A Hawke's Bay woman living with her black husband in the United States says the death of George Floyd and the brutality shown towards those protesting his treatment has the pair yearning to move to New Zealand.
The US has erupted into protests after the death of Floyd, 46, after he was pinned down by white police officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd told him "I can't breathe".
Floyd's death has since been classified as a homicide by a medical examiner and Chauvin has been arrested.
"I can't breathe" is the mantra has been adopted by protesters who have chanted the line at rallies across US cities from Los Angeles to New York, then Europe and even New Zealand.
US President Donald Trump said the ongoing protests which have led in many cases to violence and looting were "not acts of peaceful protest", but "acts of domestic terror".
Trump announced on Tuesday (NZT) that "thousands and thousands" of heavily armed military personnel would be dispatched across the country if states did not act fast to quell the riots.
Leah Hagono, who was born in Napier, has lived in the US for 25 years with her Kenyan husband Frank Hagono,
Currently living in Washington State, near Seattle, Leah said she saw a reflection of the country she lived in when she watched a video of Floyd's death.
"The casual manner in which the police officer squeezed life out of Floyd, is the same mentality that I have repeatedly witnessed with a vast majority of Americans - a sign of arrogance."
Leah said throughout her time in the US she'd had remarks and looks pointed her way simply because she was "married to a black African man".
"Frank has been called the n-word and has been racially profiled since he's lived here, but says it's no different from the ethnic discrimination he faced in Kenya."
Leah, who has not participated in the protests as she and Frank are essential workers, said George Floyd's death demonstrated "perpetual structural racism, discrimination and police brutality on black Americans and other minorities" in the US.
"Unless we get a true leader, there will be no change. It's very hard to predict any change when Trump ferments and emboldens his racist base."
"I feel the yearning for being home in New Zealand. We'd ideally love to move back in future times, but don't know now how this all will economically impact us."
An estimated 4000 protesters gathered in central Auckland on Monday in protest, with another 500 attending a vigil in Wellington.
The lack of social distancing at the protests prompted concerns from Napier MP and Police Minister Stuart Nash, who described those present as "irresponsible".
"It was disappointing to see the breaches around mass gatherings considering the pain Kiwis have gone through to get to where we are now," he said.
"People know the rules.
"The last thing they want to do is go in with a very heavy hand and arrest straight away and ask questions later. They [police] will review events themselves to see if any follow-up action is required."
Nash added: "There is a very clear set of rules to ensure we keep people safe. Police worked with some of the protesters beforehand to highlight the rules and ensure they were aware of the guidelines for mass gatherings under alert level 2."
Other demonstrations occurred in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Despite the ongoing unrest, Havelock North's Madi Hall, who is due to travel to North Carolina next week, said she will still be making the trip.
Hall is due to move to the Blue Ridge Mountains to work at a summer camp.
"It's scary that it's happening, but I don't see them affecting me and what I'll be doing over there in any way, as we'll be pretty isolated on the property," she said.
"I leave next Tuesday so I'm pretty committed at this stage and I'll be safely tucked away and won't be leaving the property too much."