We Tracked What Happens to Police After They Use Force on Protesters

These 68 videos show clear apparent instances of police officers escalating violence during protests. Here’s what we learned about each case.

This story contains images of police brutality.
ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

As protests erupted around the country in late May 2020 in response to the killing in police custody of George Floyd, police departments seemed to respond with more violence. In the ensuing weeks, hundreds of videos of police interactions with protesters surfaced on Twitter and other social media sites, often drawing outrage and, in some cases, swift disciplinary and legal action.

ProPublica wanted to find out what happens after these moments are caught on tape. We culled hundreds of videos to find those with the clearest examples of officers apparently using a disproportionate level of force against protesters and reached out to 40 law enforcement agencies about the 68 incidents below. For each incident, we inquired about any disciplinary action, investigations and whether the department would disclose the officer or officers involved.

These cases show the complexity and difficulty of investigating and disciplining police officers for alleged misconduct, even when actions were captured on video.

After nearly a year, we are publishing a final update on the cases. Departments have disclosed discipline for 10 officers. In 17 cases that we followed, the departments have decided not to discipline the officers or could not identify them. Criminal charges are also pending against 11 officers, including some who have already faced internal discipline.

Here’s what we learned about each case. | Related: Few Cops We Found Using Force on George Floyd Protesters Are Known to Have Faced Discipline →

Search for Police Department, Incident Details or Location
Filter by Agency
CloseCommentCreative CommonsDonateEmailFacebookMobilePhonePodcastPrintRSSSearchSearchTwitterWhatsApp