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She was peaceful. The demonstration was peaceful. Police still fractured her skull.
via PeaceloveandIt / Instagram

A disturbing image posted by LaToya Ratlieff on Instagram is visceral proof that peacefully protesting police brutality in the United States can get your skull cracked open by law enforcement.

On Sunday, May 31, Ratlieff was at a peaceful demonstration at Huizenga Plaza, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida organized by Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward and other local groups to protest the deaths of George Floyd and people of color at the hands of police.

An estimated 1,500 citizens attended the protest and they were told not to engage with the police and to remain calm at all costs. Organizers chose a couple of dozen marchers and designated them as peace keepers if tension should arise.


At 6:15 p.m., three hours after the protest began, marchers returned to the park for a final prayer before going home. As the demonstrators returned to a local parking garage, they were confronted by a riot squad.

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They tear gassed the protesters and shoved a kneeling woman, further agitating the crowd. Some protesters began throwing plastic water bottles at the police.

"While continuing to walk toward my car, the crowd began to become angrier and angrier," Ratclieff wrote on her Instagram post.

"Several of the protesters, including myself, began asking the other protesters to relax. And, we decided to kneel on the ground. While, we were kneeling, the officers continued to throw tear gas at us and even began pointing the guns at us," she added.

The gas began to suffocate Ratlieff. While coughing and gasping for air, an aid approached her and asked if she needed assistance. Within moments, she claims a police officer shot a foam rubber bullet at her head."It wasn't until I saw all the blood on the ground that it hit me," Ratlieff told the Miami Herald. "I've been shot."

If it wasn't for two aids that came to her assistance, Ratlieff says she would have continued to "lay on the ground while the cops watched me bleeding."

The incident was witnessed by a reporter from the Miami Herald who says a "black projectile hit Ratlieff in the forehead and ricocheted 50 feet down the street. Reporters were unable to locate the munition, but later returned to the scene and found cartridges labeled: '40 mm Foam Baton.'"

Foam Baton bullets fly at the extreme velocity of 325 feet per second.

Scott Ross, a photographer on site, says that the police shot people who were fleeing the situation in the back of the legs. "The tear gas is working. People are running away," Ross said. "Why are they shooting people in the back? It appeared punitive."

Ratlieff was taken to the hospital where she was treated for a fractured eye socket.

"I'm okay. My eye will heal. I was able to come home," she wrote on Instagram. "But, George Floyd and many others did not."

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


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