As tensions rise, police push back, sometimes literally, on protests

Originals 2020/6/4

After more than a week of mass protests over the death of George Floyd, the demonstrations Tuesday night, although large, were relatively peaceful, although not without clashes between police and marchers who defied curfews in many cities. Many police departments have handled the protests professionally, and many individual law-enforcement officers have expressed personal sympathy with the protests, but there is a growing list of incidents of excessive force and indiscriminate arrests of protesters and of journalists covering the demonstrations, not all of which have been peaceful.

A number of these confrontations, including an aerial shot of an NYPD car scattering a crowd of protesters blocking a street in Brooklyn and the on-air arrest of a CNN correspondent in Minneapolis, have become iconic. Activist Jordan Uhl compiled many of them into a two-minute video of police tear-gassing, shoving, roughing up demonstrators, driving into them or trampling them with horses that has been viewed tens of millions of times across various social media platforms. He received so many submissions he posted a second supercut.

Police officials and unions have said they are protecting themselves against violent protesters and looters. A retired St. Louis police captain who was helping guard a pawnshop against looters was shot and killed overnight Monday.

The most widely seen instance occurred on Monday in Washington, D.C., when police used tear gas to clear a street outside the White House to allow President Trump to stage an awkward photo op with a Bible outside a nearby church.

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