Nationwide Demonstrations Turn Violent as Police Attack Protesters

In Seattle, for instance, police maced a child. 

Mike Stewart/AP

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For the fifth night in a row, demonstrators across the country took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis who was killed by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck while Floyd begged for his life saying, “I can’t breathe.” The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday. As the protests spread, demonstrators demanded an end to the unjust system and the systemic police brutality that led to Floyd’s death. The police responded with more brutality against protesters, bystanders, and journalists.

In shocking but countless viral videos, police officers in cities around the country responded to protesters with egregious tactics, from unprovoked violent shoving to indiscriminate pepper spraying.

In New York City, a police officer pulls down a young protester’s mask as his hands are in the air and pepper sprays him in the face.

On live television, cops in Atlanta use a Taser on car passengers, remove them from the car, and arrest them.

Again in New York City, police officers plow through protesters with their vehicles. 

In this video, a white police officer decides to shove a Black woman to the ground with his bike. 

In Minneapolis, the National Guard and the city police department fire paint canisters at people standing on their porches. 

In Seattle, police maced a child. 

In Salt Lake City, Utah, police officers dressed in riot gear knock down an elderly man who is walking down the street.

This is a non-exhaustive list. But, despite the ample footage of police violence that took place over the weekend, a few elected officials thanked the police for showing “restraint.” 

Nevertheless, the past few days have revealed to the public what American policing actually looks like. But remember this is what happened when the cameras were rolling. What happens when they’re not?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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