Low-flying military helicopters use wind-blowing ‘show of force’ tactic to break up protest crowds in Washington DC
- Several helicopters flew dangerously close to the ground to generate wind over crowds of protesters in Washington DC on Monday night
- Twitter footage showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts
- Many fled for cover as the winds kicked up debris and snapped tree branches
- The ‘show of force’ tactic is conducted with jets in combat zones
Low-flying military helicopters used a wind-blowing tactic to break up crowds in Washington, DC, on Monday night as protests over racial injustice and police brutality continued past city-wide curfew.
Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts as law enforcement’s new method of dispersion kicked up debris and snapped tree branches.
The ‘show of force’ tactic, often conducted with low flying jets in combat zones to scare away insurgents, proved relatively successful in this case as many people ran for cover.
Low-flying military helicopters used a wind-blowing tactic to break up crowds in Washington, DC, on Monday night as protests continued past city-wide curfew
Videos posted to Twitter showed demonstrators quaking beneath deafening gusts
Protesters are seen sheltering from debris kicked up by the helicopter winds
The aircraft included Army UH-72 Lakota helicopters and UH-60 Black Hawks, according to The Drive.
Several Twitter users pointed out how dangerous the choppers’ maneuvers were as they parked over groups of people at the same level as rooftops.
Some noted that flying at such a low altitude was likely illegal as it undeniably violated Federal Aviation Administration rules.
Law enforcement paired the tactic with heavy use of tear gas, pellets and chemical spray as protesters marched toward the White House well after the city’s 7pm curfew passed.
It came hours after President Donald Trump announced he was ramping up efforts to control protests and riots in the nation’s capital and threatened to send ‘thousands of thousands’ of soldiers into cities around the country.
A woman raises her fist in the air amid strong gusts of wind from a low-flying helicopter
Many of the protesters stood firm as the helicopters made several passes overhead
While Trump made the announcement from the Rose Garden, loud bangs rang out in the distance as police attempted to remove protesters from Lafayette Park.
Monday marked the seventh day of unrest in cities across the US following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest on Memorial Day.
While many of the demonstrations around the country have been peaceful protests by racially diverse crowds, others have descended into violence – despite curfews in many cities across the US and the deployment of thousands of National Guard members over the past week.