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    Men holding signs reading Black Lives Matter march in the 30th annual Kingdom Day Parade in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Hundreds Rally Against Police Brutality Across US on Martin Luther King Day

    © AFP 2019 / ROBYN BECK
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    On Martin Luther King's day, hundreds took part in rallies across the US to protest against police brutality following high-profile cases, involving police officers killing unarmed African-Americans.

    A man with chains around his wrists and neck takes part in a march against police violence, in New York December 13, 2014
    © REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz
    MOSCOW, January 20 (Sputnik) – Nationwide annual celebrations of the birthday of Martin Luther King, a famous civil rights activist, were also marked by rallies against police brutality, the New York Times reports.

    Demonstrations, attracting hundreds of people, were held in Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Oakland. More than 1,800 activists with signs saying "I can't breathe" and "Hands up! Don't shoot!" attended a commemoration service at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Reuters reports.

    "I can't breathe" and "Hands up! Don't shoot!" became rallying cries during large-scale protests that rocked the US after grand juries in two separate cases decided not to press charges against white police officers, who killed unarmed African-Americans. In July, Eric Garner died after being put in a chokehold in New York City. In August, Michael Brown was fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri.

    Martin Luther King Day is a US federal holiday commemorating the birthday of the famous civil rights leader. Since 2000, it is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year.  Martin Luther King, an advocate for nonviolent activism, campaigned for racial equality and universal human rights.
    Norell Edwards, 23, a graduate student who took part in a rally in New York tolf the New York Times that Martin Luther King's dream hasn't been realized. "This is a way to try to finish his work and stand together with unity and equality," he added.

    "We’ve got to break the cycle of the past," said Lionel Turner, 38, who took part in a rally in a small town of Athens in Alabama, as quoted by the newspaper. "There used to be slave masters and stuff like that, but now it’s changed to organized police officers, and they find a way within the law to break the law themselves. You’ve got to find some kind of way to unify everyone," he added.

    Only 30 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of race relations in the US, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday. In January 2014, 55 percent of respondents considered relations between different races in the US good.

    A woman holds up signs during a candlelight vigil at the site where Eric Garner died in July last year after being put in a chokehold, during a Martin Luther King Day service in the Staten Island borough of New York
    © REUTERS / Carlo Allegri
    A woman holds up signs during a candlelight vigil at the site where Eric Garner died in July last year after being put in a chokehold, during a Martin Luther King Day service in the Staten Island borough of New York

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    Tags:
    race relations, social inequalities, police brutality, protests, Martin Luther King Jr, United States, Philadelphia, New York
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