A report documenting 125 instances of police violence in less than two weeks during protests over the death of African-American George Floyd illustrates the need to demilitarize US law-enforcement, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 04th August, 2020) A report documenting 125 instances of police violence in less than two weeks during protests over the death of African-American George Floyd illustrates the need to demilitarize US law-enforcement, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday.
"Amnesty International USA recorded 125 separate incidents of police violence against protesters, medics, journalists and legal observers in 40 States and DC During May and June Protests," the group said.
"Among the abuses documented were beatings, the misuse of tear gas and pepper spray, and the inappropriate and at times indiscriminate firing of "less lethal" projectiles, such as sponge rounds and rubber bullets," the release said.
The report offers a scathing critique of responses to an outbreak of nationwide anti-police and anti-racism demonstrations following the May 25 death of Floyd while being arrested by police in the city of Minneapolis. The report said Floyd was "tortured and extrajudicially executed" by an officer who suffocated the suspect with a knee to the neck for nearly nine minutes.
The report is based on 50 interviews with victims, which also included legal observers and journalists such as Linda Tirado, a freelancer who was blinded in one eye from the kinetic impact of a police-fired projectile in the same city where Floyd was killed.
At the time of the incident, Tirado was clearly identified as press, with standard professional photojournalist equipment and a laminated and reflective lanyard hanging from her neck against a black shirt to better draw attention to the press badge. There were no protesters standing near her and she was continuously taking photographs of law enforcement, the report said.
In all situations, law enforcement officers have an obligation to engage in de-escalation to prevent the exacerbation of violence, according to the report.
In June, Rossiya Segodnya information agency said it would consider suing after US police pepper-sprayed RIA Novosti correspondent Mikhail Turgiyev and shot Sputnik reporter Nicole Roussell with rubber bullets.