More than 9,300 people have been arrested in United States protests since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, according to an Associated Press news agency tally published on Wednesday.
According to the tally, Los Angeles has recorded 2,700 arrests since the protests, followed by New York City with some 1,500 arrests. Police in Dallas and Houston, Texas, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have also arrested several hundred people. The toll is likely much higher.
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The arrests come amid a crackdown on protests against the killing of Floyd and broader acts of police brutality.
Many have been arrested for curfew violations, which major cities have imposed to quell demonstrations that have at times turned violent, with looting, vandalism and fires.
Some police departments in major cities, such as Houston, say while hundreds have been arrested, “this is an extremely low number … considering the thousands of people in our community demonstrated peacefully”.
The tally comes as protests continue to erupt nationwide over the killing of Floyd, who died after a white officer knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Video of the incident shows Floyd repeatedly pleading with the officer, saying: “I can’t breathe.” Floyd eventually appears motionless, with the officer’s knee still on his neck.
That officer – Derek Chauvin – has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. The other three officers involved have been charged with aiding and abetting a second-degree murder and manslaughter.
The protests over police violence have at times been met with just that – more police violence, rights groups say.
According to videos, witness accounts, and reports, police have used tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, flashbangs, batons and other tactics against protesters. Police say they are responding to protesters who are violent, pointing to the looting, vandalism and fires that have taken place.
In Atlanta, Georgia, six officers were charged after police pulled two people from their car, threw them to the ground and shot them stun guns, according to authorities.
Police have also targeted journalists with arrests, intimidation and violence, according to rights groups.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Minnesota on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the state of Minnesota’s state and local law enforcement officials, “to ensure that police officers who target journalists are held fully accountable for their unlawful actions”.
The Committee to Protect Journalism has received reports of at least 125 press freedom violations from journalists covering the protests, including reports of a number of arrests.