The 10 Most Intense Viral Videos From the Protests & Riots

viral videos protests riots

Twitter Scenes from some of the viral videos during the protests and riots.

Officers shoot green paint at people standing on a Minneapolis porch. Protesters take down a bow-and-arrow wielding man in Salt Lake City. A crowd of “looters” severely beats a man in Dallas. Two NYPD squads ram into multiple protesters in the street. People toss an American flag into a Chicago river. A wheelchair-bound woman wields a knife at Target looters and gets sprayed with a fire extinguisher. Police engage in an all-out street brawl with rioters. These are just some of the 10 most intense viral videos to emerge after nights of protest and riots.

Be forewarned that some of the videos are disturbing.

It was, of course, an extremely disturbing viral video that started it all: The death of George Floyd, who was restrained by a Minneapolis police officer, who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck, ignoring his pleas that he couldn’t breathe. Viewed many millions of times, that most troubling video and Floyd’s death have sparked the protests and riots throughout American cities. In Minneapolis, where it all started, businesses were torched and looted (learn more about George Floyd here.) This is the video that started it all:

The Minneapolis Police Choke an Unarmed Handcuffed Black Man to DeathHis name is George Floyd. 🤬🤬🤬My God. ⁣I'm furious. This is murder. PERIOD The Minneapolis Police murdered this brother. ⁣ ⁣ This man, who, like Eric Garner, yelled out over and over and over again that HE COULD NOT BREATHE, was CLEARLY in distress. ⁣ ⁣ He is in handcuffs. ⁣ On his belly. ⁣…2020-05-26T14:28:32Z

Here is a round up of some of the most intense videos from the protests and riots that resulted, in no particular order.


1. NYPD Squads Run Over Protesters in New York City

Several videos, which are going viral, show two NYPD squad cars ram into multiple protesters who are standing in front of them in New York City. The videos were posted on May 30.

First, people throw things at one of the squads. One squad then rams into a barricade that people are standing against, knocking multiple people over. The second squad turns, also running into multiple people, according to the videos, which were posted to Twitter.

Heavy contacted the NYPD’s press office and asked for comment. The officer who answered the phone said to send an email providing links to the videos, which we have done.


2. American Flag Tossed in River Near Trump Tower in Chicago

A video posted to Twitter showed what its user described as protesters throwing an American flag from outside Trump Tower into a river in Chicago, Illinois. “F*ck Donald Trump,” a person says on the video as protesters bring the flag down. “Yank that b*tch. Yank that b*tch. Get that mother f*cker,” the person says.

“Burn it! Burn it” other people shout as the flag is carried to the river. “Throw it in the river,” someone says. People applauded.

Read more about that video here.


3. Police & Crowd in All-Out Brawl in Chicago

A viral video appears to show George Floyd protesters in a brawl with police officers in the streets of Chicago, Illinois.

A Twitter user named Mack posted the video on May 30. “#chicagoprotest,” the caption read. The video was viewed more than 270,000 times in one hour. She wrote, “I’m sharing this to show that White people can literally beat on the cops and there were no shots fired, no one got beat, NOTHING. They let them beat they ass. These people deescalated an arrest and the guy got away.” Heavy reached out to Chicago police for comment but none was received.

Read more about that video here.


4. Officers Shoot Green Paint at People on Porch in Minneapolis

A video that has gone viral shows officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota shooting green paint at people who were standing on a porch. The video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times.

However, Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder told Heavy in a statement that the officers in the video are not members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Heavy asked which agency they are with and is waiting for a response. “Those are not our officers so I will be unable to comment,” he wrote.

The video starts with the voices of people on a porch watching as authorities in riot gear walk down the street. “Look at this. They just keep coming,” a woman says.

“Get inside. Go inside. Get inside. Get in your house now, let’s go,” the officers shout. Then one says, “Light ‘em up.”

Read more about that video here.


5. Protesters Take Down Man Wielding Bow & Arrow in Salt Lake City

A man showed up with a bow-and-arrow in the middle of a Salt Lake City protest, but the protesters surrounded and took him down, jumping on his car and, by some accounts, setting it on fire, according to viral videos of the incident.

The videos show the man pointing a bow-and-arrow at protesters, who then surround and jump on him. One man comes at the guy with a skateboard. People also throw things at him. According to KSTU-TV, the man claimed his name was Brandon McCormick and said he pulled up on scene to help officers because he had weapons. He gave an interview “blooded and bruised.” However, the TV station reported that citizen videos, which you can watch below, instead show him randomly pointing the bow-and-arrow at people.

