Protests against the killings of black people by police were held in many cities across the US. Tensions between black citizens and police have risen palpably since the killings of
Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in Minnesota by officers, and a retaliatory attack on police by sniper Micah Johnson in Dallas that killed five officers.
Many of the demonstrations focused on attempts to shut down major interstates. Police in riot gear managed to keep a group of protesters from blocking Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge. Scores of demonstrators were arrested after authorities warned that violence during the protests would not be tolerated. Baton Rouge police reported that at least 48 people were taken into custody after demonstrators clashed with police following a peaceful march to the state capitol.
Sandra Sterling is comforted during community vigil in memory of her nephew, Alton Sterling, who was shot dead by police, at the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Jeffrey Dubinsky Police officers wearing gas masks stand guard during a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Shannon Stapleton/Reuters Demonstrators raise their fists as law enforcement officers march down a street during protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Shannon Stapleton/Reuters A tearful woman protests against the shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Jonathan Bachman/Reuters A woman confronts armed police officers near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana, Jonathan Bachman/Reuters A woman cries near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department during a protest against the shooting death of Alton Sterling Jonathan Bachman/Reuters A woman protesting against the shooting death of Alton Sterling is arrested by riot police officers near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana Jonathan Bachman/Reuters Demonstrators gather after marching to the Louisiana Capitol to protest against the shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images Demonstrators raise their fists after marching to the Louisiana Capitol in Baton Rouge Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images Protesters face off with Baton Rouge police in riot gear across the street from the police department Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images Police officers start making arrests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images A demonstrator is arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images A man protesting against the killing of Alton Sterling is detained near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana
In St Paul, Minnesota, 21 officers were injured on Saturday (9 July) when they were pelted with rocks, bottles, construction material and fireworks. Hundreds of protesters had shut down I-94, a major thoroughfare linking the Twin Cities, snarling traffic. Police made arrests and used smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Police cars line up as protesters shut down highway I-94 in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A police officer uses pepper spray as people gather on Interstate 94 in St Paul, Minnesota, to protest against the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by Minneapolis area police Adam Bettcher/Reuters Black Lives Matter protesters are seen in clouds of tear gas in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A police officer puts on his gas mask as protesters shut down I-94 in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images Bystanders watch as protesters and police face off in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images Police officers launch smoke bombs and tear gas canisters in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images People watch as the interstate is shut down by Black Lives Matter demonstrators in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A sticker is placed on a fence pillar during a Black Lives Matter protest in front of the Governor's Mansion in St Paul, Minnesota Eric Miller/Reuters Protestors dance outside the Governor's Mansion in St Paul, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A protester wears a 'Cop Watch' vest outside the St Anthony Police Department in Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A sign reading "Blue Lies Matter" lies on the ground outside the Police Department in St Anthony, Minnesota Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Officials across the country grappled with a wave of demonstrations against excessive police force that has swept the country. Undeterred by heightened concerns about safety at protests after a lone gunman killed five police officers in Dallas, organisers went ahead with marches in New York City, Washington DC and other cities. Demonstrations spread outside the US: hundreds of people took part in a Black Lives Matter protest in London. A door with handles in the likeness of the Oakland Police badge is seen splashed with red paint in Oakland, California Stephen Lam/Reuters A woman with Black Lives Matter removes a sticker after a protest outside the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) headquarters Patrick T Fallon/Reuters People take part in a protest against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter during a march in New York Eduardo Munoz/Reuters People walk over a chalk artwork featuring the names of people killed by police during a demonstration in support of Black Lives Matter in New York Eduardo Munoz/Reuters A man and his daughter take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in New York Eduardo Munoz/Reuters A demonstrator holds up a 'Black Lives Matter' sign in front of the White House in Washington, DC Joshua Roberts/Reuters Black Lives Matter demonstrators block the road outside the Houses of Parliament in London Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP Demonstrators from the Black Lives Matter movement march through London during a demonstration against the killing of black men by police in the US Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP The most recent shooting deaths by police come after several years of contentious killings by law enforcement officers, including that of Michael Brown, a teenager whose death in the summer of 2014 caused riots and weeks of protests in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.