Most Americans are white (for now), so when we say “most Americans,” we mostly mean white people. And most Americans don’t truly understand how bad other people have it. The proof of it is how many people just seem so shocked that protests would break out “spontaneously” all over the nation, and they can’t even wrap their minds around why people would turn a protest into a riot. But the message has been consistent and clear for decades.
It’s not helpful to say FTP and it’s not entirely accurate to say ACAB, but there is plenty of evidence that we live in a society that excuses abuse of power in law enforcement. That, ultimately, is what all of these protests and riots are about. When people who are peacefully protesting are met with excessive force, riots become inevitable. And if law enforcement treats a protestor like a rioter, then they immediately become one in the mind of the officer. Every action is a provocation to them.
Regardless of how cynical you feel about law enforcement, the fact is the vast majority of them are average Americans with typical views on the world. The problem is systemic. With the militarization of law enforcement comes the hoorah, brothers-in-arms mentality. While this is necessary for any group of professionals that serve on the frontlines of the community, one unfortunate side-effect is that it encourages unethical, illegal, and sometimes horrific behavior.
None of the examples below are excusable. If someone can make a good case, I’ll note it and change this list accordingly. I will also continue updating this article as new footage and new information comes out. I don’t want this to be a repository of anti-cop hate, but I feel like it’s necessary to take note of the numerous and wanton abuses of power.
“Wake Up!” by Brass Against
After living with these clips in my brain for more than a week, I suddenly became obsessed with the concept of the video below. It took me four days of editing along with a significant portion of my soul. It’s very hard to watch but I feel it’s necessary and important to share. Please share this video with anyone and everyone, especially those who believe there isn’t a policing problem in America.
Police Fire on People Standing on Their Own Porch
People standing on their front porch are shot by a militaristic group of law enforcement officers. One of them says “light ’em up!” and they come to a halt. One of them fires a round right into an innocent woman on private property with no provocation.
Elderly Man’s Head Split Open After Being Shoved
After you watch this disturbing video of an officer assaulting a harmless elderly man, go back and keep your eye on the officer that did it. His name is allegedly Aaron Torgalski.
Police Drive Vehicles into Protestors
The NYPD is opening a case to investigate this incident, and it’s one of the most shocking. The drivers of those vehicles committed multiple assaults by throttling their vehicles into the crowd. They’re lucky no one died. The driver of each vehicle should be prosecuted for assault at the very least.
Young Girl Pepper Sprayed by Officer
This girl wasn’t part of the protest, so don’t jump down her parent’s throat. Multiple witnesses saw the officer do this and took pictures of him. His badge number was hidden under black tape.
After Being Blinded by Pepper Spray, Officer Kicks Woman Over
The original post wording is inaccurate in that she is actually 21 and not 15, and the didn’t technically kick her in the face. But she was sitting still, temporarily blinded by pepper spray, and the officer needlessly kicks her over.
Officer Fires Tear Gas Cannister Directly in Man’s Face
Press Member Pepper Sprayed While Prone and Cooperating
A member of the press found himself in the middle of an oncoming group of officers. The first one he engages with is direct but polite, and the journalist complies without resistance. He gets down on the ground with his press credentials held up and waits. Then, for no reason whatsoever, another officer walks up and sprays him in the face with pepper spray.
Police Destroy and Steal Supplies Meant to Help Protestors
Officer Pulls Mask off Man with Hands in the Air, Pepper Sprays Him
LA Times Journalist Account of Reporters Being Tear Gassed
John Cusack Accosted While Recording
John Cusack (yes that John Cusack) was accosted by an officer while recording a burning vehicle. It’s possible that he could’ve been in a restricted area, but that’s not likely for a guy in a free country. I don’t believe the officer in this situation committed a crime, but he could’ve used words rather than force to make his point.
Australian News Crew Assaulted by Officers
Woman Grocery Shopping Shot in Face with Rubber Bullet
Completely Innocent Elderly Man Knocked to the Ground by Officer
An overly zealous officer in riot gear knocks over an elderly man for no reason. The other officers come to his aid and the offending officer pretends to be a helper.
This is the full video and the source.
Again, I don’t believe that ACAB is a useful phrase, so I’m pre-empting any objections you may have to the source of this video. But this incident jibes with more than one account I heard from people who were there. (I live in Dallas.) I wish this video was longer so we could get more context, but the police fired on a crowd with its hands up in broad daylight.
Compilation of Documented Police Brutality
This collection of videos is a pretty good list of examples like the ones above, but please keep their context in mind. None of these have been verified and are only here for reference.
Imgur Gallery of Excessive Force
Many of these clips are represented above, but some of them show details and reverse angles of these events.