More than 150 arrested in California during police killing protests

Updated: 2014-12-09 21:31


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More than 150 arrested in California during police killing protests

A stranded motorist sits in his car as protesters block traffic on Highway 80 during a march against the New York City grand jury decision to not indict in the death of Eric Garner in Berkeley, California December 8, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

BERKELEY - More than 150 protesters were arrested in California overnight after shutting down a major freeway in another outbreak of nationwide demonstrations against police use of deadly force on minorities.

Across the other side of the country late on Monday, basketball stars in New York including Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James joined the protests by wearing shirts emblazoned with "I can't breathe" -- the last words of Eric Garner, a black man who died after a police chokehold.

Large crowds have demonstrated daily in several US cities since a grand jury decided last week not to bring criminal charges against a white police officer over the death of Garner, an unarmed father of six, in July.

The death of Garner and the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri in August, have highlighted strained relations between police and black Americans and rekindled a national debate over race relations.

Several hundred people stormed onto Interstate 80 in the college town of Berkeley near San Francisco on Monday night snarling traffic in both directions.

Protesters threw rocks and other objects at officers, California Highway Patrol spokesman Daniel Hill said. More than 150 people were arrested, mostly for resisting or obstructing an officer, he added.

Earlier, dozens of protesters stopped an Amtrak train in the town by lying on the tracks or sitting on a sofa placed across the line.

Outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a group of about 300 protesters blocked streets and chanted, "I can't breathe," in memory of Garner, and "Hands up, don't shoot," a reference to Brown's death.

In downtown Phoenix, about 200 protesters marched to police headquarters over the killing of another unarmed black man by a white officer in what authorities described as a struggle last week.

Protesters demanded that police release the name of the officer involved in the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Rumain Brisbon, a man police suspected of selling drugs.

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