Thousands take to U.S. streets to protest
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[July 09, 2016]
By Curtis Skinner
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Thousands took to
the streets of U.S. cities on Friday to denounce the fatal shooting by
police of two black men this week, marching the day after a gunman
killed five police officers watching over a similar demonstration in
Protesters clogged roadways in New York City, Atlanta and Philadelphia,
and events in San Francisco and Phoenix also drew large crowds.
Six people were injured and three were arrested in Phoenix. where police
in riot gear used pepper spray on protesters, some of whom threw rocks
at officers, the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement.
Videos posted online showed protesters also gathering in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana, where 37-year-old Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police
early on Tuesday.
The largest demonstration appeared to be in Atlanta, where thousands
marched, chanting and waving signs demanding justice, video posted to
social media showed. Footage from broadcasters showed a large crowd
facing off with dozens of police vehicles blocking a local interstate
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed tweeted that the rally was largely peaceful,
though about 10 people had been arrested.
Friday was the second day of demonstrations against use of force by
police following the fatal shootings of Sterling and of 32-year-old
Philando Castile near St. Paul, Minnesota.
The shootings stoked racial tension that has flared repeatedly across
the country following the 2014 killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed
black teen, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
Castile was killed by police during a traffic stop on Wednesday, and his
girlfriend posted footage of the confrontation on the Internet minutes
Sterling was killed on Tuesday during an altercation with two white
police officers outside a convenience store. A graphic video of that
incident caused an outcry on social media.
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Protesters denounce fatal shootings by the police of two black men
across the country during a demonstration, in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
July 8, 2016. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
"No justice, no peace, no racist police," demonstrators shouted late
on Friday in Baton Rouge, where state and local police in riot gear
tried to keep them from blocking a busy roadway.
Thursday's demonstrations following the killings of Sterling and
Castile were largely peaceful until gunfire erupted at a Dallas
rally that was winding down.
Authorities said 25-year-old Micah Johnson, a black U.S. military
veteran of the Afghan war who said he wanted to "kill white people,"
launched a sniper attack that killed five police officers and
wounded nine other people.
Police killed the gunman with a bomb-carrying robot after cornering
him in a parking garage, ending an hours-long standoff.
(Additional reporting by Bryn Stole in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and
Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and
Clarence Fernandez; editing by John Stonestreet)
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