Studio 2.8, Seattle Protests, Black Lives Matter, May 30, 2020, Demonstrators Kneeling Before Police With Their Hands Behind Their Heads
This Studio 2.8 photography photograph was produced on the afternoon of Saturday May 30, 2020, in the rain, at the huge racial justice political demonstrations held there in response to the death of George Floyod in Minneapolis, MN, held in downtown Seattle, Washington on that day. This Studio 2.8 photography photo presents a group of demonstrators who knelt on their knees with their hands behind their heads, on the ground in front of Seattle Police officers who had just begun to hurl "flashbang" grenades and tear gas bombs into the crowd of demonstrators, demonstrators who had for hours before been peaceful demonstrators and marches who had marched for miles through the streets of downtown Seattle. It seems essential to understand that this moment occurred near the beginning of tensions between the crowd of thousands of demonstrators and the hoard of Seattle Police officers who had amassed on 5th Avenue at its intersection with Pine Street, inexplicably refusing to allow the demonstrators to continue marching. It seems apparent, and ironic, that if the Seattle Police had not blocked the marchers at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Pine Street, which caused thousands upon thousands of demonstrators to crowd into the area, crushingly close to each other, body on body, all that transpired later that day, and throughout many days that followed, might never have occurred.
Two of the men who are the focus of this Studio 2.8 Photography photo were African American. The two African American men were similarly dressed. Both of the African American men wore hoodies, and both wore face covers in compliance with the COVID-19 virus scare. Somehow though, these two men were not in any way anonymous. These two men knelt on the multi-colored brick pavement at the 5th Avenue and Pine Street intersection as though each were a talisman, as though both were also talesmen, summoned to that location at that time to represent African American men, representing every African American man in America, but men who were trying with every fiber of their body to demonstrate are not the supposed "threat" with which Police officers in the United States have ben notorious for treating them. Along with the two African American men, a European American man with long gray hair and gray beard had just removed his respirator, which dangled in front of him, as he also knelt, all of them pleading with the Seattle Police to stop, to calm down, and to stop attacking the demonstrators. The Seattle Police did not acknowledge the impassioned pleas of these men.