The death of George Floyd in Minnesota last week sparked nationwide outrage and protests in a number of American cities. One of those cities is Chicago, where actor John Cusack shared video from on Saturday that highlighted the aftermath of protests that turned violent between police officers and those protesting police brutality against people of color.
Floyd’s death in police custody came after video footage showed an officer kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite protests that he couldn’t breathe. Subsequent protests have ranged from peaceful demonstrations to those that veer toward vandalism and destruction of property as police forces try to disperse protesters using force, violence which has been captured on video and shared online.
Cusack shared video late Saturday night of an incident in which police officers shoved him while he was filming a burning vehicle from a clash between protesters and law enforcement. It started with Cusack riding his bike around Chicago to survey the scene.
Later, Cusack expressed frustration with his own encounter with law enforcement, claiming his bike was hit with police batons and ordered to leave, footage he captured and shared on Twitter.
Cops didn’t like me filming the burning car so they came at me with batons. Hitting my bike.
Ahhm herea the audio pic.twitter.com/tfaOoVCw5v
— John Cusack (@johncusack) May 31, 2020
In another tweet, Cusack took a picture of the “peace officers” he claimed used batons on him.
The past five days have been defined by protests nationwide against the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer that had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd pleaded for his life. It was just the latest example of an unarmed black person being killed by a police officer and has sparked massive protests in cities across the country.
Some of these have been headed up by athletes like Stephen Jackson, a childhood friend of Floyd’s who called him “Twin,” and Jaylen Brown, who organized a protest in his hometown of Atlanta at the Martin Luther King Jr Center on the east side of downtown. The movement hasn’t just affected athletes stateside, as some Bundesliga players have used their platform to amplify the message globally.
On Sunday, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho scored a goal to give his team a 2-0 lead and then removed his jersey to reveal a shirt with “Justice for George Floyd” written on it.
and here’s BVB’s Jadon Sancho with a “Justice for George Floyd” shirt pic.twitter.com/IrQu8HP6bF
— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) May 31, 2020
Sancho finished the game with a hat-trick in a tremendous performance in a 6-1 win, and made sure he used the opportunity to keep the message of seeking justice for black people at the forefront of the conversation. He wasn’t alone this weekend in voicing support for Floyd on the pitch in Germany, as others offered remembrances of Floyd on armbands or knelt in support of the movement.
Marcus Thuram. Weston McKennie. Jadon Sancho. Even in the German Bundesliga, black athletes are keeping George Floyd’s memory alive through solidarity and protest. A reminder that this moment and movement is international pic.twitter.com/ETCHEqKXNQ
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) May 31, 2020
For many, sports are the distraction, and it’s precisely for that reason that demonstrations and continued messaging from athletes during games is so important. Violence against the black community isn’t something they get to escape at any time, and as such it’s important to remind audiences of that uncomfortable truth at all times so it’s inescapable to them as well. The more the majority is confronted with these images and messages, the better chance we actually step forward and make the calls for change.
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“That is not peaceful protest. Let’s not kid ourselves,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said as he promised a full investigation.
A number of artists have stepped up over the weekend with messages that align with their fans who have hit the streets to protest following the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Killer Mike, Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, and Rihanna have all shared messages that fall in line with that of protestors all across the country.
Other acts have joined protestors in the streets including J. Cole in Fayetville, NC. But at least one artist has seen their protest efforts end in arrest. Chika joined a peaceful protest in Los Angeles on Saturday, things turned for the worst as she was arrested in the middle of her protest.
Sharing multiple videos to her Instagram, the first video showed Chika on a bus where she revealed that they were getting cited as a result of their participation in the protest.
“Hey y’all, so we’re on the f*cking bus, they’re calling us bodies in cages,” she said in the video. “As of right now they’ve let us know that we’re getting cited. I’m in here because I watch them put their hands on my manager, while she was trying to leave. I said ‘Hey, she walking away,’ and they said, ‘Get her too.’ Nobody in this bus did anything wrong, every single person here is in here unlawfully. The dude next to me is pissed, he’s been here for five hours. I’m okay though, I’m f*cking okay, y’all don’t worry.”
Chika would also share a video of her attempts to disperse and calm down the crowd during the protest, despite later being arrested for failure to disperse. Upon her release she returned back to her home where she shared another video, one that lasted more than 30 minutes and detailed the events that led up to her arrest as well as what occurred after.
Chika is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours from the Boston area to his hometown of Atlanta to stage a peaceful protest on Saturday, and the Boston Celtics wing got some support from another NBA player who delivered a powerful message of his own.
Malcolm Brogdon marched with Brown, who orchestrated the protest an asked for people to join him on social media amid nationwide outrage and community action following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota while in police custody earlier this week.
— Hope Ford (@hope_iam) May 30, 2020
“Remember why we’re here!” Protest turns into March lead by @FCHWPO who drove 15 hours from Boston just to be here for a peaceful protest in his hometown #11Alive #bostonceltics pic.twitter.com/uhow5F2Lon
— Hope Ford (@hope_iam) May 30, 2020
Brown stressed the protest would be peaceful and chronicled the march on social media, sharing on Saturday a message from both himself and the Indiana Pacers guard.
“I got a grandfather who marched next to Dr. King in the 60’s,” Brogdon said. “He was amazing and he would be proud to see us all here.”
Brown shared his own reasoning for orchestrating the protest, saying that regardless of his status as an NBA player he needed to support his community and advocate for change.
Jaylen Brown on his IG live from Atlanta: “Being a celebrity, being an NBA player doesn’t exclude me from no conversation at all. First and foremost I’m a black man and I grew up on this soil.” pic.twitter.com/7pD09VYouk
— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) May 30, 2020
“Being a celebrity, being an NBA player doesn’t exclude me from no conversation at all,” Brown said of protesting in his hometown. “First and foremost I’m a black man and I grew up on this soil.”
At the conclusion of the march, he advised people to disperse and get home safely.
“Disperse. Be safe and go home.” Says @FCHWPO as he ends the two hour long peaceful protest/ march that started and ended at the MLK Center for Nonviolent Social Change. #11alive #AtlantaProtests pic.twitter.com/RK5B7XMfLj
— Hope Ford (@hope_iam) May 31, 2020
He later expressed frustration that three people had been detained by police in Atlanta from his group and asked those he marched with to help him identify who was detained, presumably to help with their legal expenses.
3 people were wrongfully arrested today this was a peaceful protest!!
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) May 31, 2020
Brown later shared messages on Twitter about violence from police officers across America this weekend, including one from Tobias Harris of the Sixers, who also marched in Philadelphia on Saturday.
Who gets to arrest the officers acting out during these protests?!?
— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) May 31, 2020
Do not confuse the response of the oppressed with the violence of the oppressor
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) May 31, 2020