A week ago, it would have been difficult to imagine any news story supplanting the pandemic as our national preoccupation. But then the video surfaced. For more than eight minutes, a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against the neck of a handcuffed Black man who would later die in police custody. The killing of George Floyd, and the delayed murder and manslaughter charges of officer Derek Chauvin, spurred protests first in the Twin Cities, then in other population hubs across the country.
Seattle’s full-throated outrage arrived in earnest Friday night. On Saturday, much of the local news coverage focused on the riotous elements of these demonstrations. Police cars were set on fire. Stores were looted. Rifles were intercepted. But over the weekend, thousands of protesters also gathered and marched peacefully to honor the memories of Floyd, of Ahmaud Arbery, and of Breonna Taylor, to express their discontent with a criminal justice system that has betrayed Black Americans time and time again. Photographer Jana Early’s images capture this powerful response which, just like measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, won’t be leaving anytime soon.