Human rights organization Amnesty International recorded at least 125 incidents of violence by law enforcement officers in the US during the protests and called for a change in the US’s police system.
Among the 125 cases of violence, recorded between May 26 and June 5 in 40 states and the District of Columbia, Amnesty International revealed episodes of beatings, misuse of tear gas and pepper spray, non-lethal projectile shooting such as rubber bullets and sponge grenades, sometimes indiscriminate.
“The time for applying band-aids and making excuses for a few ‘bad apples’ has passed. What’s needed now is systemic, root-and-branch reform of US policing that brings an end to the scourge of police use of excessive force and extrajudicial executions of Black people.”
The organization recorded violent incidents by state and local police, the National Guard and security forces after examining nearly 500 videos and photos on social media and interviewing the victims.
Amnesty International believes that aggressive police actions were not necessary, and describes the incidents of violence by law enforcement officers as “flagrant”.
According to human rights activists, officers used force even against peaceful protesters, something that could be described as illegal.
Protesters took to the streets in the United States and in numerous countries around the world after the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
A video of Floyd’s arrest posted online shows an officer pressing his neck for at least eight minutes while the victim repeatedly said that he was unable to breathe.
However, many of the protests turned into violent riots against the Police and civilians, as well as acts of vandalism, arson and looting.