Video footage is going viral of police officers responding to protests Saturday night with excessive force, including battering and pepper-spraying peaceful demonstrators.
Most of the nationwide anti-police brutality protests started peacefully Saturday afternoon, but many took a more volatile turn on Saturday night. Some images show protesters vandalizing property, including setting fire to police cars and businesses.
But other videos show officers aggravating lawful participants with batons and, in one case, driving a police SUV into a crowd.
The protests began in Minnesota last week in response to a video showing a white Minneapolis police officer killing an unarmed black man, George Floyd. The protests have spread globally and taken on a broader call for an end to police brutality.
Some images in this article may be graphic.
Police pepper-sprayed protesters
In New York, a police officer pulled down the mask of a peaceful protester, who had his hands up, and pepper-sprayed him in the face. The police in the video had intentionally covered their badge numbers.
And in Seattle, a child was hit with pepper spray, too. In the video, she is screaming as other protesters pour milk on her face.
Scene from Seattle protest: Girl hit by pepper spray.— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) May 31, 2020
In Columbus, Ohio, Rep. Joyce Beatty, Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, and Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce were also pepper-sprayed by the police while trying to ease a conflict between protesters and the police.
VIDEO: U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty of Ohio being pepper sprayed by Columbus Police during protest— Tim Ryan Renaud (@TimWCBD) May 30, 2020
A police SUV rammed into a crowd
In Brooklyn, a New York Police Department SUV rammed into a crowd of protesters, knocking them to the ground. It’s unclear whether anyone was seriously injured. In a press conference later in the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed protesters for not getting out of the way and putting the police in an “impossible” situation.
Rubber bullets hit a bystander
In Dallas, a woman’s face was covered in blood after she was hit with a rubber bullet while walking home with groceries.
Officers appear to assault peaceful participants
In Salt Lake City, an older man walking with a cane was pushed to the ground by an officer.
Salt Lake City cops shove down an elderly man with a cane for the crime of standing along the street: pic.twitter.com/PCLkHqQtJg— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 31, 2020
In Brooklyn, a video captured multiple officers converging on a protester and hitting the individual with a baton.
A lot just popped off at the protest for George Floyd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Pepper spray, batons, and several arrests. pic.twitter.com/ZuciQA82fe— Jon Campbell (@j0ncampbell) May 29, 2020
In Atlanta, the police dragged a young couple out of a car while using a Taser. Officers also flattened the tires and broke the windows of their vehicle. Multiple officers were involved in the incident.
Police exercise increased force as tasers are used to pull two people from a vehicle in downtown Atlanta.https://t.co/dSjEgItPcy— CBS46 (@cbs46) May 31, 2020
Police open-fired paint canisters at people on their own property
In Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Police Department and National Guard marched down the residential streets of Whittier neighborhood. Tanya Kerssen, who lives in the neighborhood, tweeted that the officers shot paint canisters at the residents while shouting “light ’em up.”
Share widely: National guard and MPD sweeping our residential street. Shooting paint canisters at us on our own front porch. Yelling “light em up” #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #JusticeForGeorge #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/bW48imyt55— Tanya Kerssen (@tkerssen) May 31, 2020
Excessively used tear gas
In Dallas, the police tear-gassed City Hall, where peaceful protests were being held.
In Denver, the police fired multiple tear gas canisters just minutes after the city’s 8 pm curfew passed.
Cops responding with A LOT of tear gas. pic.twitter.com/GXYE0JfvHZ— Saja Hindi (@BySajaHindi) May 31, 2020
Washington, DC’s Lafayette Square, just across from the White House, was also flooded with tear gas.