Massive protests erupt across the United States

July 9, 2016 1:00 am

A
protester raises him arms in front of a police blockade as marchers take
to the streets to demonstrate against the recent fatal shootings of
black men by police. Photo / AP

Protest have erupted across the country today following the police
shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul,
Minnesota, and the deadly sniper attack on police officers in Dallas.

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 said
Friday everyone should be working to end the nation’s unsettled time.
“The question remains, ‘When will enough be enough?'” Earl Graham Jr. asked.
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.

ARIZONA

Freeway ramps were closed and pepper spray and tear gas were used during a protest in downtown Phoenix.
Police deployed the deterrents as demonstrators moved toward a freeway.
The Arizona Department of Transportation tweeted that multiple Interstate 10 ramps were closed.

About 1,000 people chanted “black lives matter” and “hands up, don’t shoot” as they marched.
The few dozen officers initially escorting marchers mostly wore plain clothes.
Later, officers wore uniforms and riot gear.
Minor
scuffles broke out when a man wearing a “Make America Great Again”
T-shirt and holding a Donald Trump campaign sign interrupted the
protest. Police pulled the man aside to let the marchers continue.

CALIFORNIA

Rappers
Snoop Dogg and The Game led a peaceful march to Los Angeles police
headquarters, where they met with the mayor and police chief and urged
improved relations between authorities and minority communities.
In
San Francisco, about 2,000 protesters marched across downtown to a
rally outside City Hall under a huge banner that read, “Stop the Racist
Police Terror in the U.S.” An organizer 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
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
Tuesday for a total of 135 hours. That’s 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 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 Center Park.

GEORGIA

Several thousand people flooded the streets of downtown Atlanta to protest recent police shootings of African-Americans.
Marchers
brought traffic to a standstill downtown after gathering at the
National Center 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
cooperate with law enforcement. The march appeared peaceful.

ILLINOIS

Members
of Chicago’s Black Lives Matter movement and other groups played dead
outside President 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.
In
another demonstration, activist priest the Rev. Michael Pfleger and
actor-comedian Nick Cannon led 100 people through the city’s
violence-plagued Auburn-Gresham neighborhood.
“It’s very apparent that we’re all in pain and we’re frustrated,” Cannon said.

LOUISIANA

Hundreds
of demonstrators in New Orleans gathered under a towering statue of
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to demand an end to police brutality
Friday night.
The crowd blocked traffic as participants chanted
slogans, held signs and listened to speeches. One group of protesters
sang “We Shall Overcome.”
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 shooting death 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
the protests won’t 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.”
The Rev. Laura Everett, of the
Massachusetts Council of Churches, called on people “to do the work of
dismantling the systemic racism that pervades our American .”

MICHIGAN

A peaceful protest against police brutality drew more than 1,000 people to Campus Martius Park in Detroit.
Nickell
Young, 25, a black student at Central Michigan University, said she
wasn’t surprised by the fatal attacks on police officers in Dallas.
“They
put on the uniform, and that represents brutality,” she said. “The
police who say they are good and they are not speaking up” against the
officers who violate the rights of blacks.

NEBRASKA

About 300 people gathered in southwest Omaha to protest the recent fatal police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.
Protest organizer Rene Harper said the Dallas shooting kept some people away.
The group discussed how to conduct a peaceful protest before moving with signs to all four corners of an intersection.
Police
were present. Several police cruisers were in the area, and police
officers were stationed on the roofs of nearby businesses.

NEW YORK

About 300 people took to the streets of New York City to protest the recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The
protesters gathered in Manhattan’s Union Square Friday night for
speeches before splitting into small groups escorted by police.
One
group marched across the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn while
another went uptown and marched through Grand Central Terminal, chanting
“black lives matter.” The protesters mostly kept to the sidewalks.

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh’s police chief walked along with protesters at an activist march downtown on Friday and said it was peaceful.
Organizers
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 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.

UTAH

Two
of Utah’s top law enforcement leaders say they won’t change the way
their agencies patrol or handle protests following the shooting of
police officers in Dallas but want the community to work with police to
break down barriers of mistrust.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said that happened in Dallas was “a classic ambush.”
Salt
Lake City police Chief Mike Brown said residents need to remember
officers are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, not just uniforms.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

A
few dozen people rallied peacefully outside the U.S. Department of
Justice headquarters, holding candles and quietly singing “We Shall Not
Be Moved” amid a heavy local and federal police presence.
Howard
University student George Wyche, who’s 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,” Wyche 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.

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