Second Place Photojournalism II – Picture Story/Series
Second Place Photojournalism II – Picture Story/Series
Western Kentucky University
Story Summary: A crowd of over 3,000 gather in downtown Louisville before slowly walking to Jefferson Square Park. Many remain peaceful while others gather around the Louisville courthouse. Some yell, others break windows, others tear down a Kentucky state flag from a pole, throw it on the ground and burn it. A few weeks later, a crowd gathers two miles away from the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, home of Governor Brian Kemp. Cars drive by slowly, people march, then walk closer to the mansion with a mission to wake up the affluent neighborhood. One person in the crowd yells over a microphone, “Wake up America, Black Lives Matter,” before they are met with sheriffs and police officers, many of whom are African-American. A few of the people in the rowdy crowd call a black police officer guarding the mansion a coon and some urge the younger black officers to join them. The police allow the crowd to protest, even with the crowd becoming intensely louder past midnight. One protestor yell’s at the officers, “Why do you think people are out here at 1 o’clock in the morning. We want to stop dying in the fucking streets. So y’all can go home if we just stop dying in the streets, damn.” Much of the anger in Louisville came from the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in this Kentucky city, while the unrest in Atlanta was a result of the police shootings of Rayshard Brooks and neighborhood shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Though two of these shootings happened earlier in 2020, it was the video footage showing George Floyd dying under the knee of Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, that reopened these wounds in Kentucky and Georgia, as well as the rest of the country.
First Caption: Dakota Walton, 7, along with her father, visited the Wendy’s location where the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks took place, shot by a police officer. The location would turn into a location of protest for several weeks. Atlanta rapper Lil Baby used it as a b
A protestor yells in anger on June 14, 2020, in response to the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks at the hands of an Atlanta police officer outside of a Wendy’s in Atlanta, Ga. Protesters burned down the Wendy's location within 24 hours of Brook’s death.
A protestor (center) paces with a uzi submachine gun as protestors use vehicles to block off a busy intersection in Atlanta, Ga on June 16, 2020. This followed within days of the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks outside of a Wendy’s by Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe. “I’m a clear the block. They not coming down here. I’m not going to kill my brother. I’m not going to hurt my sister. Cracker, I’m coming for your ass,” the gun-wielding protester said.
Two nights after the death of Rayshard Brooks, protestors stormed the intersection of Pryor Avenue on June 14, 2020. Without any Atlanta police in sight, a few in the crowd stormed the gas station next door to the Wendy’s with intentions to loot, but another group of people persuaded the crowd to not follow through with it. Instead, a few protesters decided to loot at the Lenox Square, while some went back home and others stayed through the night to protest.
A protester throws firecrackers inside the old courthouse in downtown Louisville, Ky on May 29th, 2020. People surrounded the building and threw rocks and fireworks into the building before Louisville police threw tear gas to disperse the crowd. Hundreds surrounded the courthouse and the Louisville Police Department headquarters while throwing firecrackers, rocks and bottles through the windows. The community in Louisville followed up with protesting after the initial uprising in Minneapolis in response to George Floyd’s death. Louisville already had their own ongoing issue with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, but the tension during the last week of May 2020 led to intense protest and rioting in the city.
Protestors lie down in silence at the Atlanta Police Department headquarters in downtown Atlanta on June 17, 2020, protesting the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, and in solidarity of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
In the middle of the night on June 18, 2020, protestors drove to the Georgia Governor’s Mansion, home of Governor Brian Kemp, to protest the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. Protestors yelled at local sheriffs and police before leaving an hour later.
“This ain’t Call of Duty anymore; every time you kill one of our own, we're going to make some noise,” yelled a protestor, who broke down in tears with a fist in the air in memory of Rayshard Brooks on June 18, 2020. The shooting death of Brooks at the hands of an Atlanta police officer at a Wendy’s led to a massive local protest. For a few weeks this location was turned into a peace center before it was eventually blocked off to prevent further protest activity.
Louisville Police guard a street in downtown Louisville on May 29th, 2020. Police would soon throw tear gas into the crowds to disperse the protestors.
Protestors do an interview with a French news station two nights after the death of Rayshard Brooks. “All of us out here. You want to throw us up under the jail. You want to shoot somebody ‘cause they went to sleep. What if we run up on your ass and shoot your ass? Y’all going to keep shooting us? Fuck looting, we going to just start straight shooting,” one of the protestors said.
Nechell Reynolds hugs a family member during the funeral of David McAtee in Louisville, Ky., on June 13, 2020. McAtee died when a stray bullet from a Kentucky National Guard officer hit David McAtee chest during curfew in Louisville’s West End. "This one hurts, he didn't even know what was going on," Reynolds said.
Protesters duck for cover under a sign as Louisville police use tear gas to disperse protests in downtown Louisville on May 29th, 2020. The protest was sparked by the death of George Floyd and the officer-involved shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
A protester lights his blunt as an American flag is burned on the ground in downtown Atlanta on June 2, 2020.
Employees work in the middle of the night to pick up and clean damage done to the Manhattan Grill in downtown Louisville on May 29th, 2020. One of the managers of the restaurant walked in to find two shattered windows. “What’s the reason for this?” the manager said. “Both windows and the door, look at this!”
Rival gang members hold up opposing gang flags tied together in solidarity during massive protests in downtown Atlanta after the death of George Floyd on June 3, 2020. The protest of Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery would soon become a memory and life moved on. Black people wondered when the story would happen again, until it did in Kenosha a little over two months later.