Every Must-See Moment From The George Floyd Protests

George Floyd's murder sparked global racial justice protests. These protests, and the responses to them, have highlighted the best and worst in humanity.
Well over a thousand people gathered in downtown Des Moines, joining other protests around the country demanding justice over the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. (Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA/Creative Commons)

Well over a thousand people gathered in downtown Des Moines, joining other protests around the country demanding justice over the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. (Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA/Creative Commons)

Moments like these require unrelenting truthtelling. We take pride in being reader-funded. If you like our work, support our journalism.

After Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng, and Tou Thao killed George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, people across the country protested his senseless, brutal death at the hands of police. There have been massive peaceful protests, meticulously documented brutality from police, true moments of humanity, and opportunists who brought chaos.

President Donald Trump responded to citizens petitioning their government for a redress of grievances by using military force and finally getting his wall in the form of a fence around the White House.

On June 3, 2020, after eight days of protests, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison elevated the 3rd-degree murder charge against Chauvin to 2nd-degree murder and charged the other three officers involved in Floyd’s death with aiding and abetting his murder. All four officers are now in custody; Lane, Kueng, and Thao are being held on a $1 million bond. These charges mark a major win for protesters, who welcomed the news with songs:

Here are the George Floyd protests, in video and photographs.

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Images and videos of peaceful protests

The George Floyd protests themselves were peaceful, as chronicled in these stunning photos from The Guardian. More First Amendment peaceful assembly:

Protests continue on June 3, 2020, around the country. Here’s Washington, DC:

And Los Angeles:

Protesters even picked up trash. People held a vigil in Boise, Idaho. And in the small town of Columbia, Mississippi, protesters said they’d been gathering since Sunday. Stevenson, Washington also showed support, as did Stroudsburg, PA.

South Minneapolis on June 3:

On June 2, 2020, there were protests in all 50 states and around the globe, including Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Bethesda, Washington, DC, Boston, and New York City. At one protest, they chanted “I don’t see no riot here, why are you in riot gear?” to police.

In Houston, Texas, a mounted protest:

Caesar, the “no drama llama” showed up to protest in Portland, Oregon:

In Milwaukee on May 29, people handed out water to protesters:

There was art as protest, with blood on the hands of the Serve and Protect sculpture in Salt Lake City, and dance as protest with a man krumping at police.

In Springfield, the capital of Illinois, protesters were lying down in the street:

And Cednyah Kennedy, 10 raised her voice in solidarity:

Intersectionality ruled In the historically gay neighborhood of Chicago–known as Boystown–at the start of Pride, June 1:

More peaceful protests across the country.

Peaceful George Floyd protests around the world

Around the world, countries turned out to protest for George Floyd. Solidarity knows no borders.

George Floyd’s death sparked a truly global movement:

In London, massive crowds protested in historical Hyde Park:

June 2 in Paris:

There was a huge protest in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands:

And protesters spoke out against police brutality in Toronto, Canada:

Videos sharing hope, pain, and humanity from the George Floyd protests

Pain laid bare, pure kindness, and undecorated truth all came from the protests. Even Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms penned an Op-Ed for the New York Times: “The Police Report to Me, but I Knew I Couldn’t Protect My Son.” In the words of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “The only wrong thing is to say is to say nothing.

George Floyd’s brother, Terrence Floyd, calls for more peaceful protests.

@kenzieecakess“Let’s do this another way!” -Terrence Floyd, at the spot of his brother’s death ✊?✊?✊?✊? ##blacklivesmatter ##georgefloyd ##minneapolis ##minnesota♬ original sound – kenzieecakess

In the reality behind the protests, two black men talk about generations of pain in a must-see testimony:

A man pours out his heart to the police standing nearby, only to be yanked to his feed and arrested.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has some choice words for Trump after he tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”

The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force talks about being a black man in command in America.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Ash Sarkar takes on someone named Jan:

Police tear-gassed Rahul Dubey’s home. He gave shelter to protesters who couldn’t leave.
Nearly 70 people stayed with him overnight.

Here a man, angered about people co-opting the protests, fights for his basic humanity:

And a little girl cries:

While another little girl marches on:

Actor John Boyega, most known for his role in Star Wars, gave a fiery speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London:

Keke Palmer talks to members of the National Guard, reminding them of their duty and asking them to march:

Brittney Payton, local morning show host and daughter of Chicago hero Walter Payton, describes a disturbing racist encounter on a trip to Walgreens on June 2 in this thread:

George Floyd’s daughter Gianna on her father:

Trump responds to the George Floyd Protests

Last week, President Trump sent a tweet stating that “when the looting starts, the shooting” starts, echoing racist dog whistles from the 60s. Reportedly, Trump hid in a bunker as protesters chanted outside the White House on Friday, and eventually erected a fence to keep protesters away. He has reportedly mobilized the 82nd Airborne Division, complete with bayonets, for a named “mission” in DC.

On June 1, police used tear gas on peaceful protesters to clear a park so Trump could walk across it for a photo.

While police cleared the park using force, Trump says he will use the Insurrection Act of 1807 to use the military against US citizens. Governors pushed back. On June 2, forces appeared at the Lincoln Memorial, as seen in this photo by Martha Raddatz:

On June 3, reminiscent of Putin’s “Little Green Men,” law enforcement without insignia or name-plates mark a perimeter pushed back another block from the White House.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked about Trump’s use of military force against protesters:

Videos and images of police violence and police brutality against peaceful George Floyd protestors

Disturbingly, police violence is rampant at protests decrying police violence. With cell phones everywhere, protesters can document brutality like never before. And a note on rubber bullets; they often have a metal core and injure, maim, and even kill.
Police cruiser drives into protesters in Brooklyn:

A police officer points a gun with rubber bullets at a man and a little girl, from photographer Richard Grant:

Officers trapped protesters in Brooklyn disrupting a peaceful protest, and sprayed a crowd with rubber bullets in Austin, critically injuring Texas State student, Justin Howell.

