Washington: From US capital Washington to New York, thousands of Americans took to streets to protest against the killings of black men by white police officers with chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can't breathe” filling the skies.
The protests have been sparked recently after grand juries failed to indict white police officers in case of the killings of black men Eric Garner in July and Aug 9 shooting of Michael Brown.
Saturday's protest crowds swelled in number to tens of thousands as Americans thronged and marched in capital city of Washington besides other key cities like at Fifth Avenue in New York to the streets of San Francisco and the steps of the Boston Statehouse.
Though the protests have largely remained peaceful, however police said they arrested more than 20 in Boston.
US cities have been witnessing protests recently as after grand jury verdict in Michael Brown shooting, another white police officer Daniel Pantaleo was acquitted in the chokehold death case of a black unarmed man named Eric Garner.
Eric Garner, whose chokehold death was videotaped, was seen gasping “I can't breathe” as he was kept pinned down by a white cop.
He was stopped by the police on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on July 17 on a Staten Island sidewalk.
Similarly, an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown was shot at in Ferguson by a white cop named Darren Wilson on August 9. The grand jury of Missouri had acquitted the cop in this case too, sparking weeks of protests in Ferguson and other cities across the US.
Washington, DC, and US Park Police said they had made no arrests in the capital protests, though a small group of protesters split off after the march and briefly occupied various intersections in downtown Washington. In Boston, about two dozen people were arrested for disorderly conduct after scuffling with officers blocking an Interstate 93 onramp near the Nashua Street Jail.
The noisy march through the heart of Manhattan swelled to at least 25,000 people, police said. It snarled traffic but remained peaceful, with no arrests reported by late afternoon. On Saturday night, some protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, blocking traffic in both directions.
Nationally, marchers chanted "I can't breathe!" ''Hands up, don't shoot!" and waved signs reading "Black lives matter!" Demonstrators also staged "die-ins" as they lay down across intersections and in one city briefly scuffled with police blocking an on ramp to a highway.
Hundreds of protesters took to the downtown streets of San Francisco on Saturday, while at the University of California, Berkeley, police removed life-sized photographs of lynching victims that had been hung at the campus. Investigators believe they were connected to a smaller protest in Berkeley at noon.
With Agency Inputs