Some are ground-level recordings, shakily shot by protesters clashing with police officers who are firing pepper spray or charging ahead with riot shields. Others offer an eerily serene bird’s-eye view, shot from a helicopter, of thousands of demonstrators moving through city streets down below.
Whether uploaded, streamed or shown on a seemingly continuous loop on television, video — much of it spreading on social media — has become the central lens through which Americans have viewed the nationwide unrest that has followed the death of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis.
It was a bystander’s video of a white police officer kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck as he gasped for air that helped bring his death to national attention and increased pressure on prosecutors to bring charges against the four officers involved. That video was only the latest in a ghastly compendium of police officers captured on camera brutalizing black people, dating at least to the grainy video of Los Angeles officers beating Rodney King in 1991.
Now, as protests — some destructive, others peaceful — shake up hundreds of American cities, videos continue to define the moment. Filled with screaming voices and flashes of light, the videos can be shocking. Some show violent confrontations between the police and demonstrators. Some capture looters smashing store windows. Still others convey tender moments of solidarity, or outraged speeches, crying for justice.
Barack Obama remarks on the protests
In his first on-camera remarks since the protests began, former President Barack Obama told young people of color, “I want you to know that you matter.”
Demonstrations in New York
Hundreds of protesters sat silently in front of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s home on Wednesday, the eighth day of demonstrations around the country. Protests on Wednesday were largely peaceful, with demonstrators sitting quietly, dancing and singing, or marching.
Curfew and arrests
As a citywide curfew fell on New York Wednesday for a third night, large numbers of protesters flouted the requirement that they clear the streets by 8 p.m. and the police responded with dozens of arrests.
A confrontation in Brooklyn
Riot police officers confronted a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn on Wednesday night after curfew. Protesters numbered in the hundreds and stood peacefully, their hands up, chanting “Don’t shoot.” Organizers tried to turn protesters around to leave, but they were surrounded by officers holding shields and batons who moved in from all sides.
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