An estimated 30 people have died after supposedly “peaceful” protests erupted across the nation after George Floyd’s death on May 25. What started as civil protests and marches to address police brutality, condemn racism, and support Black Lives Matter, quickly turned into violence unmatched since the Civil Rights Movement.
Despite claims by politicians and corporate media that these protests were “mostly peaceful” and safe to do amidst a pandemic because racism is also a public health crisis, US cities were quickly plagued with looting, violence, arson, vandalism, and damage to public property.
It was this mayhem that proved fatal for some. Protestors and bystanders, ranging in age from 14 to 77, lost their lives in the chaos that media outlets labeled as a “peaceful demonstration intensified.”
Victims of the violence included a police captain, a former football player, a federal officer, a photographer, business owners, teens, and others. A majority of their deaths were caused by shootings, but a select few were caused by being hit or dragged by cars. One news report documented that a body was found burned to death in the remains of a Minneapolis pawn shop set on fire by rioters.
Chris Beaty, 38, who played football for Indiana University, was shot and killed on the street during an Indianapolis protest on May 30. Beaty’s family says they were told he was helping two women being mugged when he was shot.
Another life taken away.. just a week ago we spoke and just In a snap of a finger to hear that you not with us because you got your life taken away no reasons. I’m for the protesting but the violence got stop in both parties and this killing is breaking family and friends heart. pic.twitter.com/eYCM5RddmD
— Kemoko Turay (@Kturay_58) June 1, 2020
Only some of those responsible for these deaths have been found and charged.
“Many of the people killed were African Americans, compounding the tragedy for black families,” the Associated Press reported.
While the media circus ran circles around the issue of these riots and deaths, others spoke out, calling for the cessation of violence to shield people from further injury and death.
In June, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best spoke out against the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) after a series of fatal shootings, violence, and tensions between CHAZ members and police broke out in the area.
“Enough is enough,” she said, calling for CHAZ’s dispersal. “Two African American men are dead at a place where they claim to be working for Black Lives Matter.”
“We have had multiple other instances of assaults, rape, robbery, shootings, and this is something that is going to need to change,” she added.
Attorney General William Barr called out the violence stating that it was causing “senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims.”
“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims,” Barr wrote.
“To state what should be obvious, peaceful protesters do not throw explosives into federal courthouses, tear down plywood with crowbars, or launch fecal matter at federal officers. Such acts are in fact federal crimes under statutes enacted by this Congress,” he added.
Barr also pledged to take legal action against those causing this destruction.
“We’ve had scores of indictments so far for such things as arson, destruction of federal property,” Barr said. “We have right now about 500 investigations underway, so it’s picking up pace. We are committed to holding accountable the people who engaged in this.”
President Trump tweeted that there must be law and order where violence is rampant. He also honored one of the victims of the riots, David Dorn, “a Great Police Captain from St. Louis” who died after being shot by looters at his friend’s pawn shop in St. Louis.
In addition to the deaths and injuries caused by the riots, cities around the United States are suffering from some of their most fatal and violent weeks in years. According to a report released by the Anderson Economic Group, looting costs in America’s 20 largest metropolitan areas exceeded $400 million in just the first weekend of rioting.