We’ve sent requests to police departments around the country for their incident reports, threat assessments, and any other records we can get surrounding the law enforcement response to the protests surging through American cities. While most of our requests are still processing, what we have received illustrates how remarkably unprepared some law enforcement was for demonstrations of this scope.
By April 29, 2015, the country had had over a week of Baltimore riots and national protests after the arrest, injury, and death of Freddie Gray. In Denver, bystanders captured the chants of marching citizens and police efforts to contain them, including the blast of pepper spray on the streets near the Capitol that caught a child in the face. But of the minutes comprised of mace and arrests, the DPD’s official footage only contains 25 shaky seconds, mostly of pavement.