“DE-ESCALATE!,” tells the story of an intense protest that happened after Rayshard Brooks, a black driver was killed by a white Atlanta police officer in June 2020, during the summer of social justice spurred by the death of George Floyd. Hundreds of protesters, who had gathered at site of Brooks’s death, shut down the nearby Downtown Connector, one of the busiest interstates in Atlanta. A small group of Georgia State Troopers arrived and had to figure out how to safely clear the road. What followed was a night of intense confrontations between demonstrators and police – and between the troopers themselves. “DE-ESCALATE!” reconstructs that night. with footage from Atlanta Journal-Constitution videographer Ryon Horne and AJC photographs, along with interviews and documents obtained through the Georgia Open Records Act.
‘De-Escalate’ demonstrated the power of remarkable access, as well as consequential and essential reporting, allowing viewers to see behind the curtain during a tense breaking news situation.