Tens of thousands of anti-racism demonstrators have gathered for a mass rally in the US capital, Washington, to voice their indignation about a white officer’s shooting of unarmed African American Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The march on Friday coincides with the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic “I have a dream” speech which was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.
US police shot Blake in the back multiple times in front of three of his children in Kenosha on Sunday.
The shooting of the unarmed 29-year-old, which is said to have left him paralyzed from the waist down, has since triggered protests in Kenosha as well as other cities across the country, with protesters setting buildings and cars on fire.
Blake’s shooting rekindled outrage over US police violence and triggered a boycott movement in the sports world.
The Department of Justice has announced an FBI civil rights investigation into Blake’s shooting, but activists continued to call for action against the officer who shot him while entering his car, with his three sons watching.
The Friday protest has been dubbed “Get your knee off our necks,” in reference to George Floyd, another unarmed African American who was brutally murdered in US police custody in May.
The 46-year-old died after a white officer knelt on his neck and pinned him to the ground for nine minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
His death ignited the most widespread civil unrest in the US in decades and unleashed protests against police brutality and for racial justice in America and many world countries, rejuvenating the Black Lives Matter movement.‘
US police have killed 751 people in 2020: Report
The latest data from an activist group that runs Mapping Police Violence showed that a total of 751 people have been killed by the US police since the beginning of the year.
Samuel Sinyangwe, the group’s co-founder, said there have only been 12 days since January 1 that police did not kill anyone.
The group’s data also revealed that 28 percent of the people killed by US police this year are African Americans, yet they constitute only 13 percent of the total US population.