Images of police using violence against peaceful protesters are going viral

New York City police officers tackle a protester on May 30. Many officers were filmed using excessive force toward demonstrators.
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

In Brooklyn, a video captured multiple officers converging on a protester and hitting the individual with a baton.

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 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.”

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.

Washington, DC’s Lafayette Square, just across from the White House, was also flooded with tear gas.

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