Violent protest against US cop-related deaths
PROTESTS in California against a spate of recent killings of young African-American suspects turned violent, as demonstrators looted shops and hurled objects at police officers, injuring several of them, officials said yesterday.
The police in Berkeley used tear gas against the crowd, said police spokesman Jennifer Coats, as some demonstrators smashed store windows and looted shops.
Some protesters launched canisters of smoke and tear gas back at the police, while others could be seen smashing store windows with skateboards.
"Several splinter groups broke off and began hurling bricks, pipe, smoke grenades and other missiles at police officers," Ms Coats told AFP, adding that several of them were injured.
Several buildings were damaged, including a bank and grocery store, while numerous civilian and police cars were also vandalised.
Ms Coats said that the number of arrests and injuries was not known.
But many demonstrators remained peaceful.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered across the United States on Saturday for a fourth consecutive night to condemn a grand jury's decision not to charge the white police officer in the July 17 chokehold death of African-American Eric Garner in New York.
The decision not to indict him comes after another grand jury in Missouri, which also decided not to indict the white police officer who had shot dead Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen.
The deaths have sparked outrage across the country.