Police officers and protesters spent most of the weekend battling in the streets of more than 20 American cities, but some police officers chose to walk with protesters instead of patrolling them.
According to Forbes, police officers in several cities put their batons and gas masks away, choosing unity instead. Police officers in Michigan, New Jersey, California, and Missouri took a knee or walked with protesters to show their disgust with the killings of African American civilians.
In New Jersey the police officers are protesting WITH the people shouting no justice no peace. This is how it should be, every police station should be walking with their community there is no excuse! pic.twitter.com/8pwkCOA2fP
— ً (@AMPZ222) May 30, 2020
In Camden, New Jersey, police officers walked with protesters holding a sign reading “Standing in Solidarity” and chanting “no justice, no peace.”
Former NBA point guard Rex Chapman posted a video of Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson in Flint, Michigan, telling protesters that his staff will put down their helmets and batons to walk with them.
“Don’t think for a second that he (Derek Chauvin) represents who these cops are from all over the county and across the nation,” Swanson said in the video. “We go out there to help people, not do that nonsense.”
Genesee County Sheriff (Flint, Michigan) Chris Swanson put down his helmet and baton and asked protesters how he could help.
The protesters chanted “walk with us” so the Sheriff joined — and walked alongside the protesters in solidarity.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) May 31, 2020
Police Chief Andy Mills, took a knee with protesters in Santa Cruz, California, “in memory of George Floyd & bringing attention to police violence against black people.”
Officers in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown Jr. was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2014, participated in a 9-1/2-minute kneel in Floyd’s memory, with cheers erupting from the crowd.
SCPD is fully supportive of peaceful protests @CityofSantaCruz and we always keep them safe.
Hundreds gathered on Pacific Ave in #SantaCruz, taking a knee together in memory of George Floyd & bringing attention to police violence against Black people. PhotoCredit @Shmuel_Thaler pic.twitter.com/EmfAfcIZaM
— Santa Cruz Police (@SantaCruzPolice) May 30, 2020
The protests began last Wednesday after the death of George Floyd, who was killed by officer Derek Chauvin who held his knee against Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes while three other officers stood by. He has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
As the days have gone on, the protests have become larger and more widespread. Over the weekend protests against police brutality and racism have occurred overseas and in communities not known for protesting injustices in America.