Weekend Protests And Riots

Ken AshfordRacial Homicides, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

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.

● In Columbus, Ohio, Rep. Joyce Beatty and City Council President Shannon Hardin were pepper sprayed.

● In some cities, police joined protesters.

● Sunday saw new video of the lead-up to the killing of George Floyd released.

Other scenes:

This morning in a call to governors, Trump was “unhinged”: