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Catalog Data

Photograph by:
Tommy Oliver, American, born 1984  Search this
Subject of:
Unidentified Man or Men  Search this
Unidentified Woman or Women  Search this
George Perry Floyd Jr., American, 1973 - 2020  Search this
Culver City Police Department, American, founded 1917  Search this
H x W: 4480 pixels × 6720 pixels
File size: 172.3 MB
digital images
digital media - born digital
Place captured:
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
May 31, 2020
Photographer Tommy Oliver is an award-winning producer and cinematographer in television and film. Best known for his 2020 documentary 40 Years a Prisoner on HBO, his docuseries Black Love (2017–2020) on OWN, and his feature film The Perfect Guy (2015), Oliver challenges audiences to question their assumptions about race, gender, and family. The film Kinyarwanda (2011), which Oliver co-produced, weaves together narratives of resilience during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It won the Sundance Film Festival’s award for World Cinema Drama and was recognized as one of the top 10 films of 2011. This photograph is part of a broader portfolio of images taken during Black Lives Matter rallies in Los Angeles between May 31 and June 14, 2020.
A digital, color image of a line of police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest on Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, California. The image was taken by Tommy Oliver during the protests that followed the death of George Floyd. The eight police officers are standing with their backs to the viewer, facing the protesters, forming a line across the street. Behind the officers are three motorcycles. Most of the officers are depicted wearing navy blue uniforms and black police protective equipment: riot helmets with face visors and tactical vests. The officer at the center is wearing a white motorcycle helmet and has a black backpack strapped to his back with illegible white text at the top and the numbers [3641 3641] printed in white text below. Some of the police officers have white text on the back of their vests that reads [POLICE]. There is a Culver City Police Department patch on the proper right arm of the police officer on the far left. Facing the officers, is a large crowd of protesters, many of whom are wearing face masks or other types of protective face coverings and holding protest signs above their heads. Some of the fully and partially visible signs at the center of the crowd have handwritten text that reads [REST IN / POWER / GEORGE FLOYD / 1973[?] – 2020[?], [END POLI[CE?] / BRUTALI[TY?]], [Silence / IS / Betrayal[underlined] / #BLACKLIVESMATTER], [NO JUSTICE / NO PEACE], [THE / SYSTEM / IS RACIST], and a bright orange sign that reads [YOUR / Silence will not / [---?]]. Fully visible signs on the right reads, [BLACK / LIVES / MATTER] and [JUSTICE FOR / George Floyd], [DISARM / HATE] and [WE ARE / NOT FREE / UNTIL WE / ARE ALL / EQUAL!]. Other fully visible signs on the left read [STOP COP LYNCHINGS], and [I CAN’T BREATHE]. The protesters are gathered on a street next to a white building on the left with balconies. In the background on the right are street signs, leafy trees, palm trees, and traffic signals. A street sign below a traffic light on the far right reads [Ocean].
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Justice  Search this
Photography  Search this
Police brutality  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Resistance  Search this
U.S. History, 2001-  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Tommy and Codie Oliver
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Tommy Oliver
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Media Arts-Photography
Black Lives Matter
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture