020

International outrage over the death of George Floyd is rapidly spreading as global leaders condemn the killing of a black man in police custody and call for protests to remain peaceful.

German Foreign Minister on Tuesday said the ongoing peaceful protests across the U.S. following the death of Floyd are “more than legitimate.”

Protests have erupted across the country and have spread to several overseas cities after the May 25 death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis.

Heiko Maas said Floyd “lost his life in a truly terrible and shocking way, or one should say it was taken from him,” adding that his thoughts are with Mr. Floyd’s family.

“The peaceful protest we are seeing in the United States — with many very moving gestures including by American police officers — this protest is understandable and more than legitimate,” Mr. Maas told reporters in Berlin

His comments come hours after President Trump announced he is mobilizing all civilian and military forces to end nationwide looting and property destruction.

National Guard troops were then quickly moved onto the White House grounds, where they took up positions. Trucks ferried soldiers on Pennsylvania Avenue and arrived near the White House in front of dozens of chanting demonstrators.

Before and while the president was making the announcement, police forces clashed with peaceful protesters within earshot of the White House with flash-bang devices and tear gas, clearing the way for Mr. Trump to make a dramatic visit on foot across Lafayette Park to the vandalized St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was set on fire Sunday night.

“I can only express my hope that the peaceful protests do not continue to lead to violence,” Mr. Haas said, “but even more express the hope that these protests have an effect in the United States.”

This story is based in part on wire reports.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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