U.S. Civic Space Rating Downgraded For Repression And Violence Against Protestors of Police Brutality and Racism

The CIVICUS Monitor tracks fundamental freedoms in 196 countries and have documented a host of incidents in the U.S. since May 2020. The U.S. was one of 11 countries downgraded from its previous civic space rating in their new report, People Power Under Attack 2020. The U.S. civic space rating was downgraded from “narrowed” to “obstructed” because of U.S. repression of freedom protestors civil liberties according to a report by Consortiumnews.com. In 2020, nationwide U.S. protests against systemic racism and police brutality were met with police violence.

Last year people who protested the police killing of George Floyd were fired upon with tear gas by federal officers in LaFayette Park. In Miami, police fired chemical irritants at people peacefully protesting the police killing of George Floyd. Officers have released tear gas into crowds causing injury and partly blinding at least 20 people. Police have driven vehicles into crowds of protesters causing serious bodily injuries. Journalists covering protests have been harassed and assaulted. A news reporter and camera man was shot by police with pepper balls while covering protests after the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

Officers dressed in riot gear and armed with military grade-equipment responded to protestors with excessive use of force reports Consortiumnews.com. In the past three years, the CIVICUS Monitor has documented frequent harassment of journalists by the authorities and civilians while covering political rallies reports Consortiumnews.com.

Documents showing that the U.S. government created a database of journalists and activists covering migrant caravans in 2019 was obtained by NBC 7 Investigates. The repression, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force against nonviolent protestors and journalists by law enforcement officers is not just unacceptable policing practice, it violates international law. 60 percent of human rights defenders killed in 2020 came from the Americas.


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