'They treat us like animals!' Dozens of US cities unite in protests against police brutality
All across the US people united to protest police violence in
rallies. While some protests were peaceful, others saw violent
clashes with police.
The demonstrators in Seattle burned flags, and the police had to disperse fights between the protesters and the anarchists who seemed to have taken advantage of the situation.
In Los Angeles, an angry mob stopped traffic across the city as
part of the protest.
New York saw a largely peaceful rally, though activists expressed
their outrage at continuing police violence.
“It’s not a gentle thing how they treat us, they treat us like
animals, and that’s completely unwarranted, literally,
unwarranted,” a young protester told RT.
Organizers have documented cases of what they call the Stolen
Lives project: over the past decades, thousands of lives have
been blighted and destroyed in protests brutally suppressed by
There are few statistics available on police misconduct, the
latest traced in 2010. Then, the National Police Misconduct
Statistics and Reporting Project recorded 4,861 unique reports of
police misconduct that involved 6,613 sworn law enforcement
officers and 6,826 alleged victims, the organization’s website
The activists say most of the cases have been underreported or
“Hundreds every year are killed by the police, and the
majority of them are unarmed, not involved in any criminal
activity when they were killed. And also the majority of them
were young, and either black or Latino,” Carl Dix,
representative for ‘October 22 Coalition’ tom stop police
brutality, indicated to RT.
The activists are also bothered about the fact that the
representation of the killed or imprisoned protesters may be too
far from the real state of things.
“The mass media are very good at propaganda, so a lot of people are under the impression that people who have been stopped and frisked and are being gunned down are somehow criminals,” activist Gil Barosa told RT.
What bothers the activists most is the lack of accountability on
gun violence, police brutality, and unlawful killings that occur
at the hands of law enforcement authorities. They say the justice
system continues to neglect violent cases, not doing anything to
improve the current system.
“You have to go through hell and high water just to get a
conviction of an officer. And what he’s convicted for doesn’t
meet the crime that he’s accused of committing. And if he winds
up not being found guilty, even if he’s convicted, he gets out on
good behavior after serving minimal time,” Danette Chavis,
mother of an alleged police brutality victim pointed out to RT.
Last year a number of incidents involving police violence caused
massive public outrage.
Just over a month ago, a video emerged showing New York police using heavy-handed tactics while detaining students protesting against former CIA chief David Petraeus becoming a university professor.
What happened to Cassandra Feuerstein, 47, from Chicago, is
just one notorious example of police brutality. It became public
after a CCTV video from the cell Feuerstein was being held in was
obtained by her attorney, Torreya Hamilton.
Feuerstein, arrested on suspicion of DUI, reportedly asked to
call her husband and children. Officer Michael Hart called her
out of the cell. Less than 10 seconds later, the video shows
Feuerstein being pushed back into the cell, where she hits the
The video shows Feuerstein collapsing on the floor, and her face is seen bruised and bloodied, with alleged fractures in several places.
Israel Hernandez-Llach, a prominent artist of Colombian origin,
died in August after Miami Beach police shot him in the chest
with a stun gun – for spray-painting an unused McDonalds
In July, the Illinois police, armed with tasers, flexible batons,
a shotgun, “bean bag” rounds and a riot shield, shot John Wrana,
a 95-year-old resident of an assisted living facility, eventually
In May, David Silva, a 33-year-old father of four, died at the
hands of the police in Bakersfield,