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Protests continue across US over police killings of black men

Protest demonstrations continued on Saturdday across the US 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.

world Updated: Jul 10, 2016 11:01 IST
AP
People shout slogans during a protest in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in New York.
People shout slogans during a protest in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in New York.(AFP)

Protest demonstrations continued on Saturdday across the US 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.

California

Hundreds of outraged protesters 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 on Saturday afternoon when protesters took over freeway ramps, causing traffic to back up.

A demonstrator gestures during a protest against the police shootings in California. (Reuters)

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, 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.

Colorado

Black Lives Matter supporters said they plan to continue a sit-in in Denver 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.

Florida

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.

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.

Protesters block Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters. (AP)

Louisiana

A few hundred protesters have gathered at the Baton Rouge Police Department.

The demonstrators gathered Saturday to protest the shooting death of a black man, Alton Sterling, by two white police officers at a convenience store parking lot last week.

The protest was tense earlier as police in riot gear came out, apparently to clear the road so traffic could pass through.

A police spokesperson said two firearms were confiscated and several arrests made.

Police later went back inside their headquarters and traffic reopened.

Baton Rouge resident Marie Flowers came to the protest in with her three children. She said people in the north Baton Rouge neighbourhood where the shooting happened are frustrated.

Protesters waved homemade signs while drivers honked their support and some stopped by with bottles of water.

A demonstrator hold placards during a "Black Lives Matter" protest in front of the governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Reuters)

Minnesota

Police said arrests were made after protesters began throwing fireworks, bottles and rocks at officers during a protest that shut down a section of Interstate 94 in St. Paul on Saturday night.

The highway was blocked following a march that started outside the governor’s mansion, where protesters have been gathering 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 while, according to his girlfriend, he reached for his wallet.

St. Paul police said on the department official Twitter account that an officer was injured by a firework thrown by protesters. Police said protesters also were throwing objects and liquids from highway overpasses.

Police said some protesters sat down after being warned they were subject to arrest if they didn’t disassemble.

The number of arrests made was not immediately released.

People shout slogans during a protest in support of the ‘Black  Lives Matter’ movement in New York. (AFP)

New York

Hundreds of people are marching in New York City to protest the police shootings.

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 spokesperson 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.

Pennsylvania

Several hundred people broke off from Pittsburgh’s 200th anniversary parade to protest recent police shootings across the country. Some were affiliated with Black Lives Matter movement.

They marched from Point State Park on Saturday afternoon to the county courthouse.

In Philadelphia, a group of about 100 protesters marched to two police precincts in the northern part of the city on Saturday.

Rhode Island

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.

Utah

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.

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.”