two men protesting in street shot by police with nonlethal rounds


Viral TikTok shows police shooting at 2 peaceful bystanders

Here's what we know about the situation.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 2, 2020

In a viral TikTok video posted Monday night, Los Angeles police shoot two peaceful bystanders, seemingly unprovoked. The two men were in an empty street, about half a block away from a line of armed police. The officers shot them with what appear to be less-than-lethal “rubber” bullets—large plastic projectiles that can cause serious injuries and in some cases, death.

The original TikTok came from someone watching nearby, Jackson Monroe. It’s been viewed 3 million times on TikTok and 5 million times on Twitter, showing handheld footage of two men standing in the street. “They’re just having a normal conversation, while at least a hundred cops are just staring at them,” says Monroe in the voiceover. (The video only shows about a dozen officers.)

“Oh, they’re moving forward,” the voiceover continues, referring to the police. The two men kept standing still and were then shot by the police, doubling over in pain. It’s unclear whether their choice to stand in the street was an act of peaceful protest, or if they were just watching.

In a later video, Monroe held up a projectile that he said was used in the altercation. These bullets, also known as baton rounds, have injured many protesters, bystanders, and journalists during the George Floyd protests.

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*First Published: Jun 2, 2020, 9:19 am CDT