U.S. protests: Nearly 1,000 instances of police brutality recorded in U.S. anti-racism protests

October 30, 2020 - 20:40

The United States is currently experiencing one of the longest continued periods of civil unrest in generations, after demonstrations sparked by George Floyd’s death expanded to protests against black Americans killed by police and systemic racism in the country.

Retaliation by police against civilians and the press was widely documented in the first wave of protests, but as the protests have continued, so too has the violence. There has not been a single week without an incidence of police brutality against a civilian or a journalist at a protest in the U.S. since the end of May.

According to  Guardian, at least 950 instances of police brutality against civilians and journalists during anti-racism protests have occurred in the past five months, according to data collected by Bellingcat and Forensic Architecture and analyzed by the Guardian.

The database shows more than 1,000 violations, including:

* more than 500 of instances of police using less-lethal rounds, pepper spray and teargas;

* 60 incidents of officers using unlawful assembly to arrest protesters;

* 19 incidents of police being permissive to the far right and showing double standards when confronted with white supremacists;

* five attacks on medics;

* and 11 instances of kettling.

Originally the data focused on attacks on the media and almost 150 incidents were identified by 2 June, but the collection was expanded to include incidents involving civilians during the protests too. The data is probably an undercount as it only contains documented and verified incidents.
More than 200 incidents took place in Portland, where police spent more than $117,500 on teargas and less-lethal munitions in a six-week period from late May, according to Oregon Live.

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