Angry protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while being arrested by white police officers, have spread to at least 30 cities in 23 US states.

Buildings and police cars were set on fire, businesses looted and there were clashes between officers in riot gear and protesters as the violence continued on Friday night.

After a fourth night of watching Minneapolis burn, Minnesota’s governor Tim Walz said he was activating more than 1000 extra National Guard troops.

The governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard after violence flared in Atlanta.

And the National Guard was also on standby in Washington DC, where a crowd grew outside the White House, chanting messages against Donald Trump.

Protests have flared up across the US since George, 46, died in Minneapolis on Monday after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while he was being arrested.

George Floyd died in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while he was being arrested

Video of the incident shows the dad of two begging: “Please, I can’t breathe” and “Don’t kill me.”

The officer, Derek Chauvin, 44, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

In cities across America on Friday night, thousands of protesters, some peaceful and others violent, vented their rage at the police.

They chanted: “No justice, no peace.”

Some demonstrators held signs, reading: “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.”

In Minneapolis, rioters defied a curfew as riots rocked the city for another night. Police responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

In Detroit, a 19-year-old protester was killed just before midnight after someone in an SUV fired shots into a crowd of demonstrators.

Near the White House in Washington DC, some protesters tried to push through barriers set up by the US Secret Service along Pennsylvania Avenue.

They threw bottles at officers wearing riot gear, who responded with pepper spray.

President Trump, who was in the White House, tweeted that the protesters “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen” had they breached the fence.

A protester stands on a burning police car in Atlanta

In Portland, Oregon, protesters broke into police headquarters and lit a fire inside. And in Virginia, a police vehicle was set on fire outside Richmond police headquarters.

But some of the most violent scenes overnight were seen in Atlanta.

Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp tweeted that up to 500 members of the National Guard would deploy immediately “to protect people and property in Atlanta”.

He said he acted at the request of the city’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, who earlier appealed in vain for calm.

Demonstrators in Atlanta smashed and burned police cars and vandalised broadcaster CNN’s headquarters.

At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests as protesters shot at officers with BB guns and threw bricks, bottles and knives, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said.

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Officials also said crews were unable to reach a fire at Del Frisco’s restaurant in the Buckhead area of the city because of
protesters there.

At a press conference, Bottoms said: “This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. You are disgracing the life of George Floyd and every other person who has been killed in this country.”

The mayor was flanked by King’s daughter Bernice King and rappers TI and Killer Mike.

Meanwhile, video footage posted on social media showed New York City officers using batons and shoving protesters as they took people into custody and cleared streets. One video showed an officer violently throwing a 20-year-old woman to the ground.

Demonstrators in the city’s Brooklyn rocked a police van, set it ablaze, scrawled graffiti across its charred wreckage and set it on fire again as officers retreated.

George Floyd's death has sparked fury across America

The NYPD said numerous officers were injured.

In California, demonstrators blocked highways in Los Angeles and Oakland.

About 1000 protesters in Oakland smashed windows and sprayed buildings with “Kill Cops” graffiti. They were met with chemical spray from police, who said several officers were injured by projectiles.

Back in Minneapolis, protester Karis Jameel, 24, said: “If they could tell me a better way to change America – and it ends police brutality – then I will leave the streets. But they have no answers.

“The only time we are ever listened to is when cities burn, and they are burning now all over America.”