A video that shows a number of demonstrators confronting looters during the ongoing protests ignited by the death of George Floyd is going viral. The 15-second TikTok clip shows white men breaking the windows of a storefront before black protesters come up to stop them, all set to Childish Gambino's 2018 song, "This is America."
Twitter user @asgrdicns shared the clip on Twitter, which currently has more than 450,000 retweets. It was also shared by filmmaker and activist Ava DuVernay, who lamented that she'd seen these actions "all across the country" after a week of protests, despite receiving little mainstream media coverage. In a follow-up Tweet, DuVernay criticized "the overall tone of national coverage lacks definitive reporting on the facts of the matter." She also advised people to "be sick of that."
I’m seeing this all across the country in video after video for a week. I wish more mainstream outlets would cover it. They won’t. They don’t. But we know. https://t.co/DbGXX9JslK— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 3, 2020
The protests first began on May 28, three days after Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed during his arrest in Minneapolis. Of the four officers present, one, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into the back of Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, killing him in the process. Chauvin was arrested on Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. However, those charges were upgraded to second-degree murder on Wednesday, which was the same day the other three officers were taken into custody. All four were fired from the police force on May 26.
On Monday, following four days of protests and riots, President Donald Trump announced plans for military deployment in major U.S. cities in response. The president promised "an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled," while threatening to "deploy the United States military, and quickly solve the problem" for state governors, who he'd previously criticized as "weak" in their responses. He also toyed with the idea of enacting the Insurrection Act of 1807 but hasn't done so as of Thursday.
Some business owners have responded by standing guard outside their businesses in order to prevent looting. The owner of Broadway Wine & Spirits in Santa Monica, California stood armed outside of his store on Sunday. He told CBS Los Angeles that "it was a good thing I had my customers and friends by my side because it was pretty scary."