African-American Woman Kneeling in Front of Cops with Guns Goes Viral amid Massive Protests Across US
Image credit: Twitter/Dai Sugano
Even as protests raged against the killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American who was killed this week on Monday after a police officer held him down by the neck until he choked, an image of a protestor standing up to police officers is going viral.
On Saturday, protests tore through cities across the United States. By evening, several had turned violent such as in San Jose, which saw intense clashes between protesters and police.
The protesters have been demanding action against the cops who killed Floyd, allegedly while trying to arrest the unarmed man for a bad check. Many including common citizens, journalists and intellectuals as well as human rights activists have raised concerns about the repeated issue of racial discrimination in the country's police force.
While several images have been going viral, one photograph by photographer Dai Sugano seems to have captured the tense pulse of the nation, torn by police injustice, violent protests and reports of looting. In the photo, a young woman can be seen kneeling peacefully in front of armed policemen with guns and batons in a mark of protest.
San Jose | Picture: Dai Sugano pic.twitter.com/TkNE7XG2d6— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) May 31, 2020
The photo has been shared by thousands of netizens across the world on Twitter, even as police continue to arrest protesters from across sites. Dozens of rioters were arrested from New York after several police cars were set on fire.
The photo is reminiscent of an image of an African-American nurse peacefully courting arrest as police dressed in riot-gear put handcuffs on her hand. The image was taken in Baton Rouge in 2016 as similar anti-police and anti-racism protests rocked the the country after the police shootings of two African -American men Alton Sterling and Philando Castille.
The image by Sugano was captured in San Jose while the protests were still non-violent. The demonstrators later turned violent by night, leading to a war-zone like situation in the city, with protesters lobbing stones and bottles at cops who tried to contain the violent crowd with "flash bangs" as well as spraying chemical irritants.
Protests also consumed other parts of US such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia and New York with demonstrators setting fire to cars and other public property. In San Jose, rioters set La Mesa City Hall ablaze and set over 200 American flags on fire.