On May 25, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, was killed by the Minneapolis Police. Officer Derek Chauvin, a white police officer with over a dozen complaints for brutality during the course of his career, kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — even though Floyd was lying face down on the ground and hand-cuffed from behind. Officer Thomas K. Lane held Floyd’s legs down and Officer J. Alexander Keung held his back. The other arresting officer, Tou Thao, stood by and watched.
Floyd protested that he could not breathe. Under the circumstances, it is clear that Floyd posed no threat to anyone. Officer Chauvin continued kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 2 minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd had become unresponsive. When bystanders pleaded on Floyd’s behalf, they were threatened with being pepper-sprayed. Floyd was tortured to death. This was a lynching of a black man, pure and simple.
Following this horrific incident Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. are just a few cities where protests, riots, and looting has occurred within the last few days, with civil unrest erupting across America. In Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District, the site of a 1921 massacre of black people that left some 300 dead, protesters blocked intersections and chanted the name of Terence Crutcher, a black man killed by a police officer in 2016.
Police have arrested nearly 1,400 people in 17 US cities as protests continue over the death of George Floyd, according to the Associated Press news agency.The actual number is likely higher as protests continue.Some observers have rushed to judge the protesters, among them Donald Trump, highlighting the irrationality of looting and burning buildings in their own neghbourhoods, but in the words of Martin Luther King " a riot is simply the cry of the unheard"and where there is oppression there will be resistance.I support the uprising in Minneapolis, the intifada of people subjected to an ongoing, vicious, and structural racism. inheriting a lengthy and rich tradition of Black restance, organizing and struggle.
Many people around the world are also condemning this latest killing and are showing solidarity with Mr Floyd, his family and the entire black community, the demonstrations have morphed into wider anger over police killings of black men, with thousands of protesters gatherering in Berlin, London and Toronto and in cities across the US to demonstrate against police brutality, racial injustice and decrying years of deaths at police hands. .
Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the American embassy in Berlin with banners sporting slogans like "Black Lives Matter"” “No justice no peace” and “I can’t breathe”.
“I can’t breathe” were some of George Floyd’s last words, heard in the footage of his death. Chauvin with over a dozen complaints for brutality during the course of his career, has since been charged with third degree murder..
The calls against racial injustice were also heard today in the London at Trafalgar Square, partly to show solidarity with Floyd but also to point that the UK isn’t innocent when it comes to racism. It is crucial that we in the UK recognise that we are not immune from this disease of state-sanctioned murder. Black people disproportionately suffer from police use of force in the UK.
“We’re doing this because we’re angry. We feel like our voices haven’t been heard,” said one protester. Some London protestors, crowded together despite social distancing restrictions, holding signs reading ' Justice for George' and ' Rest in Power.'
Following the earlier killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and after the African American unarmed teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, the epidemic of police violence against people of color in the US captured national and global attention, for a time.
When Brown was killed, the words of Eric Garner, gasping “I can't breathe” as he was crushed by officers in New York City a month earlier, were still echoing in the national conversation. Protests rose up in Ferguson, a new movement for racial justice grew under the banner of Black Lives Matter and talk of systemic reform filled the air.
Six years have passed which has seen police-involved shootings of unarmed people of color further fuel efforts to increase accountability of public safety officials and better understand the needs of the communities they are meant to serve.And as national protests spread anew in reaction to the state violence inflicted on black people by the police, people are asking what has changed and are actively resisting with the grief , anger trauma reaching boiling point. Black men are still more likely to die by police violence than white men. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, over the course of a lifetime, black men face a one in 1,000 risk of being killed during an encounter with police, a rate much higher than that of white men. This is the kind of unequal and brutal treatment African Americans can expect from police who are potentially in mortal danger every time they happen to get near to a police officer,
Because of the recent death people are standing up for their brothers and sisters across America and the world. They are simply saying enough to a system which has persecution and inequality hard wired into it.
It is crucial that we show our solidarity and support, The Minnesota Freedom Fund https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/ is one that has been asking for it, while the following black-led organisations and bail funds also deserve and require support right now. blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#intbail & blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#intvictims
We are all one, Power to the People, I can understand the undertows of rage and disbelief, our tears cannot be simply washed away. We must demand that all four officers be charged in the murder of George Floyd and that the charges against all four include murder one. They should all spend the rest of their lives behind bars. We must demand justice for George Floyd and all victims of racist police brutality. Black Lives Matter. People are rightfully outraged and disgusted. No one should lose their lives by the hands of those charged with protection, we must never give up on demanding a system where all lives can live and thrive. Those of us who believe in freedom will not rest until it comes. Rest in Power George Floyd.
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