Amnesty condemns excessive use of force by US police against protesters
A prominent human rights organization has condemned the excessive use of force by the US police against demonstrators protesting racial injustice.
Amnesty International USA released a report on Tuesday documenting over 120 separate incidents of police violence against protesters, medics, journalists and legal observers in more than 40 states during May and June protests.
Many observers maintain that the report, "The World is Watching: Mass Violations by US Police of Black Lives Matter Protesters’ Rights", is the most comprehensive human rights analysis of police violence so far.
The researchers of the AIUSA have conducted more than 50 interviews over several weeks in June 2020, highlighting people’s experiences in the context of the protests.
“The unnecessary and sometimes excessive use of force by police against protesters exhibits the very systemic racism and impunity they had taken to the streets to protest. The research shows that people who were simply exercising their human right to peacefully protest were met with such violence that they lost eyesight, survived brutal beatings, and suffered seizures and severe wounds,” said Ernest Coverson, AIUSA’s End Gun Violence campaign manager.
“The Trump administration is now doubling down on military-style crackdowns against protesters, with Attorney General William Barr’s egregious defense of the use of federal troops in Portland and threats to deploy more agents to other cities. President Trump’s actions represent a slippery slope toward authoritarianism and must immediately stop. We need the country’s approach to the policing of protests to be changed from the ground up at the local, state, and federal levels,” said Justin Mazzola, a researcher at AIUSA.
The report comes as the US Attorney's office in Portland announced on Tuesday that it has produced no evidence linking dozens who have been arrested in anti-racism protests to the antifa or anarchist movements.
"We have not alleged defendant affiliation with any specific groups or ideologies in our cases stemming from recent Portland protests," said Kevin Sonoff, the spokesman for the US Attorney's office. "Our cases focus purely on the criminal conduct alleged."