Police Brutality At George Floyd Protests: In the wake of nation-wide protests against the custodial killing of African American George Floyd in the United States, several videos shared on social media show police officials using rubber bullets, chemical irritants and excessive force in an attempt to quell unrest. While a few officials have been penalised for their aggressive attack on demonstrators, several others have faced no consequences.
Floyd died on May 25 after being pinned to the ground and suffocated by a Minneapolis police official. His death sparked widespread protests against the systemic oppression and police brutality faced by African Americans. Violent standoffs between police and demonstrators broke out at protests across the country. Law enforcement authorities have been caught on camera striking protestors with their batons and firing at them with pepper bullets, smoke bombs and tear gas.
A video shot in Buffalo, New York captured police in riot gear shoving a 75-year-old man and knocking him to the ground. In the video, the man is seen lying on the pavement with blood streaming from his head. The two police officers involved in the incident have since been suspended without pay.
A similar incident occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah, where a local news outlet filmed police officials knocking out an elderly man with a walking stick to the ground while clearing protestors from the area. Two other policemen are then seen helping the man stand up again.
Earlier this week, a video surfaced in which Minneapolis police officials were seen shooting paint canisters at people standing on their front porch while patrolling a neighbourhood to enforce curfew. A large group of policemen and National Guard soldiers are seen marching down the street ordering people to get inside their homes.
A 20-year-old university student allegedly suffered brain damage and a fractured skull after police shot him with beanbag rounds — a less-lethal ammunition — during a protest in Austin, Texas on Sunday. In a video shared widely on social media, protectors are seen clearing the crowd and carrying him to safety.
In a video shared last month, a New York Police Department (NYPD) official was seen pulling down the mask of a protestor to directly pepper spray him in the face. The victim was standing still with his hands up when the policeman approached him.
Several videos were posted on Twitter earlier this week showing two NYPD SUVs mowing down protestors who stood behind a barricade. The vehicles appeared to rev up as they approached the crowd of demonstrators. While many protestors were knocked to the ground, no reports of severe injuries have emerged.
The media was not spared while covering the protests. Several videos show law enforcement authorities firing rubber bullets directly at reporters and their crew. Photojournalist Linda Tirado was left partially blind after being struck in her left eye with a rubber bullet.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump and several members of his administration were sued by multiple civil rights groups for allegedly launching an aggressive attack on peaceful protestors gathered near the White House on Monday.
In states across the United States National Guard soldiers were deployed, curfews were imposed and thousands were arrested after mass outrage caused by Floyd’s death escalated into riots and looting. Several policemen have also been attacked and their vehicles have been vandalised by protestors, as per reports. Earlier, the Minneapolis 3rd Precinct police station, where Floyd’s killer was believed to have previously worked, was stormed by protestors and set ablaze.
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