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E 11-2020        November 2-9th, 2020

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Environment        Election          Racial Justice         Arts + Culture        Police Brutality        Photo      


Gestures of Peace, Gestures of War

By Zach Lowry, Contributing Photographer

George Floyd’s death sparked global outrage after his plea for air was ignored by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck for over eight minutes and forty-six seconds.

“I can’t breathe,” he gasped between breaths. Bystanders documented his death as they stood in the horror as the policeman would not shift his weight off of Floyd’s body.

Organizations like Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives are leading protests, demanding California state and respective city officials recognize the systemic racism that has caused the disproportionate killings of black men and women — specifically, but not limited to, the racism that is found in the state’s police departments. Between 2016 and 2018, California police killed a total of 475 people by use of a firearm or an alternative method. During that time, black Californians represented 6.5 percent of the state’s population, meaning 15.2 percent of the community was killed by police, according to data found by CalMatters.

These images were captured during various protests and community activations across California from June-July 2020. I spent eight weeks traveling up and down the state to better understand the depth of the revolution and how communities — both large and small, both rural and urban — were organizing, protesting, and changing. I wish to present these images not as an encapsulation of a singular moment, feeling, or period in time, but as evidence of a dynamic experience in constant evolution and revolution.

            To view the full series, go to http://www.zachlowry.work/