All over America, #BlackLivesMatter protests are happening following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died after a white police officer pinned his knee against his neck for over 8 minutes.
Despite spending long hours at their shifts at the hospital amid COVID-19, nurses and healthcare workers are stepping up and joining the protests happening in their areas. They are going straight from their shifts with medical supplies to help anyone who may be injured during the protests. A video posted on twitter by Joshua Potash, shows several healthcare workers at a protest in Minneapolis, equipped with medial supplies "o help treat people hit with tear gas and rubber bullets." His tweet reads: "This is amazing."
Not all protests have gotten violent, but when they have healthcare workers are again on the frontlines treating the injures protestors.
In an interview with CBS News affiliate WCCO, a Minneapolis nurse said police stormed a medical tent and opened fire with rubber bullets while she was treating a man bleeding badly from a rubber bullet wound.
"I was trying to look at the wound and they were shooting at us," the nurse, who did not share her name, said in the video. The wounded man tried to protect her, she said, but eventually, she decided to leave. "I told him I wouldn't leave him, but I did. I feel so bad. They were shooting. I was scared," she recounted through tears.
Other nurses have also stepped up to make sure people know that they are offering free medical help for anyone injured in the protests.
"I am a licensed nurse with an organized group of frontline medics," tweeted one Los Angeles-based medical worker. "We are all healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, EMTs) and we provide safe spaces of first aid care for anyone who might have minor injuries related to police protest. We prioritize care for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks."
In addition to this, the Minnesota Nurses Association, issued a statement after Floyd's death saying:
Nurses care for all patients, regardless of their gender, race, religion, or another status. We expect the same from the police. Unfortunately, nurses continue to see the devastating effects of systematic racism and oppression targeting people of color in our communities. We demand justice for George Floyd and a stop to the unnecessary death of black men at the hands of those who should protect them.