US nationwide protest decry police shootings of blacksSaturday, July 09, 2016
WASHINGTON DC, USA - A look at protests and related events nationwide and in the United Kingdom on Friday 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 society."
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.
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.
Rochester police arrested 74 people for disorderly conduct during a protest by hundreds of people over the shootings of black residents across the nation.
Police in riot gear were patrolling the streets after the protesters marched.
Chief Michael Ciminelli says there were no injuries or property damage during the Friday night march. He estimates as many as 400 people participated.
In New York City, about 300 people took to the streets to protest Friday night. They 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 went uptown and marched through Grand Central Terminal, chanting "black lives matter." The protesters mostly kept to the sidewalks.
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.
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.
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.
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.