Protesters defied curfews across the United States Tuesday night as leaders scrambled to stem anger over police racism.
Standoffs between police and demonstrators stretched into the night in cities from New York to Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man whose killing has brought once-in-a-generation protests to the nation for the past week.
But there were fewer reports of the looting and violence that had soured street demonstrations in previous nights.
Tens of thousands gathered earlier in Houston to pay a hometown tribute to Floyd, who grew up in the Texas city and is to be buried there next week.
Large marches and rallies also took place in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Seattle as the Pentagon mobilised about 1,600 US Army troops into the Washington DC region, after several nights of violent protests in the city.
“Active duty elements are postured on military bases in the National Capitol Region but are not in Washington DC,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said.
He said the troops were on “heightened alert status” but “are not participating in defence support to civil authority operations”.
More than 20,400 National Guard members have been deployed by governors in 28 states and Washington, the guard said in a news release, but largely in a back-up role.
Curfews have been imposed in cities in California, in New York, Washington, and other urban areas.
US President Donald Trump has called on governors to “dominate” the protests and threatened to deploy the US military to end the unrest, while insisting he supports peaceful demonstrations.
But governors in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan and Illinois were among those who have rejected Trump’s push for a heavier hand.
Minnesota took one of the first concrete actions to address the grievances behind the uprising. Lieutenant Governor Penny Flanagan said the state was launching a civil rights investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department, which would look into possible violations going back 10 years.
In Los Angeles, one of dozens of cities hit by unrest, police officers and Mayor Eric Garcetti dropped to their knees in a symbolic act of solidarity as they met marchers led by African-American Christian groups.
“A black face should not be a sentence to die, nor to be homeless, nor to be sick, nor to be underemployed, nor to be undereducated,” Garcetti told them.