Thousands took to the streets in cities across the United States on Friday to denounce the fatal shooting by police of two black men this week, marching the day after a gunman killed five police officers during a similar demonstration in Dallas.
Several thousand protesters flooded the streets of downtown Atlanta, bringing traffic to a standstill after a gathering at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights near Centennial Olympic Park. Drivers in cars honked their horns as people holding signs and chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” streamed beside them.
Demonstrators also clogged roadways in New York City, Philadelphia and Oakland, with related events in San Francisco and Phoenix.
Protesters block the intersection of Hyde Park blvd and Greenwood ave. Pres Obama home is on this block. pic.twitter.com/BT4758EBiq
— Evan F. Moore (@evanFmoore) 8 juillet 2016
In Chicago, members of the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups staged a “die-in” outside President Barack Obama’s home in an effort to push the president to act on the violence occurring between police officers and black people.
While the demonstrations were largely peaceful, in Phoenix police in riot gear used pepper spray on protesters, some of whom threw rocks at officers, local media said.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed tweeted that the rally was largely peaceful in his city, although about 10 people had been arrested.
Today we have had less than ten people arrested during what has been a peaceful protest. We urge anyone protesting not to enter the highway.
— Kasim Reed (@KasimReed) 9 juillet 2016
Protesters also gathered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where 37-year-old Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police early on Tuesday – his killing dramatically caught on video by a friend.
Friday was the second day of demonstrations against the use of force by police following the fatal shootings of Sterling and of 32-year-old Philando Castile near St. Paul, Minnesota.