Former President George W. Bush said in a statement on Wednesday that he and his wife Laura Bush "are distressed by the brutal suffocation of George Floyd and disturbed by the injustice and fear that suffocate our country".
Bush did not specifically mention President Donald Trump, but he called the harassment and threats to African-American protesters "a shocking failure".
"It is a force when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future … Those who decide to silence these voices do not understand the meaning of America – or how it becomes a better place," he said.
Meanwhile, more than nine thousand protesters were arrested and detained during violent demonstrations for the death of an unarmed black man who died last week in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
According to reports, several hundred people separated from a peaceful protest in Portland late Tuesday and were involved in a confrontation with police officers guarding a public building.
Police chief Jami Resch said in a video posted message on Twitter, members of the smaller group tried to tear down mounted fences to protect a facility that houses police headquarters and a county prison and threw bottles, bats and mortars at police officers.
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