US law enforcement officers have used unjustified violence to disperse protest marches with the participation of activists of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the use of tear gas during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially unacceptable. This is stated in the report of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
The report is based on conversations with over 50 protesters.
“The excessive and inappropriate use of force by the police demonstrates the systematic racism and impunity that the protesters opposed. The study shows that people who exercised their natural right to protest peacefully faced violence, ” said Ernest Coverson, head of the anti-armed violence campaign at the organization.
According to the report, from May 26 to June 5 in the United States, there were six episodes of the use of rubber truncheons by the police, 13 episodes of the use of kinetic weapons (for example, rubber bullets).
Human rights activists were especially outraged by the use of tear and pepper gas against protesters – more than 100 times in dozens of states.
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“Using tear gas during the COVID-19 pandemic is reckless. When protesters took to the streets with masks on their faces, trying to maintain social distance due to the coronavirus, police used tear and pepper gas, increasing the risk of respiratory diseases and the release of particles that can spread the virus, ” the report said.