Richmond Police pepper spray people walking and a man in his own home.

In Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd encouraged citizens to use their guns:

An officer grabs and drags a man walking by in Las Vegas:

Police in Fort Wayne, Indiana fired tear gas and pepper spray at protesters, one protester was hit in the face:

The National Guard fire at people in their own homes in Minneapolis:

Officer shoots rubber bullet directly at a man’s phone in Denver, Colorado:

Police fire on peaceful protesters in LA:

Police fire on two men peacefully standing in the street.

Cop pulls down the mask of a peaceful protester with his hands up and pepper sprays him directly:

Officers assault protesters in the parking lot of a Trader Joe’s:

Officers in Asheville destroy water bottles, leaving a huge mess on the sidewalk:

Law enforcement sprays a quiet residential street with tear gas in Philadelphia, where there are no protesters to be seen:

Also in Philadelphia, an officer sprays complying protesters directly in the face. Thread:

With people trapped against a wall, still under attack by officers:

And here a man surrounded by cops says he can’t breathe, officers do not care:

In Atlanta, a cop assaults a protester with a bike. The woman in red is not having it:

In Kansas City, a man airing his grievances at cops is roughly thrown to the ground and surrounded as cops spray bystanders to prevent intervention:

Peaceful can become not peaceful. In New York on May 31, it was calm, then police officers charged protesters.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma a peaceful protest

Ended with tear gas or smoke and pepper balls:

A man arrested for speaking:

Here’s a compilation of a number of acts of police brutality during the protests:

We’ve barely scratched the surface of brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death. A comprehensive thread of very disturbing videos of police violence at protests over police violence:

Videos and images of police assaults on the media

Journalists were not safe from police assaults at the George Floyd protests. Some members of the press sustained serious injuries.

Police shoot tear gas and rubber bullets at MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and the CNN crew in Minneapolis:

Ed Ou, a journalist, was hit by police projectile in Minneapolis:

Police officer in DC punches Australian cameraman:

And from another angle, he’s also hit in the stomach:

Black CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested while covering Minneapolis protests, and
freelance photojournalist Linda Tirado lost an eye to a rubber bullet. She’s permanently blind in that eye.

MSNBC’s Jo Ling Kent is hit with something alight, and the crew flees from police action in Seattle:

This one speaks for itself:

More tear-gas:

And pepper bullets:

Potential violence, averted:

Very relieved that the unexploded flash-bang grenade that my daughter found and innocently picked up this morning didn’t explode in her face. Beyond angry that it was left on the streets of our capital city. pic.twitter.com/ruAQ7dCotC

— Ed Felten (@EdFelten) June 2, 2020

Videos and Images of good cops at George Floyd protests

Thankfully, not all the police officers at the protests over George Floyd’s killing were engaging in harm or brutality. Good officers shine in video from the protests. Sometimes it doesn’t last.

When a white male officer shoves a black woman already kneeling with her hands up, a black female officer lets him have it.

New York Police Chief diffuses a tense situation, talking to the crowd:

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo connects with protesters:

Flint, Michigan, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson joins protesters to march:

Camden County Chief joined peaceful protests:

Officers took a knee with protesters in Beverly Hills and in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and other cities around the country. Police also take a knee in Des Moines, Iowa Sunday, May 31:

Videos of people using the George Floyd Protests as an excuse for violence

Private citizens, perhaps taking their cues from police, also attempted violence against protesters.

In Salt Lake City, a man later identified as Brandon McCormick pointed a bow and arrow at protesters, yelling “all lives matter.” Protesters disarmed him:

He later claims he was in his car when he was attacked, perhaps unaware of the video proving that to be a lie. He was spotted earlier in the day brandishing a knife.

Bogdan Vechirko, a Trump donor, drove a diesel truck through a barrier and toward protesters:

Vechirko was released without charges because he was “frustrated” by the barrier.

Jake Gardner, a bar owner in Omaha, Nebraska, shot and killed protester James Scurlock. There is debate about who started the altercation, as witnesses report Gardner using racial slurs, but Gardner will not be charged, with the district attorney calling it “self-defense.”

On June 3, Las Vegas prosecutors announced that 3 members of the white supremacist group “Boogaloo” were arrested on terrorism charges. The group had allegedly planned attacks and disruptions of the George Floyd protest. Trump ended the programs intended to fight violent extremism shortly after taking office.

Videos of looting and vandalism during the George Floyd protests

And of course, there is the much-touted looting and vandalism, which is one of the justifications for the police violence during the protests. But the looters and vandals do not appear to be protesters or representatives of Floyd’s cause. Since you’ve already seen so many of those images in the media, we’ll only share a few here.

Looting of a Vans in Atlantic City:

In Seattle, officers arrest looters at a TMobile store:

Looters attack a Capital One building, one using a bike lock, and someone spray paints the building:

Some damage was done by people who appear to be white, like this woman spraying BLM, these people attempting to smash entry into a store in Polk County, and then here where officers stand by as a white woman sprays graffiti on a building.

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Uncategorized // Activism / Black Lives Matter / George Floyd / Police / Protest / Racism