After a weekend of confrontation, sporadic violence and arrests during protests against the police shootings of black men, the mother of one of the victims has appealed for calm.
Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, one of two Black men killed by police last week in separate shootings, released a statement urging “all people to remain peaceful in all demonstrations throughout our community and our nation,” the statement read.
“I ask you to at all times remain peaceful in your expressions of concern regarding his death at the hands of the police. I promise that we will not rest until justice prevails.”
The request came another night of protests.
Over 300 people were arrested over the weekend in New York and Chicago, and in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where two black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, were shot to death by police. The killings have sparked several days of protests. In Jacksonville, three were arrested.
The same week Sterling and Castile were killed, a gunman killed five police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas.
Their killer was an Afghanistan war veteran, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson from Dallas.
Three other shootings, in Tennessee, Missouri and Georgia, have endangered police during rallies.
Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, a public school administrator who is considered among the movement’s loudest voices, was among 125 people arrested Saturday night in Baton Rouge, where Alton Sterling was shot and killed last week. Another 124 protesters were arrested.
The killings have saddened and angered Americans of all racial backgrounds, and spurred thousands to march peacefully throughout the country and abroad. In London, hundreds of demonstrators took to the street in London Sunday to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement
Two people embrace during a demonstration outside the Governor’s Mansion following the police shooting death of Philando Castile, July 7, in St. Paul, Minn.
In the span of four days, the United States has had to come to terms with the deaths of two black men at the hands of police – the first caught on mobile video and the aftermath of the second livestreamed on Facebook – as well as the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since 9/11.
Protesters block traffic trying to leave a prayer vigil for Alton Sterling at Living Faith Christian Center in Baton Rouge, La., July 7.