The weekend kicked off Friday evening with the release of the criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin, which included the horrifying detail that Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly three minutes after Floyd was unresponsive. The weekend ended with the lights out at the White House and the news that at one point, with protesters outside the White House, Donald Trump had been taken to a bunker.
In between, people across the country protested police violence against Black people—and all too often, were met with police violence. Anyone in any doubt about the responsibility of police for the level of violence in many cities should look at the toll of journalists targeted by police for violence, with one photographer permanently losing vision in one eye after being hit by a nonlethal projectile fired by police.
Disturbingly but predictably, white supremacist groups—including “Boogaloo Bois,” who hope to start a new civil war—seized on the protests as a chance to push their agenda, including by looting and starting violence.
They weren’t alone. Donald Trump, too, was fanning the flames. On Sunday he tweeted that he would be designating Antifa a terrorist organization—even though Antifa isn’t an organized organization, and also … stands for anti-fascist. That Trump would call anti-fascists terrorists is a little too on the nose. (The Secret Service had reportedly whisked Trump away to an underground bunker).
Trump also attacked Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, claiming she wouldn’t let the police participate in responding to protests. It was a false claim, of course. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, meanwhile, had a response to Trump: “He should just stop talking.”
It was all too easy to find examples of police brutality against protesters, from the 9-year-old girl screaming in pain after being pepper sprayed to the New York City woman who suffered a concussion and seizure after a police officer threw her to the ground for no obvious reason.
Scene from Seattle protest: Girl hit by pepper spray.— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) May 31, 2020
NYPD officer just called a female protester a “stupid fucking bitch” and threw her to the ground pic.twitter.com/18YUHYmqQa— Jason Lemon (@JasonLemon) May 30, 2020
This is the officer. He threw my phone before throwing me. As you can see I was already backing up. All I asked was why. pic.twitter.com/8mct5GrztV— Dounya Zayer (@zayer_dounya) May 30, 2020
● In Columbus, Ohio, Rep. Joyce Beatty and City Council President Shannon Hardin were pepper sprayed.
Here is a 38 photo sequence of what happen this morning with Joyce Beatty, Shannon Hardin, Kevin Boyce, protesters and Columbus Police. pic.twitter.com/ZZEd6MfJCh— Kyle Robertson (@KRobPhoto) May 30, 2020
● In some cities, police joined protesters.
Amazing scene unfolding in Flint, Twp, Michigan. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has joined protesters in a peaceful march. Read More: https://t.co/4ioyUnymNv @MichStatePolice @GovWhitmer pic.twitter.com/nMCVuXQ0TZ— Mid-Michigan NOW (@midmichigannow) May 31, 2020
They beat the living shit out of us one hour after this. https://t.co/qROFE1YY2R— diablita (@diabliitax) June 1, 2020
● Sunday saw new video of the lead-up to the killing of George Floyd released.
His advisors are assuredly going to pressure him to call for calm.— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) June 1, 2020
And after all of the above, we will be doubly enraged at the possibility of having to walk the plank and make forced remarks after having been literally scared into the basement.
Gonna be interesting.
White people rolling up handing Black men bricks to throw during the protests? Glad a Black woman was there to set they asses straight. pic.twitter.com/k9ickiIQA9— JaValle (@JaValle) June 1, 2020
SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME YOU GOT THEIR LICENSE PLATE— BLACK LIVES MATTER ⁷ (@kookgenre) May 30, 2020
SOMEONE GOT RAN OVER BY TRUMP SUPPORTERS pic.twitter.com/4guMdPFSMw
WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING RIGHT NOW?!? pic.twitter.com/S11ZcHaub9— Elon James White wears a Mask (@elonjames) June 1, 2020
This morning in a call to governors, Trump was “unhinged”:
Here's the audio of that remarkable call where Trump lashes out at governors and says they need to crack down on protesters. pic.twitter.com/ANSsniYItN— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 1, 2020
Trump responded to Pritzker:— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) June 1, 2020
"I don’t like your rhetoric either."
Great that the president giving advice to governors about law enforcement tactics is also the guy who wants a criminal investigation into Joe Scarborough.— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) June 1, 2020
Community members in Michigan and California gathered to clean up debris and graffiti after protests on Saturday night pic.twitter.com/Pc4MJNDdiu— NowThis (@nowthisnews) June 1, 2020
Brian Kilmeade thinks the George Floyd uprisings might be a vast anarchist conspiracy to destroy the American economy so it can never recover from coronavirus lockdowns. pic.twitter.com/1zIcNzmFTc— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) June 1, 2020