Protesters face life in prison over police car attacks in NY

New York (AFP) - U.S. prosecutors filed several charges on Friday against three protesters accused of dropping Molotov cocktails on police cars during anti-racism demonstrations in New York - charges that could lead to life sentences.
The charges filed by the Brooklyn Attorney General charge Samantha Shader, Colinford Mattis, and Urooj Rahman for dropping explosive devices on police cars in two different incidents in late May.
No one was injured in either case.
The three face seven charges, including arson, possession and use of explosives and destructive equipment, and public disorder.
"If convicted of all charges, they may face prison life," a US attorney general spokesman told AFP.
All three are detained without bail, although their lawyers have appealed the decision.
The protests took place the first weekend after African-American George Floyd died after a policeman knelt on his neck in Minneapolis for almost nine minutes on May 25.
His death - the last in a long line of unarmed black men killed by law enforcement officials - sparked nationwide protests when the United States faced systemic racism and police brutality.
Most of the demonstrations were peaceful.
However, some of the protests in New York and other cities across the country - including the nights at issue in this case - resulted in looting and violence after dark.
The attitude of the New York police, which has temporarily charged or forcibly pushed back the largely peaceful demonstrators, has been criticized many times. Some police officers were disciplined.
One of them was charged after being filmed when he violently knocked a woman down. He was the first NYPD officer to be prosecuted for persistent tactics.

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