On May 25, Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, held his knee to George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, even as Floyd, a Black man, pleaded “I can’t breathe.” Chauvin continued to kneel on his neck even after Floyd lost consciousness, and Floyd died soon after. Floyd’s death came on the heels of the shootings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery – two other high-profile incidents in which Black people were killed – and follows a long history of police violence against Black people. Since Floyd’s death, thousands of people have been protesting in cities across the United States.
As the situation became clear, the USA TODAY Graphics team jumped into action, working with partners from across our network, and members of our communities to map every protest we could find, producing perhaps the most comprehensive resources of its kind, all on deadline. We worked with dozens of community members who submitted evidence of local actions and formed partnerships to gain access to even more data. A true success in community service, collaborative reporting, data journalism and visual storytelling.
The hardest part was also the most rewarding: communicating about, tracking, verifying, and plotting thousands of protests submitted by various contributor and community members.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The harderst part was also the most rewarding: comunicating with, tracking, verifying, and plotting thousands of protests submitted by various contributor and community members.
What can others learn from this project?
Teamwork makes the dream work! Don’t be afraid to reach out to others who are working on the same story to combine forces, even independents, or those in other organizations.