COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Burned cars, communities rallying, smoke rising, hard workers scrubbing graffiti. That's just a taste of what local photographer Adam Schluter witnessed during the aftermath of the George Floyd Protests in Minneapolis.
Schluter lives in Coeur d'Alene and runs a wedding photography business. He traveled to Minneapolis for a destination wedding he had been hired to photograph.
Upon arrival, Schluter did not know what would happen just a few miles from his hotel that first night.
"I opened the blinds first thing in the morning and it was a war zone," he said
A war zone.
Buildings burning and armed national guard members moving in, even during the daylight hours after protests broke out.
But Schluter said that the destruction is the least of what he saw. He was awestruck by the amount of support he witnessed to help clean up the city.
"I think right now we're learning a lot about people and culture," he said. "These are all moments in history. Normally you don't get multiple moments in history a year."
As soon as Schluter realized what was happening down the street, he grabbed his camera and ran to the middle of the scene.
Instead of going home as planned, he stayed almost an extra week to capture photos and videos, ranging from peaceful protests, to interviews with police officers, to people cleaning up the streets.
Schluter said over the course of the week, he saw mostly peaceful protests, saying "99% of people were trying to do the right thing."
He saw protesters work together to stop looting in order to keep protests peaceful, saying the whole community came together for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"You don't have to agree with what everyone is saying. That's not the point. The point is just to be empathetic to people that have had difficult times and situations, and to try to come together during this time, not divide ourselves," Schluter said.