Black Lives Matter: Satellite snaps Washington DC protests and BLM sign from space

The satellites photos reveal a yellow “Black Lives Matter” sign painted onto 16th Street NW, recently renamed to Black Lives Matter Plaza, just north of the White House. The image was snapped from space on June 7 by a satellite operated by the San Francisco-based company Planet. You can see directly to the right of the sign Lafayette Square and the White House, home of the US President Donald Trump.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) sign was painted on 16th Street in response to the May 25 death of George Floyd, 46, who was being arrested by Minneapolis police.

Mr Floyd died after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Four of the police officers involved in the arrest have been fired and charged over Mr Floyd’s death.

The incident sparked widespread civil unrest and protests across America and the globe against police brutality and racism.


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The satellite operator Planet said: “A Planet Skysat captured the recently completed mural painted on a portion of 16th Street NW outside of the White House on June 7, 2020.

“The mural was completed as a show of support with Americans protesting brutality.”

The image is shown at two-times the satellite’s resolution.

A similar photo of the BLM mural was snapped by the company’s satellite on June 5 and shared on Twitter.

A Planet Skysat captured the recently completed mural


Parts of the photo are obscured by clouds but the image prompted many impassioned responses and tweets.

One person said: “Powerful message! Wake up America! Register to vote then vote!”

Another person tweeted: “This made me burst into tears. In a good way. Maybe there is hope for our society after all.”

A third person said: No lives matter until black lives matter!”

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The BLM protests were also photographed by satellite operator Maxar Technologies.

The company tweeted on June 6 a statement from CEO Dan Jablonsky: “Maxar collected this high-res image of today’s protests in Wash, DC, calling attention to the long history of racial injustice in our nation.

“We’re guided by our values and driven by a core belief that Earth Intelligence brings transparency for a better world.”

In a similar move, Apple has updated its Apple Maps satellite views of the US capital to include the mural.

Apple CEO Tim Cook published an open letter last week, calling on his company to fight against racism.

He said: “To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored.

“Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines. To the Black community – we see you. You matter and your lives matter.”

Google Maps and Bing Maps have also been updated to reflect the change in name of 16th Street to Black Lives Matter Plaza.

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