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Worst examples of police brutality during the US protests

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This week’s protests in the United States have been riddled with instances of police brutality caught on camera.Most law enforcement officers have tried to strike a balance between deterring violence from protesters and protecting their right to freedom of expression.But on a disturbing number of occasions, it has been the police themselves perpetuating the violence.…

This week’s protests in the United States have been riddled with instances of police brutality caught on camera.

Most law enforcement officers have tried to strike a balance between deterring violence from protesters and protecting their right to freedom of expression.

But on a disturbing number of occasions, it has been the police themselves perpetuating the violence. These are the most prominent examples.

BUFFALO, NEW YORK

Two were suspended after footage emerged of them pushing a 75-year-old protester, Martin Gugino, to the ground. They then stood by and did nothing as he bled onto the pavement from a head injury.

Mr Gugino is expected to recover.

RELATED: Shocking video shows police shoving elderly man to the ground

“I was deeply disturbed by the video,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

“After days of peaceful protests and several meetings between myself, political leadership and members of the community, tonight’s event is disheartening.”

The officer’s suspension has sparked pushback from their colleagues in the police department.

On Friday the city’s entire 57-man emergency response team – which is deployed to deal with mass protests or riots – resigned in solidarity with them.

To be clear, those 57 officers are still employed by the department, but have specifically quit the emergency response team.

“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” said John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

Police in Los Angeles were slammed for shooting a wheelchair-bound homeless man in the face with rubber bullets, injuring him above his left eye.

The incident happened while police were arresting protesters for breaking the city’s 6pm curfew.

During the mayhem, the officers fired nonlethal rubber bullets at dozens of demonstrators as they entered an apartment building, seeking refuge.

One of those rounds struck the homeless man. Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards to treat him.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) declined to comment on the incident.

A witness to the shooting, photographer Kirk Tsonos, posted his account of it on Facebook, saying the police officers’ conduct was “completely unacceptable”.

“As I was being arrested for my second day in a row during peaceful protests in support of Black Lives Matter, I decided to continue taking photos until the moment right before handcuffs were put on me. Very risky, but a necessary move to expose LAPD’s entirely inexcusable use of aggressive force, especially in the moments before mass arrests of peaceful protesters,” Mr Tsonos said.

“As we were being boxed in on Broadway & 5th Street to be arrested, LAPD decided that a completely unarmed homeless man in a wheelchair that had NOTHING to do with our protest was somehow a threat.

“They proceeded to inappropriately shoot “nonlethal” rounds directly at his face, which is against the proper procedure for firing rubber bullets.

“The last image is exceptionally heartbreaking for me as you can visibly see the homeless man writhing in pain, screaming, as he spews blood from his face moments after getting shot.

“When people want to be apathetic or inactive in fighting against police brutality against black individuals, make them realise this trickles over and can affect them or someone they love too, regardless if they’re black or not.

“This is completely unacceptable. This injustice needs to be held accountable.”

WASHINGTON D.C.

On Monday afternoon, authorities used pepper balls, riot shields and batons to clear a crowd of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square, near the White House.

President Donald Trump wanted to do a photo op at St John’s church, which is in that area.

An Australian news crew was among the protesters during the heavy-handed operation. Footage of Channel 7 reporter Amelia Brace and her cameraman Tim Myers being shoved and hit by cops went viral around the world. Brace was struck by a baton, and Mr Myers copped a riot shield and a punch.

RELATED: US ambassador to Australia addresses treatment of reporter

Police responded to that incident by saying the pair “were not readily distinguishable from violent protesters”, even though they were broadcasting live at the time.

“We were at some distance, expecting a crackdown at curfew time but their surge took everyone by surprise,” Brace said.

“Cameraman Tim Meyers and I are both okay. Pretty bruised, but OK.”

The attack forced Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take action, demanding an investigation into the assault from the Australian embassy in Washington.

ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA

In Erie, a 21-year-old woman has filed a complaint after being sprayed with mace and then kicked in the upper chest by police.

Hannah Silbaugh was sitting in the middle of a street with her hands in the air when the officers approached her.

“When I wouldn’t move, that’s when the cops kicked me,” she told local reporters.

The police department is investigating the incident, and the officer in question has been assigned to desk duty. His identity has not been publicly revealed.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA

A police officer was caught on video body slamming a woman after she allegedly refused to get out of her car.

Atlanta police say the officer had seen Amber Jackson trying to remove a barricade on the road. He ordered her to get out of the vehicle. When she wouldn’t, the pair struggled, culminating in the violent moment.

Ms Jackson was left with a broken clavicle, and the injury has left her unable to work as a dental hygienist.

“I have never been arrested, anything of that matter,” she told reporters.

“Today I stand in pain for all of the victims of police brutality.”

Her fiance Andre Williams was also there, and gave his own furious account.

“They took my fiancee and they pinned me against a car and they slammed her, and then they put us in the car and they made us sit. They made her sit with a broken shoulder in handcuffs,” he said.

Ms Jackson’s lawyer is calling for the officer to be fired and then prosecuted.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

Police are investigating footage that shows a group of police officers restraining a woman, then beating her with batons, shooting her with pepper rounds and pressing her face into the pavement after she tries to wriggle free.

These are a few of the worst examples of police violence, but they are far from the only ones. Hopefully there will be fewer serious incidents in the coming days.

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