9 June 2020 (Human Rights Watch)* — Police conduct in the United States – including unprovoked beatings, excessive force, and arbitrary arrests – has come under intense scrutiny as protests erupted after the police killing of George Floyd.
Let’s add to this list the police’s actively endangering people’s health during a pandemic.
Across the country, protesters, journalists, and sometimes bystanders have been arrested in large groups – often for breaking curfews, blocking traffic, failure to disperse, or other minor offenses.
Many were detained for hours in crowded cells with no masks, no hand sanitizer, and no way to stay apart. Police have reportedly torn the masks off some protesters when they were arrested, and many police officers seen at protests have not been wearing masks themselves.