Protests against racial injustice continue with Seattle police in US

Protests against racial injustice continue with Seattle police in US

Protests against racial injustice continue on Saturday with Seattle police in the US.

Portland is now the scene of a highly controversial crackdown by federal agents ordered by US President Donald Trump, one that is not supported by local officials, and which many said smacked of authoritarianism.

Civil unrest, however, was not only confined to Portland -- as thousands of people marched in Seattle on Saturday in the largest Black Lives Matter demonstration in weeks, with a renewed energy.

Police said officers used non-lethal weapons in attempts to disperse the crowd in the late afternoon after some protesters set fire to the construction site for a King County juvenile detention facility and courthouse.

Seattle Police said on Twitter they were working to secure access for the city's fire department to the blaze, which it said was started by about a dozen people who were part of a large group of demonstrators.

By late afternoon, the police said 11 people had been arrested and one officer was hospitalised with a leg injury caused by an explosive.

Police in Seattle used flashbang grenades and pepper spray Saturday against protesters who set fire to construction trailers outside a youth jail. The Seattle Police Department declared the protest a riot and said that protesters threw rocks at officers and caused multiple fires and damage to businesses.

Also on Saturday, three members of a black militia were shot in Louisville, Kentucky after a gun discharged at a Black Lives Matter protest.

The group of heavily armed Black protesters was marching through Louisville demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed in March by police officers who burst into her apartment.

Scores of the demonstrators, carrying semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and clad in black paramilitary gear, walked information to a fenced-off intersection where they were separated by police from a smaller group of armed counter-protesters.

One police officer involved in the raid was fired by the city's police department in June. Two other officers have been placed on administrative reassignment. No criminal charges have been filed against any of the three.

The leader of the NFAC group called on officials to speed up the investigation into her death and to be more transparent.

Taylor's death, which returned to prominence following the May 25 suffocation in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, has become a rallying cry in nationwide protests against police brutality and racial bias in the US criminal justice system.

The NFAC first drew attention on July 4 when they rallied in Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta to demand the removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.

Meanwhile, police and federal agents fired tear gas and forcefully dispersed protesters in the US city of Portland on Saturday.

Trump, who is campaigning for re-election in November on "law and order," announced on Wednesday a "surge" of federal agents to crime hotspots including Chicago, following an increase in violence in the nation's third-largest city.

Source: Agencies

Published on: Jul 26, 2020 15:46:31