Trigger warning: Embedded videos and outbound links below depict instances of violence
Media coverage may have declined but police brutality continues to plague what would otherwise be peaceful protests across the country.
But make no mistake – police brutality isn’t escalating, it’s merely being caught on video.
Below, we’ve compiled some of the most recent incidents caught on camera — some within the last month, some within the last seven days.
If the footage somehow leaves you with doubts, ProPublica — a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power — analyzed police tactics in over 400 protest videos and their findings showed that police actions often escalated violence. They provide several frame-by-frame breakdowns of violent interactions between protesters and police throughout the recent protests, where officers are clearly the antagonizers.
As hard as it is to view some of the content below, it’s important that we bear witness to the atrocities and violence at the hands of the police that are happening across the country.
These are just a few of the many incidents of police violence over the past month or so.
Cop Punches 18-Year-Old Protester in the Face, Knocks Out Her Teeth
.@chicagosmayor we now have the video of Miracle being sucker punched by CPD! They don’t keep us safe! While they’re attacking a 2020 CPS graduates downtown, children were being shot tonight! A pregnant Womxn was shot & a 14 & 15y/o! You need to #DefundCPD now! pic.twitter.com/gYT4CL5HJ9
— GoodKidsMadCity (@GKMC18) July 18, 2020
Miracle Boyd, an 18-year-old protester and a member of the Chicago activist group GoodKids MadCity, was engaged in a verbal argument with a police officer when he sucker-punched her in the face as she attempts to back away. The protesters were there in opposition to a statue of Christopher Columbus.
Multiple Police Officers Attack Protester in a Wheelchair
This is what happened in downtown LA yesterday. They knocked a disabled man out of his wheelchair and took it away. Absolutely disgusting. This was a PEACEFUL protest!! #BLMprotest #BlackLivesMatter #DefundPolice pic.twitter.com/Uxqv9nhum6
— Natalie Fung (@natleef) July 15, 2020
In LA, numerous police officers were caught on video ripping a Black Lives Matter protester from his wheelchair, throwing him to the ground, beating him with batons, and then breaking his wheelchair when other protesters attempted to get it back. Cops continued to beat him and use excessive force to restrain him.
Police Attack Peaceful Protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge
Earlier this month, the Blue Knights of the KKK, a white supremacist biker gang, prepared to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. In opposition, protesters decided to sit across and bridge and link arms. In the extended video, you can overhear one of the protest organizers say,
“We’re gonna sit down, we’re gonna link arms. We can sing, we can chat, we can hang out, we can be joyful. But we are not going to engage them, okay? Especially if they start throwing hateful rhetoric, you don’t engage. Especially if they start talking a bunch of bullshit about blue lives matter, we don’t engage. If they start calling us names, we don’t engage. We hold our ground. We stay calm. We stay peaceful. They have no choice but to leave. That’s our strategy.”
Despite the protesters sitting respectfully on the ground, a large group of police officers started yanking them up and arresting them. Things started to take a turn for the worst as the officers grabbed a woman by the hair, punched someone in the face, tried to choke someone with a baton, and more.
Police Drives Car Into Protests in Detroit
Late last month, a group of protesters chanted, “no justice, no peace!” at a police car. The driver then decided to slam on the gas, hitting numerous people. He even drives off with one protester still stuck on the hood of the car.
Federal Law Enforcement Shoots Protester in the Head in Oregon
— Simulation Warlord🇺🇸 (@zerosum24) July 12, 2020
Protester Donavan LaBella was in Portland when federal law enforcement fired an impact munition from the other side of the street. The graphic video shows law enforcement taking aim at LaBella, who posed no physical threat. Their actions clearly disregard guidelines that dictate “nonlethal” weapons should be shot at the ground given their ability to kill or maim when shot directly at the body. Again, the officer took aim and shot him in the head.
Federal Officers Pepper-Spray and Shoot Flash Bangs to Disperse ‘Wall of Moms’
A crowd of about 400 has now occupied both SW 3rd and SW Main.
The moms are chanting, “Feds stay clear! Moms are here!” at the federal courthouse.
All three fences are still up. pic.twitter.com/jhJ09NUxGW
— Lindsey Smith (she/her) (@LindseyPSmith7) July 19, 2020
A group of moms in Portland used their bodies as a human shield for fellow protesters to protect them against the increasing violence at the hands of unrestrained federal officers. Their idea was that no one would attack a group of nonviolent, mostly white mothers. They clearly identified themselves as moms, chanting “Feds stay clear! Moms are here.” Federal officers reacted by spraying the “wall of moms” with pepper spray and flash bangs to disperse them.
Things have escalated so rapidly in Oregon since the deployment of federal officers that the state’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshals Service, and Customs and Border protection citing their violation of peoples’ civil rights by detaining them without probable cause.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler told CNN the continued escalation of violence is the result of federal authorities’ tactics. He said,
“Their presence here is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism.”
Police Pepper-Spray and Hit Navy Veteran
Navy veteran Chris David attended his first protest in Portland in response to the anger he felt at seeing federal officers arresting protesters and putting them in unmarked cars without explanation. He wore his Naval Academy gear in hopes it would help officers see him as an ally and be more open to hearing what he had to say. When he calmly approached them to talk, he was pushed down, beaten with batons, and pepper-sprayed.
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Shannon Vize is a freelance writer and content strategist living in Brooklyn, NY. Her writing has been published by Elite Daily, Taylor Magazine, CIO, and Forbes. When she’s not hate-binging the latest episode of The Bachelor franchise, she’s busy trying to dismantle the patriarchy by dissecting the latest anti-feminist theme in pop culture to anyone who will listen.