“He’s shooting a f*cking bow,” says someone in one of the videos. “Get this motherf*cker, man,” says another person.

“Look at this. You call yourself an American,” one woman challenges the man in a viral video. “Yes, in America, all lives matter,” he responds, according to Fox 13. When he points the bow and arrow, the woman says “Don’t you dare!”

Read more about the video here.


6. Woman Hit by Officer’s Bike in Atlanta

A video has gone viral that shows a police officer appear to hit a woman with a bicycle during the unrest in Atlanta, Georgia. The video was posted to Twitter by a CBS 46 journalist named Brittany Miller.

“WATCH: I was recording when the first clash between police & protestors broke out in Atlanta,” Miller wrote on her Twitter page.

The woman in the video is named Ashley Simpson-Haley. She spoke to Law & Crime about the video. “As a black woman in America, I see the media and the attacks on black people and I’m tired of it,” she told the publication. “I went out there to peacefully protest,” she continued. “I made a sign and wanted to show up in numbers. We are tired of seeing black people being killed by cops and other racists.”

Read more about that video here.


7. Woman in Wheelchair in Clash at Minneapolis Target in the Midst of Looting

A wheelchair-bound woman named Jennifer became a meme when videos showed her wielding a knife and trying to block looters at a Target store in Minneapolis.

She then gets sprayed with a fire extinguisher, and a person says, “Jennifer, is that enough?” and “Jennifer, is there anything I can do for you, please?”

Read more about that video here.


8. ‘Looters’ Injure Dallas Man by ‘Stoning Him With Rocks,’ Twitter User Says

A viral video shows a man in Dallas, Texas being severely beaten by a crowd of “looters,” according to a correspondent for Blaze TV, who is in the city to give “Live Dallas Riot Updates,” according to his Twitter page. Be forewarned that the video is extremely disturbing.

Elijah Schaffer of Blaze TV posted the video and wrote, “BREAKING: man critically injured at Dallas riots. It appears he attempted to defend a shop with a large sword. Looters ran at him, then he charged rioters. They then beat him with a skateboard and stoned him with medium sized rocks. I called an Ambulance and it’s on the way.”

Asked about the incident by Heavy, Dallas police spokesman Carlos Almeida responded, “We are trying to obtain information, but have very little at this time. The victim was transported away before officers arrived. The call came in as a stabbing call at the House of Blues. I just learned he is in stable condition.” He then followed up with more details: “The victim went to the 2200 block of N. Lamar Street (House of Blues) carrying a machete to allegedly protect his neighborhood from protesters. The victim confronted protesters while holding the machete and was subsequently assaulted by the protesters. He was transported to an area hospital where he remains in stable condition. This remains an ongoing investigation.”

Read more about that video here.


9. People Attack Motorists’ Cars on San Jose Freeway

A viral video shows people attacking motorists’ cars on a highway in East San Jose, California as protests escalated into the Minneapolis death of George Floyd.

The mayor of San Jose appeared on CNN and called for the community to “muster our collective character.” According to CNN, the California protesters smashed car windows and halted traffic on the freeway.

The Facebook page Proud to be from East San Jose shared the video, writing, “East San Jose protesters vandalizing people’s cars on the freeway, trying to drag people out of their cars and blocking traffic.” The video shared by the site showed a man trying to smash the window of a vehicle with people inside it, and it showed another person pounding on a different car window.

Read more about that video here.


10. Police Shoot Photographer With Rubber Bullet in Minneapolis

Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shot an award-winning photographer from WCCO-TV with a rubber bullet and arrested him, according to the television station.

“BREAKING: A veteran WCCO photographer is under arrest, taken into custody by the State Patrol. Award-winning photographer Tom Aviles was struck by a rubber bullet,” WCCO-TV wrote on Twitter. Aviles recorded himself being shot by the rubber bullet. He was later released.

Learn more about that video here.


A Few Other Videos, for Good Measure

Other videos showed a Louis Vuitton store in Portland being looted (above) as thieves ran out with designer handbags. In Seattle, meanwhile, a woman was captured on video appearing to steal a full cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory:

Actor John Cusack posted a video alleging that police came at him with batons.

In Atlanta, protesters decided to spare the Waffle House.

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