Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across cities in the US on Saturday (9 July) to denounce police brutality after two black men were killed in Louisiana and Minnesota last week. Demonstrators clashed with police and more than a hundred arrests were made.
At least three policemen were injured when protesters threw rocks, bottles and metal bars at officers in St Paul Minnesota on Saturday night. Smoke bombs were also used to control the crowd, spokesperson Steve Linders said.
Interstate 94 was partially closed after some 200 people rushed past Minnesota state patrol police, who tried to stop them from getting on the road. Early on Sunday, police said they had started clearing the highway and are preparing to reopen it.
At the Baton Rouge police station in Louisiana, a few hundred demonstrators came together after which scuffles between riot police and Black Panther activists erupted. Several arrests were made and two firearms were confiscated from the protesters, according to a police spokesperson. A prominent black activist and former Baltimore mayoral candidate Deray Mckesson was among those arrested.
In Nashville some people blocked a highway, while around 600 people had gathered in downtown Indianapolis and were protesting against alleged police brutality. In San Francisco, a rally also briefly blocked a highway ramp, local media reported. Protests were also reported in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta.
In New York, hundreds marched from City Hall to Union Square. Fifth Avenue had to be shut as crowds grew in number to at least a thousand. Protesters in New York chanted: "No racist police, no justice, no peace."
Twenty seven-year-old Peruvian American artist, Lorena Ambrosio, who joined in the protests in New York, told Reuters: "I'm feeling very haunted, very sad and just angry that black bodies just keep piling and piling up."
On 7 July, five white police officers were shot and seven others wounded by Micah Johnson – a black man – at a peaceful demonstration against police brutality in Dallas. It was the deadliest incident for US law enforcement since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.