By Tamara Audi and Dan Frosch Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News from http://commodity-market-news.com
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Shots were fired late Thursday night in Dallas during a large protest over police shootings involving black men in Lousiana and Minnesota.
A local TV station reported that two police officers had been shot. Dallas Police had not confirmed officers were hurt, but the Lt. Gov. of Texas, Dan Patrick, tweeted “our thoughts and prayers are with the police officers who were shot…awaiting further details.”
“Multiple officers” had been hurt in the shooting, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation. The situation was still active and unfolding.
The gunfire prompted a large police response, and appeared to turn into a standoff around a downtown building in the central business district.
It was unclear if the shooting was connected to the protests.
The protest, which started in Belo Park, downtown, had begun peacefully — with a large diverse crowd chanting and walking the streets. Police even posted friendly photos with protesters on the Dallas Police Department’s official Twitter feed.
But a few hours into the protest, shots were reported fired, and video showed images of crowds of protesters suddenly scattering into the street. Late Thursday night, police surrounded a building downtown.
Elsewhere across the U.S., from Chicago to Washington, D.C., protesters demonstrated in the streets to express outrage over the fatal police shootings of two black men in the U.S. this week.
While most of the demonstrations outside of Dallas were peaceful, dozens of people were arrested in New York City Thursday. There, protesters massed at Union Square, in lower Manhattan, on the Upper West Side, and in Times Square. At the intersection of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street, 35 people were arrested for disorderly conduct after staging a sit-in, a law-enforcement official said.
The group of “several hundred” then began to disperse down 42nd street and Broadway, where they held up traffic before being cleared off the streets, the official said.
Sit-in participant Chris Pattishall, 29 years old, of Harlem said things grew confrontational when police moved in to arrest people and many got pushed.
“The worst part was seeing some of the cops smirk at some of the chants, ” said his friend, Barry Stephenson, also 29.
“A lot of people were trying to verbally confront police officers,” a law-enforcement official said. “Our officers, they’ve been instructed to disregard what people are saying.”
In Philadelphia, hundreds of protesters marched through Center City early Thursday evening. The march was peaceful and no one was arrested, according to Thomas Nestel III, chief of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority police department.
In Washington, a group amassed in front of the Supreme Court where they sang “Amazing Grace.” The group expanded, growing to several thousand protesters, as it moved to the west side of the Capitol.
Several members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.) addressed the crowd. In response, protesters chanted, “we don’t want to sing, we want you to do something!” They also chanted: “Do your job.”
Organizers got the crowd to part for lawmakers to begin leading a march toward the White House. It wasn’t clear the protest would get that far. Around 10 p.m. on Thursday night, they were blocking traffic near Capitol Hill. The organizers said they planned to march to the White House.
A march of several hundred protesters gathered at the White House on Thursday evening before marching to the U.S. Capitol and back, chanting “No Justice! No Peace” and “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” — both cries in the movement against police violence.
D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department cleared the streets for the protests, allowing them to march down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, a main road in Washington that connects the White House and U.S Capitol.
In front of the White House, protesters sang “We Shall Overcome.”
“I’m grieving. I believe that’s what a lot of people are doing. There’s a lot of empathy,” said Kiah Johnson, 25 years old, a black teacher who lives in Washington and grew up in Atlanta. “For this to happen twice in 24 hours is just gut-wrenching. There is a feeling that this should really be a turning point, but there is also a lot of skepticism,” she said.
Ms. Johnson had Googled “protest march” to see what was happening in Washington and immediately made a sign she was carrying on the march to the White House. It read “Brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying,” a reference to a Marvin Gaye song.
Protesters on Thursday evening also gathered in downtown Oakland to protest the shootings.
The East Bay cities of Oakland and Berkeley were flashpoints of protest in 2014, with protests growing markedly more confrontational than in other cities, including blockades of highways, shutdowns of transit systems, violent clashes with police, vandalism and looting.
A spokesman for the Oakland Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment on Thursday. Images posted on Twitter by reporters at the scene showed the rally spilling onto city streets.
Neil King, Scott Calvert, Alejandro Lazo contributed to this article
Write to Tamara Audi at tammy.audi[a]wsj.com
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