Authorities in the United States have been guilty of human rights abuses in combating demonstrations against racism and excessive police brutality in recent months, human rights organization Amnesty International said in a report.
According to Amnesty, disproportionate violence has been used against protesters, doctors, journalists and observers.
The report features stories by 50 people from 40 states who experienced police brutality during the demonstrations. Those demonstrations followed in late May after the violent death of black detainee George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Amnesty believes that the US police have committed “widespread and gross” violations of human rights in addressing protesters. Investigators documented 125 cases of excessive police brutality against demonstrators in May and June.
Amnesty argues that the US authorities have used physical violence as a primary tool against peaceful protesters, but this should only be the case if the police have to defend against violence. Amnesty calls the extensive use of tear gas amid the corona pandemic “unwise”.
According to the organization, protesters often tried to keep their distance from each other and often wore mouth masks, but tear gas actually creates risks of respiratory complaints and the spread of virus particles.
“The unnecessary, and sometimes excessive, use of force by the police against protesters demonstrates precisely the systematic racism and impunity that these people are protesting against,” said Ernest Coverson of Amnesty International USA.
“Our investigation shows that people who exercised their right to the peaceful demonstration were treated with such violence that they were blinded, beaten up, seriously injured, and had strokes.”