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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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