Citizens use police tracking apps and social media to expose US attacks on peaceful protesters

Citizens use police tracking apps and social media to expose US attacks on peaceful protesters

Impeached US President Donald Trump, in response to civil unrest surrounding the killing of George Floyd, over the weekend ordered US military and police forces to attack citizen protesters.

During the protests, violent criminals taking advantage of the chaos clashed with vigilantes encouraged by the president’s reckless tweets causing numerous casualties, including several deaths. But the ongoing protests have drawn tens of millions of people from across the country, the vast majority of which remain peaceful.

The police and military, however, are attacking peaceful protesters around the country without provocation.

Police and military personnel in dozens of cities across the country were caught assaulting peaceful protesters in videos that were streamed live on social media and shared by millions. Many of the attacks are confusing and appear motivated by nothing more than the desire to hurt citizens, no matter how peaceful they were:

They shot a blind man. What threat could this blind brown man have possibly posed to the officers that shot him?

They attacked elderly bystanders:

They attacked politicians:

They broke ranks to attack black people:

They ran over protesters:

They let white people pass, then busted the windows out of a car full of black people so they could shoot them with tasers multiple times and then drag them out of their vehicles and assault them for breaking-curfew-while-black:

They fired on people standing on their porches:

And they fired on people inside their own homes:

Among those targeted across the country were numerous reporters. In several instances, police opened fire on reporters after they confirmed their identities as members of the press. This, too, comes at the orders of the impeached president who has declared the press the “enemy of the people.”

Cops in a handful of cities used the protests as an opportunity to feign solidarity with those protesting them.

A small group of police officers have chosen to join the protesters in uniform. However, it’s telling that tens of millions of cameras aimed at the police have captured hundreds of instances of police violence but, to the best of this reporter’s knowledge, no instances showing police who aren’t attacking peaceful protesters stopping the ones who are.. The ones marching with us instead of protecting us from violence are getting paid the same taxpayer dollars as the colleagues they’re failing to police.

How did this all happen? Social media and police scanner apps, that’s how. We’ve seen protests and riots in the US before. But in the past, the narrative always hinged on showing legions of violent looters burning buildings at night juxtaposed against calm, stoic peace officers protecting protesters from harm during the day.

But, so far, the government can’t force people to sign off Twitter or stop downloading apps. Curfews and overloaded phone lines can’t keep activists from organizing and, perhaps most important of all, the people finally have a dead-simple option to monitor the police in real time.

Tracking police communications used to require a hardware scanner and a little bit of know how. But these days you can get one by simply searching for “police scanner” in the Apple or Google app store. All you have to do is install the app and pick the dispatch you want to listen in on. Most of these apps will alert you when there’s police action in a city and you can always tell how many people are listening to a specific stream.

At least six times while listening to police comms via scanner on 30 May, I overheard officers in Minneapolis signal their intent to fire chemical weapons at peaceful crowds and subsequently saw tweets go out warning protesters to prepare their cameras and ready themselves for impending assault.

I tip my hat to the tireless efforts of those risking their lives and freedom to expose the tyranny of the US government in this unprecedented time. Stay safe out there, stay non-violent, and keep filming.

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