The blaze of protests that spread across the country this weekend in response to the police killing of George Floyd and countless others throughout American history is being responded to by policing so brutal even Alanis Morissette could clock the irony.
Videos posted on social media by demonstrators, journalists, and even people sitting on their porches at home show militarized police officers who appear eager to enact violence on the streets rather than help quell it.
In Minneapolis, where the Fed Up-Rising protests started after former police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd for more than 8 minutes, cops have not only been firing tear gas, rubber bullets, and paint canisters at demonstrators but also on civilians observing from home:
Videos posted on social media yesterday captured New York Police Department officers driving into a crowd of protestors, reminiscent of the tragic images from Charlottesville in 2017 where a white supremacist ran into a crowd of people demonstrating against racial violence and killed Heather Heyer.
Another video shows an NYPD officer pulling down the face mask of a black protestor, whose hands are raised, and pepper spraying him directly in the face:
Members of the media also continue to be shot at and otherwise targeted by police officers while doing their job reporting on the protests.
CNN reporter Omar Jiminez, who was arrested on-air by Minneapolis officers earlier this weekend, continued covering the dystopian scenes on the streets where the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reportedly said cops were deployed to “address a sophisticated network of urban warfare.”
Are the police aiming to stop “urban warfare” or are they the ones continuing to wage it against people they are supposed to protect and serve?
Meanwhile, the president of the U.S. continues to signal to police and everyone else across the country his own bloodthirst for violence.
On Saturday he posted on Twitter that protestors at the White House “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons,” if they had come close to breaching the fence.
“Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. ‘We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it,” Trump tweeted.
According to reporting from the Independent, the head of the Minneapolis Police Union Lieutenant Bob Kroll spoke at a rally for Trump last year where he celebrated the permission the president gave to cops to be brutal.
From the Independent:
Donning a red “Cops for Trump” shirt as he took the stage, the lieutenant attacked the Obama administration over its alleged “despicable” treatment of police, adding: “The first thing President Trump did when he took office was turn that around … he decided to start to let cops do their job, put the handcuffs on the criminals instead of us.”