Since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis Police Officer on May 25, the country has been swept by protests and calls for justice.
Many of these events start peacefully but collapse into chaos. The violence has been blamed on rowdy protesters but social media is painting a different picture. Demonstrators, journalists, and others are sharing footage showing police officers acting erratically and violently against them.
This has been come a theme across the nation and it is worth highlighting. We’ve compiled some examples of wildly problematic behavior from law enforcement.
Atlanta Police Attacked a Couple for Staying Out Past Curfew
The Atlanta Police Department is under scrutiny after an alarming video showed a Black couple being tased and pulled out of their car on live television. The arrest was broadcast on a local news station in Atlanta and a resident recorded the television clip on their phone. A man and woman were sitting in a car when several officers surrounded the vehicle. The police opened the door and snatched the screaming woman from the passenger seat.
Here is the video. On LIVE TV the APD just broke car windows, slashed tires, tazed both passengers and arrested both passengers for NOTHING. RIPPED THEM OUT OF THER CAR. #AtlantaRiots
— nina | blm (@imactuallynina) May 31, 2020
The man was hit by a stun gun before he was dragged from driver’s side. The camera panned over to show the woman face down on the pavement with her arms zip-tied behind her back. As a newscaster noted, the officers broke the car’s windows and flattened tired. It is unclear what prompted the arrests and the pair’s identity is unknown, as of press time. The video was posted on Twitter Saturday night and garnered more than 18,000 views, as of press time. Blavity reached out to the Atlanta Police Department for comment but did not hear back.
These Officers Destroyed Water Collected to Keep Protesters Hydrated
Anyone who has marched in the blazing sun knows it's easy to get dehydrated. These officers must be banking on a few cases of heat stroke because they destroyed several cases of water for no apparent reason.
— Natalie Neysa Alund (@nataliealund) May 30, 2020
The NYPD Pepper-Sprayed An Elected Officer for No Apparent Reason
New York assemblywoman Diana Richardson accused the police of being "excessively aggressive' after she was maced while peacefully protesting. Richardson also criticized the NYPD for using too many officers to arrest one female protester.
"I'm an elected official and they just pepper-sprayed me for no reason!" Richardson shouted. "If anyone knows the law, trust me, I know the law. We were only peacefully assembling."
She also accused two officers of putting "their fists up to fight us."
Minneapolis Police Shot Paintballs At A Group of Innocent People Gathered on A Porch in a Residential Neighborhood
Tanya Kerssen was chillin with a few friends at a Minneapolis home when more than a dozen cops stormed down the street. They shouted "go inside" at residents as the passed by. When they got to Kerssen's group, they repeated their original command and seconds later, one officer shouted "light 'em up."
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd
— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
The officers pointed and fired paintball rifles at the group, who retreated into the home. The group did nothing to provoke them and one of Kerssen's friends was hit in the crotch.
The NYPD Drove Two Police Cruisers Through A Crowd of People
CNN reports the demonstrators were throwing objects at the cops in Brooklyn. However, there was nothing thrown that was comparable to two full-size SUVs. After the crowd erected a barricade between them and the cruisers, both vehicles accelerated and plowed through the panicking crowd. Some people were struck and thrown to the ground.
To make matters worse, Mayor Bill De Blasio defended the officers.
"I'm not going to blame officers who were trying to deal with an absolutely impossible situation. The folks who were converging on that police car did the wrong thing to begin with, and they created an untenable situation," he said. "I wish the officers had found a different approach, but let's begin at the beginning. The protesters in that video did the wrong thing to surround that police car, period."
Fort Lauderdale Officer Was Seen Shoving A Kneeling Protester
Officer Steven Pohorence was suspended after he was seen on video shoving a protester who was kneeling on Sunday, according to the Miami Herald.
Prior to the protester being pushed, the officer is seen aggressively confronting a group of demonstrators.
Video then immediately shows a Black female officer confronting Pohorence for his use of force toward the demonstrator.
According to the Miami Herald, Pohorence has been investigated 79 times for his use of force since being hired in 2016.
On average, he has drawn his firearm more once a month although he had never fired his weapon.
Officers Throw A Round Of Tear Gas At A Couple's Car Waiting At A Stoplight
In a video that has not been verified, a man who was in his car waiting at a stoplight became infuriated when officers threw a round of tear gas at the black vehicle.
He became angered and started to yell at the officers for firing off tear gas at his car with his pregnant wife inside.
This man isn't a protester. He was just a guy sitting at a traffic light when cops shot his car with a tear gas round. He got out to yell at them because his pregnant wife is in the vehicle. So they opened fire on them. pic.twitter.com/gFAsxwi97x
— Jake Morphonios ???? www.blackstoneintel.com (@morphonios) June 4, 2020
It's unclear what occurred prior to the video recording and what may have led officers to throw the tear gas.
A Man Was Brutally Beaten By Officers With Their Batons
An Instagram video shows a Black man being chased and beaten by a group of officers in New York City. The man can be heard screaming in the video and trying to get away from the officers after constantly being slammed to the ground and repeatedly beaten.
If you plan to attend any demonstrations, Blavity fam, be careful.