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Official: Charges dropped against 27 Charleston protesters

September 1, 2020 GMT

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Charges have been dropped against dozens of demonstrators who were arrested in demonstrations in late May against racism and police brutality in Charleston, a city official says.

The charges had been filed against 27 protesters for curfew violations or failure to disperse on May 31, Charleston spokesperson Jack O’Toole confirmed to news outlets on Tuesday.

Police arrested a total of 41 people that night, and charges for those accused of committing other crimes are still pending, The Post and Courier reported.

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The demonstrations in Charleston were a part of a global protest movement triggered by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minnesota.

At least six protesters demonstrating in Charleston against the Wisconsin police shooting of Jacob Blake also were arrested on Saturday. That protest followed similar demonstrations held in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where an officer shot Blake, who is Black, seven times in the back on Aug. 23.

Charleston Police said the protesters in their city had refused orders to walk to sidewalks and impeded traffic. Most were charged with disobeying a lawful order.

Civil rights groups in the city, including Black Lives Matter-Charleston, spoke out about their arrests on Sunday. The groups accused police of “contributed greatly to the unrest.”

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