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Thousands march in Washington, D.C. protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of local police, on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Derek Chauvin, the police officer that was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as the unarmed, handcuffed man laid flat and unable to breathe, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Mass demonstrations have taken place nationwide since the incident took place. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM Thousands march in Washington, D.C., protesting police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota at the hands of local police, on June 6, 2020. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

In her almost four decades of bringing civil rights lawsuits targeting police abuse and misconduct, Detroit-based lawyer Julie Hurwitz says she had never seen the “level of gratuitous violence and acts of aggression toward peaceful protesters” by police that she witnessed in Detroit last summer.

As residents backing the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, protested daily against what they said was a long history of police abuse in their city and nationwide, the police, says Hurwitz, struck them with pepper spray, rubber bullets, beatings, sound canons, flash grenades, random mass arrests and, in at least one instance, a violent chokehold takedown of a protester.

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Jason Grant

Jason Grant is a staff writer covering legal stories and cases for the New York Law Journal, the National Law Journal and Law.com, and a former practicing attorney. He's written and reported previously for the New York Times, the Star-Ledger, the L.A. Times and other publications. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter, pls find him @JasonBarrGrant

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