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USA: Protests against police violence continue, resulting in hundreds of arrests

11.7.2016 19:05
Protests against police violence were held on 9 July 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. (PHOTO:  ČTK/AP/Max Becherer)
Protests against police violence were held on 9 July 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. (PHOTO: ČTK/AP/Max Becherer)

In many places throughout the entre United States, more protests were held on Sunday against the incidents last week of African-American civilians being shot dead during controversial police interventions. Demonstrators assembled again in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and St. Paul, Minnesota, the cities where the controversial police shootings took place, according to CBS News.

"No justice, no peace!" chanted roughly 200 demonstrators in Baton Rouge, where police shot the African-American civilian Alton Sterling dead after receiving an anonymous tip that he was armed. The demonstration was supervised by dozens of police officers and dozens of riot police, and roughly 30 police vehicles were parked nearby.

Local media reported police as saying that the demonstrators, after peacefully marchiing to the local Capitol building, clashed with police, who arrested at least 48 people. According to the authorities the arrests occured during an unannounced protest action.

Over the weekend police arrested roughly 160 people during various protests there, according to the Associated Press. While previous demonstrations had been attended by thousands of people, a much smaller group demonstrated on Sunday night.

In St. Paul, Reuters reported that roughly 102 people were arrested after Saturday's protest turned violent. People were protesting the violent death of African-American civilian Philand Castile, who was killed last Wednesday when police fired several shots at him after stopping his vehicle because it had a broken light.

On Sunday afternoon a peaceful demonstration was held in St. Paul in front of police headquarters and was attended by roughly 300 people. CNN reports that similar protests in Baton Rouge, Chicago, New York and St. Paul in recent days have resulted in the arrests of at least 261 people.

Dallas shooter left messages written in his own blood

Last Thursday a similar demonstration in Dallas, Texas became the scene of the mass murder of five police officers who were shot dead by a sniper who was then killed by police. The sniper's motivation was apparently racist:  Detectives identified him as a 25-year-old African-American man, Micah Xavier Johnson, who told negotiators he had been targeting white police officers, according to media reports.

The murderer also wrote messages in his own blood on the walls of the parking lot where he was surrounded by police before being killed. Dallas Police Chief David Brown informed CNN of what had transpired.

Johnson, who was a military veteran, wrote the initials "RB" on the wall, the meaning of which detectives are still investigating. During a search of Johnson's home, police found objects necessary to producing charges for explosives and a journal that showed the sniper had thought about committing an even bloodier attack than the one he ultimately carried out in Dallas.

Detectives say the motivation for the crime was racist, as they found Facebook posts and other online posts where the perpetrator left hateful commentary, as well as posts sympathizing with Black nationalist thought. Shortly after the crime was committed, authorities said Johnson had served several years in the Army and had been deployed for half a year in Afghanistan.

In Dallas he had recently attended a course in combat tactics, part of which included learning how to shoot while on the move or how to rapidly change position. Neighbors also testified that Johnson had been seen practicing military tactics in his own garden.

US President Barack Obama cut short an official visit to Spain as a consequence of the events in Dallas and will meet with the surviving relatives of the victims of the massacre tomorrow. US Vice President Joe Biden, former President George W. Bush  and his wife, Laura, will also visit Dallas.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Demonstrace, Policie, protest, Racism, USA



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