Police Brutality Escalates in Face of George Floyd Protests

Police+Brutality+Escalates+in+Face+of+George+Floyd+Protests

Kya Nethercot, Editor in Chief

Warning: Some of the content in this article may be disturbing for certain viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. 

 

As protests spread across the nation about the murder of George Floyd, even peaceful protestors are being met with mace, tear gas, and brutality. In some cases, officers have even gone so far as to harm children and bystanders who are not involved in the protests. Many of these incidents have been caught on camera and have caused public outrage on social media. 

In the video linked here, officers across the country are seen brutally injuring individuals at the protests seemingly unprovoked. This video compiles a variety of incidents where officers used excessive force on protestors who were not taking any actions against them. 

Here is a short summary of the incidents captured in the footage:

  • An older white male officer walking with a parade of officers in riot gear violently shoves a protestor who has his hands in the air above him into what appears to be a green trashcan or fence causing outrage in the crowd who witnessed it.
  • Two NYPD vehicles ran down a crowd of protestors.
  • A policeman who is walking with a group of officers shoves a female protestor to the ground.
  • An NYPD officer is reported calling a woman who is protesting a “Stupid F***ing B****” before violently shoving her to the ground where she cradles her head from the injury. The officer continues walking with his squad without checking to see if she is injured. This video has since been removed from the original place it was posted which raises some suspicion.
  • A mounted officer on horse ran down a woman, trampling her. She was only holding up a sign, peacefully protesting. The crowd then goes into an uproar.
  • A man and a woman attempting to help a fellow protestor who was presumably shoved to the groud are maced by other officers.
  • A police office in a squad car sprays mace into a crowd of people who are peacefully protesting and bicyclists while driving by quickly.
  • An officer in an undercover police vehicle which has turned on it’s lights and sirens opens a door while driving by, hitting a protestor who was simply walking along the street.
  • A group of officers trying to clear the road are walking by when one officer begins throwing a man who was on the side of the road against a fence. Another man began shouting “Leave him alone!” and he was then dragged off by his shirt as well. The officer then targets a woman pushing her along while she screams.
  • An officer walking with his squad maced a black woman holding a protest sign while she is walking passed a bus stop. A bystander shouts “She was walking away!” while the woman cries out in pain while being further pursued by the officer.
  • A female reporter who is covering the protests begins screaming. Her colleagues are heard asking “Katie, Katie are you okay?” to which she responds “I’m getting shot.”
  • A bicycle officer slams a group of protestors with his bike. A female protestor then responds quickly by disarming him and yanking the bicycle away.
  • A man is walking away alongside a police line when an officer in riot gear shoves him and yells “Get the F*** going” to which the man responds “Don’t F***ing touch me either.” Another different officer runs up and violently shoves him to the ground. Four officers surround him on the ground while he says “I’m leaving. I’m just leaving” a woman attempts to help him up while the woman recording calls out “He’s not doing anything. Peaceful protest.” The first officer to shove him then says “Get the F*** out” and another officer shouts “Get the F*** out of here.” The original officer then shoves him into the woman who is recording while she screams. Two more officers in riot gear then proceed to shove him as well.
  • Two officers violently beat a man with batons as the woman recording shouts “No!” repeatedly. Another protestor tries to pull the officers away from the man but fails to do so. Two more officers join in and beat him while he is on the ground as well. Two other officers begin beating a black man from the crowd. They drag him across the pavement after pinning him. Another officer joins in grabbing the black man. Several more officers pile on (in almost a dogpile) onto each man as they put them in cuffs.

There have also been many individual clips and pictures posted online which show the horrific results of excessive force in the past four days.

This picture shows a black man in Ohio standing with his arms above his head who seems to do nothing to antagonize the officers being maced in the face by a white officer.

This clip shows a medic who was attempting to cross a police line to respond to a woman’s blood curdling screams being sprayed in the face with mace by officers on the scene. There are two videos of this incident from different angles. In one, the officer can be heard laughing after spraying the woman. In the other, it gives a perfect perspective to hear and see the medic’s pleas to cross the line to assist the woman in need and then the subsequent actions of the officer.

In a video also posted to Twitter by activist Tanya Kerssen, the National Guard is seen sweeping a residential neighborhood. A group of individuals were standing on a residential porch recording the dystopian scene when they were told to go inside multiple times. Upon their refusal, they were fired upon for simply being on their porch with paint cannisters. Residential areas are not subject to public curfews under the city’s emergency order which is cited in the picture below. Only public spaces such as streets are places covered by the order, but even being there should not justify these militaristic actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, a video was released of an officer macing a little girl. The original video was soon taken off of Facebook, but the result can be seen in another video that was released of the child being treated by civilians in the crowd while screaming. Reports of the incident from multiple witnesses state that the officer and others on the force shown in the second vieo refused to give his badge number and name. Because of the outcry on the site, the public identified him as officer Jared Campbell of the Seattle Police Department.

A video originally recorded by journalist Matt McKnight shows a Seattle police officer kneeling on the neck of a black protestor while attempting to arrest him. Bystanders can be heard shouting at the officer to remove his knee from his neck and he continues to rest it there despite their calls. Finally, the other officer who was arresting the man can be seen forcibly removing his knee from the man’s neck.

The incidents described here are not the only ones to be reported during the protests, many more incidents could come to light or be confirmed by outside sources. The question we’re left with in times such as these is: what level of violence can we rightfully justify? How can we as individuals make changes in our country and in our communities to protect precious life?