WASHINGTON ― Federal agents on Friday morning released boxes of cloth masks that Black Lives Matter organizers mailed to cities across the county to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 during nationwide demonstrations against police brutality.

Four boxes of the masks were shipped to Washington, St. Louis, New York City and Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon, and were supposed to arrive in each city by Thursday. But until Friday morning, the boxes of 500 masks apiece that read “stop killing Black people” and “defund police” never left Oakland, California, because they were by the government. Federal agents with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service were involved with the seizure.

“These packages were originally set aside for further investigation because there were indications

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