BEHIND THE SKIRMISH LINE follows medics from the Falck Alameda County tactical emergency medical services (TEMS) team on the night of the major George Floyd protest in downtown

Oakland, CA on May 29, 2020.

Written and photographed by Derek O. Hanley,

this visceral photo essay takes you behind police lines

to witness the fallout when protests turn violent

and when demonstrations turn to looting. 


Paramedic Chris getting his equipment on.

Photo by Derek O. Hanley

Taking readers into areas restricted to the public, BEHIND THE SKIRMISH LINE starts your journey in the law enforcement staging zone where the brave team of medics and doctors are readying their supplies and protective equipment.

See the moments of concern, boredom, and levity which turned out to be the calm before the storm. 


EMT Richard and EMT Colleen gearing up.

Photo by Derek O. Hanley


The perspective of the TEMS medics during the protest in downtown Oakland. 

Photo by Derek O. Hanley

There ended up being more than 7500 people who showed up to the demonstration. After the sun went down, things became increasingly violent, necessitating the TEMS medics to intervene to help the wounded, which included police, demonstrators, and even those who were looting. This was the night where two federal security officers were shot during the protest, pushing the TEMS team to their limits

to try to save their lives; 


takes you there with them.


"Phenomenal photography capturing a challenging time in our history and demonstrating the bravery and service of the emergency medical services personnel. Derek Hanley did an outstanding job bringing us to the front lines!"

Nick Glomb, MD

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