Monday 26 September 2016

Protesters across the US denounce police shootings of blacks

Published 09/07/2016 | 06:26

Protesters march across Williamsburg bridge in New York following the police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota (AP)
Protesters march across Williamsburg bridge in New York following the police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota (AP)

There were protests in cities across the US and also in London on Friday following the police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St Paul, Minnesota, and the deadly sniper attack on police officers in Dallas.

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:: ARKANSAS

About 300 people gathered in front of the state Capitol to seek solutions to racial strife, which Little Rock knows so well.

The pastor of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in North Little Rock, Earl Graham Jr, said everyone should be working to end the nation's unsettled time.

He said: "The question remains. When will enough be enough?"

The crowd chanted the question back to him.

Little Rock was the scene of one of the nation's first desegregation battles in 1957, when President Dwight D Eisenhower sent troops into the city to escort nine black children into Central High School.

:: C ALIFORNIA

Rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game led a peaceful march to Los Angeles police headquarters, where they met the mayor and police chief and urged improved relations between authorities and minority communities.

In San Francisco, about 2,000 protesters marched to a rally outside City Hall under a huge banner that read: "Stop the Racist Police Terror in the US." An organiser urged the crowd to remain peaceful.

"Our anger must be controlled and strategic," Lawrence Shine said. "Love will overcome hate."

In Sacramento, guards closed the Capitol early in expectation of a protest on Friday evening. Several dozen demonstrators marched around the Capitol carrying posters demanding justice for black men killed by police across the country.

:: COLORADO

Black Lives Matter supporters said they plan to continue a sit-in in Denver in response to the police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana through until Tuesday for a total of 135 hours. That is an hour for each of the black people they say have been killed by police across the country this year.

The gathering, across from the City and County Building, began on Thursday afternoon, several hours before police officers were killed in Dallas.

People have been dropping off food and water for those camped out on chairs and blankets in Civic Centre Park.

:: GEORGIA

Several thousand people flooded the streets of Atlanta to protest against recent police shootings of African-Americans.

Marchers brought traffic to a standstill after gathering at the National Centre for Civil and Human Rights near Centennial Olympic Park. Drivers in cars honked their horns as protesters holding signs and chanting "hands up, don't shoot" streamed beside them.

Police Chief George Turner and Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed urged protesters to co-operate with law enforcement. The march appeared peaceful.

:: ILLINOIS

Members of Chicago's Black Lives Matter movement and other groups played dead outside Barack Obama's home in an effort to push the president to act on the violence occurring between police officers and black people.

Activist Jedidiah Brown said there is more the president can do than just speak about the violence.

:: LOUISIANA

Hundreds of demonstrators in New Orleans gathered under a towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to demand an end to police brutality.

The crowd blocked traffic as participants chanted slogans, held signs and listened to speeches.

Earlier on Friday, more than two dozen protesters briefly lay down in front of the New Orleans Police Department headquarters in a symbolic "die-in".

In Baton Rouge, a protest over the fatal shooting of a black man by white officers has drawn hundreds of people across the street from police headquarters.

Rashad Rusk, 23, said the protesters intended to stay peaceful, but he vowed that they will not stop until the two officers accused in Alton Sterling's death are charged with murder.

:: MASSACHUSETTS

Religious leaders gathered at an interfaith service in Boston to pray for an end to the racially tinged violence racking the nation.

Nancy Taylor, senior pastor of Old South Church, told the gathering she was weary of the mounting death toll.

"I'm here to say that I'm tired of praying," she said. "Tired of praying over dead bodies, the young dead. Sick and tired of praying over those killed by gun violence."

:: NEW YORK

About 300 people took to the streets of New York City to protest against the police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.

The protesters gathered in Manhattan's Union Square for speeches before splitting into small groups escorted by police.

One group marched across the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn while another marched through Grand Central Terminal, chanting "black lives matter".

:: PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh's police chief walked with protesters at an activist march and said it was peaceful.

Organisers billed the march as a protest against "growing inequality and a toxic atmosphere of hate". Police Chief Cameron McLay shook marchers' hands and chatted with them.

In Philadelphia, about 150 people marched for the third consecutive night to protest against the deadly shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota.

The demonstrators, ranging from young children to seniors who recalled marches by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, held signs and chanted.

:: WASHINGTON, DC.

A few dozen people rallied peacefully outside the US Department of Justice headquarters, holding candles and quietly singing "We Shall Not Be Moved" amid a heavy police presence.

Howard University student George Wyche, who is from Houston, said he was worn out emotionally from the racially tinged violence of this week. He said he believes there are no easy answers to the tensions plaguing the country.

"It's a time for belief in the greater good of humanity," said.

:: UNITED KINGDOM

Hundreds of people took part in a Black Lives Matter protest in London on Friday.

Large crowds of people marched through busy streets in the central part of the city as drivers honked their horns and passers-by pumped their fists.

AP

Press Association

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