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George Floyd killing: US cities ease curfews and security measures after peaceful protests

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Demonstrators talk to National Guard soldiers as they protest Saturday, June 6, 2020, near the White House in Washington, over the death of George Floyd.
Demonstrators talk to National Guard soldiers as they protest Saturday, June 6, 2020, near the White House in Washington, over the death of George Floyd.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Security measures have been eased in several American cities as unrest over the killing of George Floyd subsided.

Cities imposed curfews amid last week's outbreaks of violent clashes, riots and looting. Recent US protests have been overwhelmingly peaceful, as were rallies held around the globe.

In New York, officials on Sunday lifted a curfew that was in place amid protests of police brutality and racial injustice.

Mayor Bill de Blasio lifted the city’s 8 pm curfew imposed for the Floyd protests. The police pulled back on enforcing the curfew Saturday as thousands turned out.

“Last night was the best by far,” de Blasio said. "We had the biggest number of protesters, the fewest arrests, the fewest problems and that convinced me it was time for the curfew to go away. I have no intention of bringing it back.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also lifted the city’s curfew, reopened downtown train stations and allowed full bus service to resume following days of largely calm protests.

In Washington DC, National Guard troops from South Carolina were seen checking out of their hotel Sunday shortly before President Donald Trump tweeted he was giving the order to withdraw them from the nation’s capital.

Tens of thousands of racially diverse demonstrators flooded Washington on Saturday to protest against injustice and police brutality, reshaping the mood of a city that had been on edge for a week.

The DC mayor had called on Trump last week to withdraw outside forces amid days of largely peaceful rallies after he ordered guard troops to "dominate the streets".

Likely Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attacked Trump's handling of the anti-racism protests, accusing the occupant of the White House of using words callously to incite violence, inspire hatred and sow division.

George Floyd's body arrived in Texas for a third and final memorial service, said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. A viewing is planned for Monday in Houston, followed by a service and burial Tuesday in suburban Pearland.

On Saturday mourners attended a memorial service in the town of Raeford, North Carolina, about 35 kilometres from Floyd's hometown of Fayetteville.

The 46-year-old out-of-work bouncer died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped responding. His death has drawn new attention to the treatment of African Americans by police and the criminal justice system.