posted at 18:50
Author Name: Jennie Matthew
Third night of US protests against police killings
The latest rallies in a fortnight of growing discontent took place as a New York prosecutor said he would impanel a grand jury to consider charges in one of the cases that has again brought to the fore the distrust felt by many African Americans towards the police. New York's police commissioner has said Gurley was a totally innocent victim and the family, who gathered for a private wake on Friday night ahead of the funeral on Saturday, has demanded justice. Protesters hit the streets in recent days after grand juries declined to press charges against white officers responsible for the August 9 shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the July 17 chokehold death of black father-of-six Eric Garner in New York. Several hundred protesters again staged rallies in New York on a rainy Friday night, one in Columbus Circle that moved to Fifth Avenue, and the second walking up Broadway from the south. On Thursday, demonstrators blocked roads, tunnels and bridges, and shouted "I can't breathe." Those were the final words gasped by Garner, a 43-year-old asthma sufferer, as police wrestled and held him to the ground in New York's State Island. The New York Daily News reported that the officer who fired the fatal bullet texted his union representative as Gurley lay dying. New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on November 21 that Gurley was an innocent who had been killed by an "Accidental discharge" in an "Unfortunate tragedy." Despite the protests, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that general complaints of police misconduct fell 26 percent from July to November and allegations of excessive force declined 29 percent.

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