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Mass arrests followed several rallies protesting several recent killings of black men by police across the country last night. Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) activists personally witnessed many arrests in Baton Rouge, LA, including that of activist DeRay Mckesson. Jamira Burley, AIUSA’s campaign manager for gun violence and criminal justice reform, issued the following statement from Baton Rouge:

“In the wake of this intensely emotional week, it is understandable that people across the country have been moved to take to the streets to peacefully exercise their right to be heard. Police have a duty to facilitate the right to peaceful protest while still protecting their own safety and that of the public.”

“The sheer number of arrests last night raises serious questions about proportionate response to peaceful protests. Law enforcement officers cannot selectively decide which laws to enforce during demonstrations – be it against journalists, legal observers or protestors."