Americans who have taken to the streets to protest the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed black people – and the journalists handling these protests – are now taking to social media to fight the misconception that rubber bullets are small, harmless things.
Police have fired rubber bullets at crowds in cities across the United States, bleeding and injuring protesters, reporters and even bystanders.
Several people have now posted photos of the rubber bullets they hit or were left behind, as well as snapshots of their injuries, which range from bruising to permanent blindness.
Shocking: Protesters and journalists share photos of rubber bullets on Tiwtter
Seriously, the images combat the misconception that rubber bullets are small, harmless things
Scary: While they are meant to be less deadly than regular bullets, they are by no means harmless and can cause serious injury
Several protesters – including celebrities like Halsey and Matt McGorry – have been hit with rubber bullets in the past week. Some of the bullets also hit non-participants in the protests, as did journalists who reported on them.
Rubber bullets are rubber or rubber-coated projectiles that can be fired from riot guns or regular cannons.
While they are intended to be less deadly than regular bullets, they are by no means harmless and can cause serious injury.
And for those in doubt, several Americans posted photos of the rubber bullets the police use on the spot.
The shocking images show that the bullets are quite large, with the smallest about the length of an adult’s thumb and almost as large in circumference.
Larger projectiles, called foam sticks, can be an inch and a half long.
Yikes … TV presenter Tamara Dhia shared a photo of the large rubber bullet she found
“For anyone who’s wondering what a rubber bullet looks like. This was found last night by one of our photographers after the downtown protest, ‘wrote UT Fox13’s Spencer Joseph
Updates: Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles, was hit in the neck while reporting on the protests in Long Beach
Twitter applications share bullets they find on the ground after protests, as well as bullets that actually hit them.
“For anyone who’s wondering what a rubber bullet looks like. This was found last night by one of our photographers after the protest in the city, ‘wrote UT Fox13 reporter Spencer Joseph while sharing a photo.
The images have shocked and shocked social media users.
“That’s a ridiculously large bullet, but frankly, it should be illegal for an officer to shoot a bullet at an unarmed civilian,” wrote one.
“Wooooow certainly didn’t think it looked like this!” wrote another.
Many social media users are especially baffled that the rubber bullets are fired at face height, punching people right in the head, mouth, nose and eyes.
A protester shares a photo of his injury and says a journalist was shot right behind him
Peaceful: protesters share photos of injuries sustained even sitting on the floor with hands in the air
Shot: CBS sound engineer John Marschitz was hit when Minneapolis police shot directly at the press
Reporting: 12 News reporter Josh Saunders from Phoenix, Arizona, was hit in the left thigh and called it “extremely painful.” Later, he shared a photo of a large bloody bruise
That was not the intended use: rubber bullets were developed by the British in 1970 and originally aimed at the ground. They were supposed to bounce and hit crowds with much lower force.
But now that the police are shooting these projectiles directly into the crowd, many are seriously injured.
Among them is 12 news reporter Josh Saunders from Phoenix, Arizona, who was hit in the left thigh and called it “extremely painful.” Later, he shared a photo of a large bloody bruise.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, a reporter for KPCC in Los Angeles, was hit in the neck while reporting on the protests in Long Beach.
In one of the most horrifying cases, Linda Tirado, a 37-year-old Nashville journalist who took photos in Minneapolis, was immediately struck by a rubber bullet on Friday.
Horrifying: Linda Tirado, a 37-year-old Nashville journalist who took photos in Minneapolis, was directly struck by a rubber bullet on Friday
Silencing journalists: Another photojournalist was spared physical injuries, but his camera was broken by a rubber bullet shot into the crowd
The freelance writer and author told DailyMail.com, “Protesters said police were getting tear gas. I put on my goggles and respirator.
“It was quite chaotic – people were going in all directions. Then I kind of felt my face explode. ‘
The mother of two young girls added, “I raised my hands and yelled,” I’m a press, I’m a press. ” ‘
With her eyes filled with blood, protesters acted as my eyes when I couldn’t see past the blood and swelling “and took her to the hospital.
“I had surgery 20 minutes later,” she told DailyMail.com after returning from the hospital on Saturday. “I woke up this morning with an eye patch on.”
Doctors have told her that she will have scars on her face and will be permanently blind in one eye, although she hopes she can gain the ability to see light and shadows through the damaged eye in the future.
Damage: Amara Green says she protested peacefully in Minneapolis when hit in the face, and now she may need multiple surgeries to fix her lip and chin
Hospitalized: Brad Levi Ayala, a 16-year-old “ standing still on a hill ” in Austin, Texas, when hit in the head and in pain
Photojournalist Andre Mercharles, 27, said The cut about his own experiences during the protests.
“At first it hurts in a concentrated area, but then the swelling makes the pain worse,” he said.
“When you hear the word ‘rubber’, you feel like, ‘Um, it’s going to bounce and you might be in a little bit of pain. “But I’ve been hit by baseball before and this is 100 times worse.
Many people who have been shot with bullets have rushed to the hospital, and a few turn to GoFundMe to pay their bills.
Amara Green says she protested peacefully in Minneapolis when she got hit in the face and now she needs multiple surgeries to fix her lip and chin.
Brad Levi Ayala, a 16-year-old “quiet on a hill” in Austin, Texas, when he got hit in the head and was in pain.
In fact, GoFundMe currently has dozens of fundraisers for rubber bullet victims.