Inside the Mayhem and Police Violence at Last Night’s Brooklyn Protest

I was there with my camera.

Mother Jones/Mark Helenowski

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Over the past few days, nationwide protests against police violence have turned into an alarming display of the very treatment protesters are rallying against

I live in Brooklyn and followed this weekend’s protests from my apartment, endlessly scrolling through videos: protesters being run over by a police car, cops shoving an elderly man a with cane to the pavement, all manner of aggressive police escalation, and journalists being explicitly targeted and injured time and time and time again.

But I got a firsthand view of the mayhem—and the police-fueled violent escalation—when I arrived in the Flatbush neighborhood late last night to cover the protests.

The scene was a tinderbox. In the majority-Black neighborhood, shouting filled the streets while several police helicopters throbbed overhead and NYPD officers confronted protesters with varying levels of force. I captured only a sliver of the action on-camera, but enough to show how some officers intensified an already-fraught situation with violent conduct: shoving a woman into a city bus, charging full-speed into groups of already retreating protesters, tackling a seriously injured man, and roughing up journalists and camerapeople (myself included).

Videos of all that (and more) in my tweets below:

Mother Jones/Mark Helenowski

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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