George Floyd protests spread despite U.S. curfews

Chants of 'Black Lives Matter' and 'I can't breathe' echoed across the United States again on Saturday night as several major cities imposed curfews, amid intensifying unrest over the death of George Floyd.

From Los Angeles to Miami to Chicago, protesters echoed the black man's dying words, as he gasped for breath while a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck.

Civil rights activists say a video of the incident triggered an outpouring of rage that has long simmered over persistent racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.

The spreading protests coincide with an apparent deep-seated national discontent over the social and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the nation's capital, protesters faced off against military police outside the White House - shouting and setting off fireworks.

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that if protesters who'd gathered the night before had breached the White House fence, "they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons."

The anger on the streets has been widespread. Footage caught by onlookers showed a man pointing a bow and arrow at protesters in Salt Lake City, a police car drive into a crowd in New York City, and a woman run down by a jeep in California.

Four nights of arson, looting and vandalism in parts of Minneapolis and St Paul prompted the activation of the full Minnesota National Guard for the first time since the Second World War.

The streets there were largely quiet earlier on Saturday, but as the curfew came into effect police clashed with protesters - firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Among those hit were two members of a Reuters TV crew.

Cameraman Julio-Cesar Chavez and security consultant Rodney Seward were both clearly identified as members of the media when they were struck by rubber bullets while taking cover at a gas station.

Minneapolis police made no immediate comment and requested a copy of the video.

It's the latest incident involving journalists covering the protests.

A black CNN journalist was arrested on camera on Friday, and a Louisville reporter was seen being hit by what appeared to be a pepper ball.