GEORGE Floyd's devastated girlfriend has pleaded for peaceful demonstrations after violent protests erupted in Minnesota.
Courteney Ross has addressed the widespread protests, looting and violence in the wake of Floyd's death, saying "waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate" him.
Angry residents took to the streets in droves after Officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck as the black man shouted "I can't breathe" on Monday prompted widespread outrage.
Addressing the demonstrators, Ross said wanted them “to know that I understand their frustration" but asked "people to protest in a peaceful way" to honor Floyd's memory, reported the Star-Tribune.
"He loved the city. He came here [from Houston] and stayed here for the people and the opportunities," Ross said, revealing she was "heartbroken."
"Floyd was a gentle giant. He was about love and about peace.”
The protests culminated in the police precinct going up in flames as people vented their frustration in the now smoldering city.
Lawyer Benjamin Crump provided a statement from Floyd's family thanking protesters “for joining them in standing for justice, [but] we also cannot sink to the level of our oppressors" after three days of violence."
"We cannot endanger each other as we respond to the necessary urge to raise our voices in unison and outrage,” it read.
The chaos on the streets and sidewalks resulted in Minnesota Governor Tim Walz deploying the National Guard as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey appealed for calm on Twitter.
Chauvin was booked on Friday after nationwide anger and calls for his arrest on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case.
Multiple officials have weighed in on the matter, including President Donald Trump and numerous officials.
The protests extended well beyond Minnesota in recent days as people decried systemic racism in the US in New York, California, Florida and other states.
The White House went into lockdown, reports say, as angry crowds marched on the Capitol this evening.
Secret Service officials reportedly placed Trump's abode on high alert in response to the Washington DC protesters before the lockdown concluded just before 8.30 pm.
Chauvin had allegedly disregarded the concerns of the other officer, who wanted to roll Floyd onto his side, according to the criminal complaint against him.
The papers also said that an initial autopsy revealed nothing to support strangulation as the cause of death.
The exam concluded that the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyds system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death, according to the complaint.
Earlier today, Hennepin County Medical Examiner said coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease combined with the police restraint, killed him, WTVO reported.
Floyd's family was seeking an independent autopsy.
Police were trying to put Floyd in a squad car on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill when he stiffened up and fell to the ground, saying he was claustrophobic.
The family of Floyd and their attorney Ben Crump, released a statement on Friday after Chauvin's arrest.
The statement reads: "The arrest of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the brutal killing of George Floyd is a welcome but overdue step on the road to justice.
"We expected a first-degree murder charge. We want a first-degree murder charge. And we want to see the other officers arrested.
"We call on authorities to revise the charges to reflect the true culpability of this officer.
"The pain that the black community feels over this murder and what it reflects about the treatment of black people in America is raw and is spilling out onto streets across America."
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