Donald Trump says George Floyd would think 'great thing' is happening in US

Donald Trump declared Saturday "a great day" for George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by police officers in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago. 

The US President said the protests over Floyd's death and racial inequalities in the US were a "great tribute" to him.

The President was discussing the state of the hard-hit US economy and a recent uptick in employment when he began talking about the protests, which have rocked the nation in the past two weeks. 

"Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement, regardless of race, color, gender or creed. They have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it," Trump told reporters at the Rose Garden at the White House.

"We all saw what happened last week. We can't let that happen. Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this a great thing that's happening for our country. It's a great day for him. It's a great day for everybody. It's a great day for everybody. It is a great, great day in terms of equality.

"But we want to get all of this finished. This is a great tribute. What we're announcing today is a tremendous tribute to equality. We're bringing our jobs back. You know, when we had our tremendous numbers and when we had just prior to the China plague that floated in, we had numbers - the best in history for African-American, for Hispanic American and for Asian American and for everybody."

His election opponent Joe Biden said it "despicable" for Trump to put words into Floyd's mouth, considering he died after being asphyxiated. 

Outside the White House, demand for change is not dimming.

"What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"

Wild storms were not enough to deter the crowds a week on from when the protests began.

"As long as there's inequality, as long as there's inequity, as long as justice isn't going to be served, we're going to be out here, we are going to be fighting for our rights," said one protester.

Washington is standing in solidarity with protesters. The city's mayor painting the words 'Black Lives Matter' on the road leading directly to the White House gates. 

Nearly two weeks after the death of Floyd, police in Minneapolis have been banned from using chokeholds and neck restraints.

"It's about the repercussions of being in custody and are we going to be able to see another day," said protester Ko Quaye. 

Officials in Buffalo New York are investigating after a video showed officers pushing an elderly protester to the ground.

"[It makes me] sick to my stomach. It was the same feeling I had for 90 of the past nights when I would get the death toll for coronavirus," said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Two officers involved have been suspended. Now 57 of their colleagues have resigned in protest. 

Much of this week's anguish has been aimed at police and the President.

"Every time we take a step forward, he goes on social media and tells the world we don't matter," said one protester.

Protest organisers are calling for a million people to march on the White House on Sunday, showing Trump momentum behind this unprecedented movement has not been lost.

This article was amended on June 7 because it incorrectly claimed Trump said Floyd would be pleased with the drop in unemployment. Trump was actually talking about what Floyd might think about the protests.