Since George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 25 May, around 140 cities in all 50 states throughout the US have seen protests and demonstrations in response to the killing.
More than 10,000 people have been arrested around the US during the protests, as police forces regularly use pepper spray, rubber bullets, teargas and batons on protesters, media and bystanders. Several major US cities have enacted curfews in an attempt to stop demonstrations and curb unrest.
Jarah Gibson was arrested while non-violently protesting in Atlanta, Georgia, on 1 June.
“The police were there from the jump and literally escorted us the whole march,” said Gibson.
She said around 7.30pm, ahead of Atlanta’s 9pm city-wide curfew, police began boxing in protesters. While protesters were attempting to leave, Gibson tried to video record a person on a bicycle who appeared to be hit by a police car and was arrested by police. She was given a citation for “pedestrian in a roadway,” and “refusing to comply when asked to leave”.
“The police are instigating everything and they are criminalizing us. Now I have my mugshot taken, my fingerprints taken and my eyes scanned. Now I’m a criminal over an illegal arrest,” added Gibson. “I want to be heard and I want the police to just abide by basic human decency.”
Ruby Anderson was arrested while non-violently protesting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 31 May. The police refused to provide a reason for her detention until they were placed in a police van, where they were told the charge was loitering. They were given a wristband that stated “unlawful assembly” and ultimately charged with disorderly conduct.
“While I was arrested, I was standing next to two white people who were doing the same thing as me, standing between a group of officers and a group of black teenagers. I was the only one arrested in my group of three, I was the only black person,” Anderson said.
Source: The Guardian