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Celebrities slam Trump over US protests

By AAP Newswire

Celebrities are speaking out as protests that have swept the US in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody show no signs of stopping.

Floyd, who was African-American, died in Minneapolis last week, with a bystander's video showing a white officer putting his knee on his neck for several minutes.

His death sparked a wave of anger, with demonstrations continuing across major US cities.

Many cities, including Los Angeles and New York, are under curfew orders in an attempt to quell the protests.

In an address from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Donald Trump threatened to deploy the military if state governors did not halt the violence.

The president then walked to the nearby St John's Church and posed for pictures while holding a bible.

Singer John Legend, a frequent critic of the president, accused Trump of using law enforcement to clear peaceful protesters so he could get a photograph.

He tweeted: "#BunkerBoy Trump had to prove he could walk in broad daylight today so he sicced the police on peaceful protesters so he could stand there and awkwardly hold the Bible. Dear God. We need to end this nightmare of a presidency."

Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee, who refers to Trump as "Agent Orange," wrote on Instagram that the US was on the verge of a dictatorship.

Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B accused the president of threatening people and making protesters "more angry".

Samuel L Jackson suggested Mr Trump had "declared war on the public," admitting he fears "it's about (to) get all kinds of f***ed up here!!".

Earlier, George Clooney penned an essay for The Daily Beast, saying America's greatest pandemic is racism.

He wrote: "How many times have we seen people of colour killed by police? ... There is little doubt that George Floyd was murdered.

"We watched as he took his last breath at the hands of four police officers."

Clooney added: "We need policymakers and politicians that reflect basic fairness to all of their citizens equally. Not leaders that stoke hatred and violence as if the idea of shooting looters could ever be anything less than a racial dog whistle."

Chart-topping star Adele also lent her support to the Black Lives Matter movement, warning against the campaign becoming "disheartened, hijacked or manipulated right now".

She wrote: "This is about systematic racism, this is about police violence and it's about inequality. And this isn't only about America! Racism is alive and well everywhere.

"I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the fight for freedom, liberation and justice."