Thousands of people have been arrested as protests continued across the United States for an eighth night following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week in police custody.

Mr Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, had been pleading for air while a police officer pressed a knee on his neck, when he died on May 25, as he said he could not breathe.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and will appear in court next week. Three other police officers have been dismissed.

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Hank Johnson, a Democrat congressman from Atlanta said the anger goes beyond the issue of police brutality.

"I'm for non-violent protests, but on the other hand you cannot just simply point a finger at people who are setting fires and looting without pointing a finger at those who created the conditions that gave rise to this anger and anguish," he told the BBC.

He said he "pointed the finger at the policy makers."

In Portland, police chief Jami Resch said in a video posted on Twitter that a smaller group tried to tear down fencing set up to protect a facility that holds the police headquarters and a jail.

She said they threw bottles, bats and mortars at officers.

She also thanked the peaceful protesters as "your presence has been felt and your words have been heard."

Police declared an unlawful assembly and set off flash-bang grenades and tear gas.

The violence was in stark contrast to a rally and march earlier in the evening.

Thousands of people laid down on a major bridge spanning the Willamette River for nine minutes and their bodies covered almost the entire span of the bridge.

The crowd then proceeded to Pioneer Courthouse Square for a peaceful rally before the much smaller group broke away. An 8pm curfew was cancelled by Mayor Ted Wheeler after largely peaceful protests the previous night.

President Donald Trump tweeted: "So pathetic to watch the Fake News Lamestream Media playing down the gravity and depravity of the Radical Left, looters and thugs, ripping up our Liberal Democrat run (only) cities. It is almost like they are all working together?"

In New York, thousands of protesters remained on the streets of the city after a curfew was put in place by officials.

Mayor Bill de Blasio doubled down on a citywide curfew but rejected calls from President Trump and an offer from governor Andrew Cuomo to bring in the National Guard.

People marched in groups of thousands in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, as traders boarded up their businesses. As the the curfew time arrived, many were still in the streets and continued marching, with officers initially standing by and allowing them.

But officers started ordering people to move along, and began taking people into custody. Demonstrators who had been on the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan were herded off, with parts of the roadway blocked off behind them.

“Something has to break, and it’s not going to be us,” said Evan Kutcher, one of hundreds of demonstrators who stood outside the Barclays Centre chanting Mr Floyd’s name. “We’re here because something needs to change.”

In Washington, the crowd outside Lafayette Park near the White House was peaceful, polite even.

Protesters chanted and talked among themselves, most wearing masks, but not social distancing.

When one protester climbed a lamppost and removed a street sign he was booed by others. “It’s not what we’re about,” said one protester.

On the West Coast in LA, thousands took to the streets for peaceful protests as small demonstrations took place in other cities in California.

Authorities renewed overnight curfews in LA and other areas that witnessed clashes with police.