- Criticism of Trump administration’s response to protests, combined with economic weaknesses, suggests president will likely fail to win second term
- Racial issues will remain prominent theme throughout presidential campaign, sustaining worldwide focus on issue over coming months
- Businesses will face complex reputational risks over attitudes to racial diversity, both if they are seen as opposing or supporting protest movement
Large protests broke out in the US state of Minnesota on 26 May following the killing of George Floyd, an African American, during his arrest the previous day in Minneapolis. Footage of the arrest showed that a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, asphyxiated Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Mass demonstrations in support of Floyd and the campaign group Black Lives Matter – an international human rights organisation that seeks to combat systemic racism – have since spread throughout the US and worldwide. There have been significant clashes between protesters and the police, who have been supported by national guard units in several US states. Separately, the US Federal Reserve forecast on 10 June that the economy would contract by 6.5% this year as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with the US outbreak having now infected over 2 million and caused more than 115,000 deaths.
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