Thousands rally across US over police killings, demand justice

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New York, Dec 14: Thousands of people marched in several US cities to demand justice for black men killed by white police, the latest in weeks of demonstrations across the United States.

The families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner were among the demonstrators yesterday in the heart of the US capital Washington for the "Justice For All March," part of a growing protest movement sparked by the fatal August shooting of the unarmed Brown, 18.

Protests in NY over Ferguson killing

A grand jury decision last month not to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the killing in Ferguson, Missouri, was followed by another that also declined to charge another white policeman in the Staten Island "chokehold" death of father-of-six Garner.

Their deaths, and that of 12-year-old Tamir Rice -- shot dead last month by Cleveland police as he brandished a toy gun -- unleashed simmering resentment of police tactics in the United States and underlined the distrust many African American men feel toward law enforcement.

Rice's family and relatives of Trayvon Martin -- shot and killed in Florida by a neighborhood watchman in 2012 -- were also at the Washington march, which was mirrored by crowds that flooded downtown New York in protest.

Thousands more gathered in chilly Manhattan, shutting down major roads, with protesters shouting "We will shut New York City down" and "Black lives matter." Some carried black cutouts of human figures scribed with "RIP" along with the names of those killed by police, while others shouted "Justice now! The whole damn system is guilty as hell."

Bartender Cole Fox, 24, marched with his mother and held a banner reading, "Grand Jury Reform Now." "Fundamental changes need to be made. It's just a matter of days before the next person, black or white, is killed," he said.

Student Rosalind Watson, 21, decried "institutional racism." "If one person sees this march and feels more supported and safe, it'll be a success," she said at the spirited protest.

Crowds also gathered in Boston as part of the movement, and Massachusetts State Police said several people had been arrested while some roads were blocked.

Demonstrators also turned out in Berkeley, California, where an effigy of a black man was hung by a noose at the entrance of a university with the words "I can't breathe" scrawled on its chest.

PTI

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