US capital braces itself for another round of anti-racism protests

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Aug 28, 2020, 01:28 PM(IST)

Black Lives Matter in US Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Just as protests sparked by Floyd's death had waned, outrage was rekindled Sunday when Blake was shot multiple times in the back during a confrontation with police in the Midwestern city of Kenosha.

Anti-racism protesters have planned to flood the streets of the US capital on Friday, after a white officer's shooting of African American Jacob Blake rekindled outrage over police violence and sparked a boycott movement in the sports world.

Just as protests sparked by Floyd's death had waned, outrage was rekindled Sunday when Blake was shot multiple times in the back during a confrontation with police in the Midwestern city of Kenosha.

Blake survived and is hospitalised, but may never walk again, according to his lawyer.

The ensuing demonstration has been dubbed "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks," in reference to African American George Floyd, who suffocated beneath the knee of a white officer in Minneapolis, igniting the most widespread civil unrest in the country in decades.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators were expected on the streets of Washington for a march to mark the date of civil rights leader Martin Luther King's historic "I have a dream" speech.

Workers covered store front windows with plywood in downtown Washington and a heavy police presence blocked off streets -- where hundreds of demonstrators gathered Thursday night in protest at President Donald Trump's Republican nomination for another term.

Authorities identified the officer who opened fire on Blake as Rusten Sheskey, saying police were attempting to arrest him and had tried to subdue him with a stun gun. They added that a knife had been found in his car.

In the violent and chaotic protests that followed, two people were shot dead by a man with an assault rifle. Authorities arrested a 17-year-old in the killings and filed intentional homicide charges against him on Thursday.

Trump administration officials have attacked the protests, with Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday rejecting allegations of endemic police racism and condemning "the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country.

Also, for a second day, major sports teams and leagues called off games and matches to keep the focus on the issue of racism and police abuse.

The NBA cancelled playoff games on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks, whose base is near Kenosha, walked out.

The WNBA women's basketball league also postponed its slate of games on Thursday for a second day running.

In tennis, the ATP and WTA Tours called off the day's play at the Western & Southern Open in New York, with the event resuming on Friday.

Several NFL teams meanwhile also halted training camps on Thursday as they build towards the start of their new season.
 

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