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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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