On the 23ed of September, the second night of Breonna Taylor protests took to the streets hot and heavy. Bullhorns in siren mode combined with the sound of folks beating on metal signs to create a deafening battlefield din. This combined with skilled and powerful bike blocs both in front of and behind the protests served to deter all but a few arrests.
The protests began with a march from the Dept of Justice to the White House, and a rally there was joined by a second group of well-equipped protesters in bloc formation. Chants often replaced the well-known “shut it down” with “burn it down” and this was widely reported and was audible on at least one video posted to Twitter. From there marchers headed north, then through Dupont and up to the wealthy dining area at Adams-Morgan, once a lively Latino neighborhood.
There are unconfirmed reports of tables turned over and a broken window in Adams-Morgan, though the author of this story never heard the sound of a heavy safety glass window being smashed. Baseball bats or hammers breaking this kind of glass often sound like a bar throwing out all their beer bottles at the end of the night, no such sound was audible from the front bike bloc. In all fairness the whole march was extremely loud overall. It is confirmed that the restaurant where an upscale patron SPIT on a protester in the middle of the COVID pandemic is in that row of restaurants however. Much later, the Starbucks in Dupont Circle received a broken window, this confirmed by video posted to Twitter and showing only the window and no protesters.
WTOP News reported that every time cops tried to approach the main march to make arrests, bikers blocked them out. Well, cop bikers tend not to be the most skilled riders and their steeds are heaby clunkers, so they tend to do poorly in a joust against opposing bike cavalry. At any rate the bike cops (normally among the most dangerous units) were heavily outnumbered (as well as outridden and outmaneuvered) by the bike cavalry attached to both the front and the back of the march.
There was one ugly and dangerous incident that looked like a kettle closing up at 14th and Harvard, where the march went right to riot cops setting a line across 14th st. As the march approached 14th st on Harvard, this line of armored “turtle cops” suddenly started shifting position towards blocking Harvard. This looked like the closing of a kettle but appears to have instead had two objectives: make one or more targetted arrests, and demonstrate the ability to trap protesters in a kettle.
Minutes earlier, many police vans screamed through nearby streets, probably positioning those riot cops for the trap. Why the march went right to the trap is unknown. Maybe someone steered them to it, maybe the march just took too long to get to 14th st. Bike cops had been unable to move in on protesters over the opposition of that powerful bike bloc after the pass through Adams-Morgan, so MPD tried something else. They resorted to what one Twitter poster called the most heavily armored cops they had seen since the start of the George Floyd protests back in May. Since a kettle and mass arrest followed by mostly dropped charges ends with Trump and Bowser complaining to the US Attorney’s office, targetted arrests have been the recent pattern with Sep 23 no exception. At least three arrests in total have been reported.
Background: On the 23ed of September, the grand jury investigating the police murder of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY returned no indictments except of one cop for “wanton endangerment” reportedly over a bullet that entered a neighbor’s unit. Protesters took to the streets nationwide. In Lousiville itself, two cops were SHOT, shooter captured. News reports as of 11PM had no idea whether the shooter participated in protests or not. Certainly though if Breonna Taylor had not been shot, these two cops would not have been shot either.
Heavily armored riot cops guard a McDonald’s. A similar unit guarded a Suntrust Bank at 18th and Columbia(still from Kate Cantrell video)
Police vans scream through the streets minutes before riot cops set what looked like a kettle attempt across 14th st
Riot cops blocking a street (still from Kate Cantrelll video) this looks like the 14th st fake kettle. Footage of that in author’s camera was corrupted beyond recovery
Smashed window at Dupont Circle Starbucks (Still from Rawsmedia video)