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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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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