Protests in cities across the US – BLM activist arrested
Protests and related events nationwide Saturday 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:
In Louisiana, authorities say prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson has been arrested during a protest in Baton Rouge.
An Associated Press reporter who was at the scene Saturday night confirmed Mckesson’s arrest.
McKesson was walking alongside Airline Highway when he was arrested. It was not immediately clear what prompted Mckesson’s arrest.
Protesters were demonstrating against the shooting death Tuesday of 37-year-old Alton Sterling.
The protests lasted well into the evening but died down a little after midnight.
Police have used smoke bombs to clear demonstrators blocking Interstate 94 in St. Paul during a protest sparked by the recent police killings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.
The smoke was used just after midnight Saturday when about 200 protesters were in the roadway as police in riot gear slowly moved in.
The St. Paul Police Department tweeted that arrests were made, but didn’t indicate how many, and said at least five officers suffered non-serious injuries when hit by rocks, firecrackers and bottles thrown by protesters.
A leader on a loudspeaker urged the group to march to the governor’s mansion, where protesters have gathered since the fatal police shooting Wednesday night of Philando Castile. The 32-year-old black man was shot during a traffic stop in suburban St. Paul.
Police said the interstate reopened early Sunday morning.
Several hundred protesters outraged by the police killings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota took to the streets of San Francisco, blocking several roads and ramps to get on and off the Bay Bridge.
The California Highway Patrol closed access to the bridge at least two times Saturday afternoon when protesters took over freeway ramps, causing traffic to back up.
The group began marching from the city’s Hall of Justice to the downtown shopping area, causing a temporary shutdown of a popular mall as the crowd gathered there to chant slogans and make speeches.
In central California, several hundred protesters blocked several intersections as they marched against police brutality in central Fresno. Officers in riot gear blocked an on-ramp to keep the protesters from entering State Route 41.
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.
Hundreds of people marched in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale as part of the Black Lives Matter movement in demonstrations that ended peacefully.
Protesters in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday chanted “No justice, no peace” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.” At one point the protest stopped outside a Broward County jail and prisoners banged on windows in support.
The demonstrations came after police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, and the deadly sniper attack on police officers in Dallas.
A Palm Beach Post reporter tweeted a photo of a protester shaking a police officer’s hand as the West Palm Beach protest disbursed.
A third protest was planned in Miami on Saturday evening.
Hundreds of people have marched in New York City to protest police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota.
The protesters chanted “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace” as they marched through Manhattan on Saturday. As many as 1,000 people joined the protest, but many left when it started raining.
Police officers marched alongside the protesters and tried to keep them on the sidewalk. A police spokesman said there were at least 20 arrests.
Protester Cynthia Howell said she is not against the police but she wants to see accountability.
Howell is a niece of Alberta Spruill, who died of a heart attack in 2003 after police threw a concussion grenade into her Harlem apartment.
Howell said officers who do “reckless, dangerous things” must be held accountable.
Angry protesters in Philadelphia marched to two police precincts in the northern part of the city, facing off with police officers who kept calm as demonstrators shouted slogans and sometimes taunted them.
Hundreds of people took part in Saturday’s six-hour march, which attracted a multiracial, multi-ethnic crowd upset over the fatal shooting of black men. They sought to shut down police activity and traffic in the precincts as part of what they proclaimed a “weekend of rage.”
Philly.com reports (http://bit.ly/29pHEkY) protesters yelled expletives at police and walked to within inches of some. “Without the uniform and badge, you are just like us,” one protester told a black officer.
In Pittsburgh Saturday, several hundred people broke off from the city’s 200th anniversary parade to protest recent police shootings across the country. Some were affiliated with Black Lives Matter.
They marched from Point State Park on Saturday afternoon to the county courthouse.
More than 150 people gathered in downtown Newport in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after a week of violence across the nation.
The Providence Journal reports the group marched on Saturday afternoon to call for changes after the police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota this week.
Speakers urged the crowd to get involved in grassroots efforts to improve law enforcement across the country.
Seneca Pender of Middletown organized the rally. He told the crowd that the senseless killings of black people “have to stop.”
Pender also thanked law enforcement officers who provided security at the rally in Newport and denounced the deadly attack Thursday on police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas that left five officers dead.
Protesters who support the Black Lives Matter movement rallied in Salt Lake City, with some saying they grieved both the losses of the black men in Louisiana and Minnesota and fallen Dallas police officers.
“The answer to guns is not more guns,” said Deyvid Morales, who directed the protest Saturday, told the Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/29vvYAl.) “The answer to stop this violence is to peacefully talk things out, to come together as a community. … We just want peace.”
Two black women and one Latina spoke at the rally, expressing fear for loved ones and themselves in dealings with police.
“It’s terrifying to be the mother of a black child,” Jessica Lee said. “Speaking from personal experience, it is terrifying to know that next year my son is going to be out driving, so I constantly have to grill him on things — what to say, what not to say.”
The protesters included Carl Moore of Orem. He did a dance in traditional Native American clothing. The dance was a tribute to the human race, he said.
“When I see this ‘All Lives Matter,’ what it does is it dilutes the situation,” Moore said. “What we’re doing right now is Black Lives Matter.”
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco; Daisy P. Nguyen in Los Angeles; Tarek Hamada in Phoenix; Amy Anthony in Providence, Rhode Island; Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida; Rebecca Santana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and William Mathis in New York.
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