Nationwide Demonstrations Turn Violent as Police Attack Protesters

In Seattle, for instance, police maced a child. 

Mike Stewart/AP

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For the fifth night in a row, demonstrators across the country took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis who was killed by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck while Floyd begged for his life saying, “I can’t breathe.” The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. As the protests spread, demonstrators demanded an end to the unjust system and the systemic police brutality that led to Floyd’s death. The police responded with more brutality against protesters, bystanders, and journalists.

In shocking but countless viral videos, police officers in cities around the country responded to protesters with egregious tactics, from unprovoked violent shoving to indiscriminate pepper spraying.

In New York City, a police officer pulls down a young protester’s mask as his hands are in the air and pepper sprays him in the face.

On live television, cops in Atlanta use a Taser on car passengers, remove them from the car, and arrest them.

Again in New York City, police officers plow through protesters with their vehicles. 

In this video, a white police officer decides to shove a Black woman to the ground with his bike. 

In Minneapolis, the National Guard and the city police department fire paint canisters at people standing on their porches. 

In Seattle, police maced a child. 

In Salt Lake City, Utah, police officers dressed in riot gear knock down an elderly man who is walking down the street.

This is a non-exhaustive list. But, despite the ample footage of police violence that took place over the weekend, a few elected officials thanked the police for showing “restraint.” 

Nevertheless, the past few days have revealed to the public what American policing actually looks like. But remember this is what happened when the cameras were rolling. What happens when they’re not?

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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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