In 2014, two separate white-police-vs.-black-suspect altercations that resulted in the deaths of the blacks involved, became the focal points of a massive, nationwide protest movement alleging that white officers were routinely targeting African Americans with racial profiling and the unjustified use of force:
* On July 17, 2014, a 43-year-old African American named Eric Garner died in Staten Island, New York, after having resisted several white police officers' efforts to arrest him for illegally selling “loosies,” single cigarettes from packs without tax stamps. One of the officers at the scene put his arms around the much taller Garner's neck and took him down to the ground with a headlock/chokehold. While he was being subdued, Garner reportedly told the officers a number of times, "I can't breathe." A black NYPD sergeant supervised the entire altercation and never ordered that officer to release the hold. Garner subsequently suffered cardiac arrest in an ambulance that was taking him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead approximately an hour after the initial altercation. City medical examiners later concluded that he had died as a result of an interplay between the police officer’s hold and Garner’s multiple chronic infirmities, which included bronchial asthma, heart disease, obesity, and hypertensive cardiovascular disease. "I Can't Breathe" became a popular slogan of demonstrators who later protested Garner's death in rallies across the United States.
* On August 9, 2014, a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri shot and killed an 18-year-old black male named Michael Brown in an altercation that occurred just minutes after Brown had perpetrated a strong-armed robbery of a local convenience store. Brown's death set off a massive wave of protests and riots in Ferguson, and eventually grew into a national movement denouncing an alleged epidemic of police brutality against African Americans. The protesters claimed, falsely: (a) that Brown had been shot in the back while fleeing from the officer, and (b) that Brown at one point had raised his hands in the air submissively in an attempt to surrender but was shot anyway. Thus, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" became a popular slogan of the demonstrators who later protested Brown's death. When compelling ballistic, eyewitness, and forensic evidence eventually (in late October 2014) indicated that Brown in fact had assaulted the officer and had tried to steal his gun just prior to the fatal shooting, the protesters' outrage over the incident was undiminished. A grand jury announced on November 24, 2014 that it would not indict the officer who had shot Brown -- because of overwhelming evidence indicating that the shooting was done in self-defense. This announcement, too, touched off protests and riots.
Numerous left-wing organizations helped organize and promote the massive protest movement that followed these two deaths. Many of these groups received funding from George Soros's Open Society Foundations. As the Washington Times reported in January 2015, Soros “gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson,” groups that “helped mobilize protests in Ferguson, building grass-roots coalitions on the ground backed by a nationwide online and social media campaign.”
Added the Times: “Other Soros-funded groups made it their job to remotely monitor and exploit anything related to the incident that they could portray as a conservative misstep, and to develop academic research and editorials to disseminate to the news media to keep the story alive. The plethora of organizations involved not only shared Mr. Soros‘ funding, but they also fed off each other, using content and buzzwords developed by one organization on another’s website, referencing each other’s news columns and by creating a social media echo chamber of Facebook 'likes' and Twitter hashtags that dominated the mainstream media and personal online newsfeeds.”
Following is a list of some of the influential players that helped organize and promote the anti-police protest movement of 2014, in many instances bussing protesters into Ferguson. Those with an asterisk (*) after their names had received direct funding from Soros and his foundations: the Advancement Project*, the ANSWER Coalition, the Center for Community Change*, Colorlines*, the Don't Shoot Coalition, the Dream Defenders*, the Drug Policy Alliance*, Equal Justice USA*, the Gamaliel Foundation*, the Hands Up Coalition, Make the Road New York*, Millennial Activists United, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment* (the rebranded Missouri branch of ACORN), the NAACP*, Al Sharpton's National Action Network, the New Black Panther Party, the Occupy Wall Street Movement*, the Organization for Black Struggle*, People Improving Communities Through Organizing*, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America*, the Progressive Labor Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference (where Jeremiah Wright was a trustee), the Service Employees International Union, Sojourners*, and the U.S. Human Rights Network. Also supporting the protest movement were a host of national LGBT organizations, climate environmentalists, amnesty groups, pro-Palestinian organizations, and Christian social justice groups.