In connection with the protests caused by George Floyd’s death that started on a chaotic fifth day, social networks were filled with photos and videos of police officers using batons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to suppress the crowd. Some teams joined the demonstrators on Saturday to express their position against brutal police and solidarity with the anti-racism movement.
Police officers knelt down in response to death during a Saturday rally in Coral Gables, Florida … [+] Photo by Eva Marie Ozkategui / AFP via Getty Images
“We really want to be with you. I took off my helmet and put on my batons. “I want to do this show, not a protest.” Chris Swanson, sheriff in Genesis County, was discovered when he briefed demonstrators in Flint, Michigan, before joining the crowd.
Officials in Camden, New Jersey helped carry a “Solidarity” sign, and they seemed to join the crowd singing “No Justice, No Peace”.
In Santa Cruz, California, chief of police Andy Mills knelt with demonstrators in a position known to Colin Cabernick. The government tweeted as “in memory of George Floyd and drew attention to police violence against blacks”.
Two officers from Kansas City, Missouri, were photographed, one white and one black, with the words “Ending Police Brutality”.
In Fargo, North Dakota, you see an officer protesting, “We are a race … humanity.”
Officers in Ferguson, Missouri, participated in a nine and-a-half minute kneel in Floyd’s memory, with cheers erupting from the crowd.
Oh my God it’s happening in Flint too.
Protesters chanted: “WALK WITH US!!”
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) May 31, 2020
In Camden, NJ, protestors took to the streets to peacefully protest racial injustice.
When police saw them marching, they did something.
— Beth Doane (@BethDoane) May 31, 2020
SCPD is fully supportive of peaceful protests @CityofSantaCruz and we always keep them safe.
Hundreds gathered on Pacific Ave in #SantaCruz, taking a knee together in memory of George Floyd & bringing attention to police violence against Black people. PhotoCredit @Shmuel_Thaler pic.twitter.com/EmfAfcIZaM
— Santa Cruz Police (@SantaCruzPolice) May 30, 2020
Apparently cops in Kansas City joined the local protest against police brutality. And my first reaction was to say something smart ass. But this is truly a start. pic.twitter.com/e3sUwaR16h
— Dylan (@dyllyp) May 30, 2020
— Bailey Hurley (@BaileyHurleyVNL) May 30, 2020
Although she didn’t join the crowd, remarks made by Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields Friday to a black woman protester made the rounds online. “Let me tell you something, I am standing here because what I saw was my people face to face with this crowd and everybody’s thinking ‘how can we use force and diffuse this’ and I’m not having it. I’m not having that,” she said to the protester. “You have a right to be upset, to be scared, and to want to yell. And we’re going to have everybody doing what they need to do and we’re going to do it safely. That’s my first commitment. And I hear you.”
Protests around the world have broken out since the May 25 death of Minneapolis resident and black man George Floyd, which occurred after a white police officer, caught on video, was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck while arresting him. Three other officers stood by while Floyd could be heard saying “I can’t breathe.” While the four officers have been fired—and the one captured kneeling, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder—a combination of centuries of systemic racism, ongoing outrage at police, the coronavirus outbreak, and mass unemployment have fueled unrest across the country. Over the past five days of protests, police were captured deploying tear gas, flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets on protesters and journalists, along with numerous incidents of physical violence. One woman in Brooklyn, New York, was roughly thrown to the ground, while an NYPD SUV was seen driving through a crowd of protesters. A Minneapolis photojournalist was permanently blinded in one eye after taking a rubber bullet to the face.