Six Day of Nationwide Protest against police killings in US

Tue Dec 9, 2014 16:57:56

More than 150 protesters were arrested in California overnight after shutting down a major freeway in another outbreak of nationwide demonstrations against police use of deadly force against blacks.

Across the other side of the country late on Monday, basketball stars in New York including Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James joined the protests by wearing shirts emblazoned with "I can't breathe" -- the last words of Eric Garner, a black man who died after a police chokehold.

Large crowds have demonstrated daily in several U.S. cities since a grand jury decided last week not to bring criminal charges against a white police officer over the death of Garner, an unarmed father of six, in July.

The death of Garner and the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri in August, have highlighted strained relations between police and black Americans and rekindled a national debate over race relations.

Several hundred people stormed onto Interstate 80 in the college town of Berkeley near San Francisco on Monday night snarling traffic in both directions.

Protesters threw rocks and other objects at officers, California Highway Patrol spokesman Daniel Hill said.More than 150 people were arrested, mostly for resisting or obstructing an officer, he added.

Earlier, dozens of protesters stopped an Amtrak train in the town by lying on the tracks or sitting on a sofa placed across the line.

Outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a group of about 300 protesters blocked streets and chanted, "I can't breathe," in memory of Garner, and "Hands up, don't shoot," a reference to Brown's death.

Berkeley police officers take a protestor into custody during a demonstration over recent grand jury decisions in police-involved deaths on December 8, 2014 in Berkeley, California.

In downtown Phoenix, about 200 protesters marched to police headquarters over the killing of another unarmed black man by a white officer in what authorities described as a struggle last week.

Protesters demanded that police release the name of the officer involved in the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon, a man police suspected of selling drugs.

In Ferguson pounding rain and tornado alerts didn't deter hundreds of protesters on Monday as they gathered outside Ferguson police headquarters, where they stayed for almost four hours, roughly the same amount of time that the18-year-old Michael Brown's body was left in a street after he was fatally shot by police.

Organizers of the four-day Ferguson October protests dubbed the day "Moral Monday" and committed acts of civil disobedience across the St. Louis region.

More than 50 people were arrested. Protesters were met by about 40 officers in riot gear.Several clergy members approached individual officers and asked them to "repent" for Brown's killing and other acts of violence.

Some officers engaged with the protesters, while others ignored the efforts. Protests have been common since Brown, who was an unarmed, black teenager, was killed by a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9.

Police clash with demonstrators protesting the Staten Island, New York grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in July, inside the Barclays Center subway station after a Brooklyn Nets game on December 8, 2014 in New York City.

Tensions escalated last week when a white police officer in St. Louis shot and killed another black 18-year-old, Vonderrit Myers Jr., who police say shot at officers.

In Cleveland, Samaria Rice, the mother of a 12-year-old African-American boy shot dead by police in November, told reporters she was seeking a conviction.

Her son, Tamir Rice, was shot near a recreation center while carrying a pellet gun that was a replica of a real gun. The boy's family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and the two officers involved, one who shot Rice on Nov. 22 and one who was driving the police car.

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