BLM RI holds protest calling for Providence to defund its police department

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- A Black Lives Matter protest was held on Saturday outside of the Providence Public Safety Complex, calling for the city to defund its police department.

“People hear defund the police and automatically think it’s negative. We want to provide shelter, healthcare and basic necessities for our children and everyday people to live a comfortable life,” said Harrison Tuttle of the Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee.

The protest came after an incident on Sayles Street, where many say excessive force was used after body cam footage was released.

Family members of those involved in the incident say that young children were injured with pepper spray and teenagers were beaten by police.

Police denied the accounts, saying that no children were directly pepper sprayed. However, they did admit to using inappropriate language around the kids.

Officials did not say whether or not the force that was used was excessive.

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