Amnesty International identifies 125 human rights violations by law enforcement during George Floyd protests, including in Minnesota

The human rights organization says it identified 125 violations in protests across the U.S.
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Amnesty International says it has documented 125 human rights abuses conducted by law enforcement across the United States during the protests that followed the death of George Floyd during his arrest in Minneapolis.

The human rights organization says it has identified incidents across 40 states after Floyd's death sparked a wave of protests and in some cases rioting.

There were many instances of confrontations between protesters and law enforcements, with the latter using tactics including tear gas, pepper spray, and "less-lethal" rounds on demonstrators.

The alleged abuses identified by Amnesty came at the hands of state and local police, federal security personnel, and National Guard troops in varying states, and include the misuse of chemical irritants, and the "inappropriate and at times indiscriminate firing" of projectiles including sponge rounds and rubber bullets.

Minneapolis and the wider Twin Cities features heavily in the report as location of Floyd's death and the site of the first major unrest that followed.

The alleged human rights abuses in Minnesota

Incidents of alleged human rights violations by law enforcement during the Twin Cities protest includes the indiscriminate spraying of mace by police responding to the tanker truck emergency on I-35W.

As police vehicles descended down a ramp onto I-35W, an officer was seen spraying chemical irritant at protesters who were waiting at the side of the road for them to pass on May 31.

A 25-year-old man meanwhile told Amnesty he was struck with a projectile during pre-curfew protests on I-35W also on May 31, saying he was part of a group of around 60-75 people trying to block the interstate.

During this time police allegedly started throwing flash bangs, and moments later he was shot in the face with a rubber bullet.

"Basically, what happened was that my eye exploded from the impact of the rubber bullet and my nose moved from where it should be to below the other eye," he told Amnesty. 

It required major reconstructive surgery and resulted in the loss of one of his eyes, which has subsequently been replaced with a prosthetic.

"It was way before the curfew. [The use of force] was unnecessary…extremely violent and excessive examples of violence," he. said.

It's one of at least three instances where people were blinded by less-lethal rounds during the protests in Minneapolis, with another of these incidents also featured in the Amnesty report, detailing the experience of photojournalist Linda Tirado.

She was documenting the scene at the 3rd Police Precinct and was "clearly identified as press" when she was shot multiple times with less-lethal rounds, shattering her goggles and causing her to lose sight in her left eye.

NBC News photographer Ed Ou is mentioned in the Amnesty report, after a percussion grenade exploded "directly in front of his face" in Minneapolis, while another photographer, Victor Blue, saying he was also injured by a percussion grenade that exploded between his elbow and hip during what he says was a peaceful protest on Nicollet Avenue.

Another incident happened in the Kmart parking lot on May 30, when law enforcement fired tear gas and projectiles into a medic tent where volunteer medical students were treating protesters.

Inside were Dominique Earland, Paul Cho, and Safa Abdulkadir, first year medical students at the University of Minnesota, who were forced to flee and said they were chased down the street with protesters as police cleared the area.

You can read the full report here.

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