Inside the Mayhem and Police Violence at Last Night’s Brooklyn Protest

I was there with my camera.

Mother Jones/Mark Helenowski

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Over the past few days, nationwide protests against police violence have turned into an alarming display of the very treatment protesters are rallying against

I live in Brooklyn and followed this weekend’s protests from my apartment, endlessly scrolling through videos: protesters being run over by a police car, cops shoving an elderly man a with cane to the pavement, all manner of aggressive police escalation, and journalists being explicitly targeted and injured time and time and time again.

But I got a firsthand view of the mayhem—and the police-fueled violent escalation—when I arrived in the Flatbush neighborhood late last night to cover the protests.

The scene was a tinderbox. In the majority-Black neighborhood, shouting filled the streets while several police helicopters throbbed overhead and NYPD officers confronted protesters with varying levels of force. I captured only a sliver of the action on-camera, but enough to show how some officers intensified an already-fraught situation with violent conduct: shoving a woman into a city bus, charging full-speed into groups of already retreating protesters, tackling a seriously injured man, and roughing up journalists and camerapeople (myself included).

Videos of all that (and more) in my tweets below:

Mother Jones/Mark Helenowski

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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