I can’t breathe!! Don’t kill me!!
That was the anguished cry from George Floyd as he was pinned to the ground with the knee of a white police officer pressed into the back of his neck.
George Floyd would later die in police custody.
This incident in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is just the latest in a series of confrontations between unarmed black males and white police officers ending in the death of black males.
The deaths appear to be so senseless and avoidable that I am beginning to wonder if those police officers are sane.
I find their actions total baffling, even in a society where racism is still, let’s say, too prevalent.
Just think about it!
In today’s world where every man and his dog has a smartphone with camera ready to capture and post videos to social media platforms and police officers are equipped with body cameras, police officers are still shooting unarmed suspects and using unnecessary and excessive force to apprehend black suspects in full view of scores of witnesses!
They cannot be sane! They must be ‘mental’.
Or is it that they believe the lives of blacks males are so expendable and racism is so entrenched that there will be no consequences for their actions?
I would not blame them for thinking there will be no consequences for their actions, as it is not uncommon for officers to be exonerated for shooting unarmed black males even when cell phone and body cam footage shows the officers’ lives were never in danger!
I am still going with the ‘mental’ angle as common sense would dictate officers proceed with extreme caution in the aftermath of scores of “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in major cities.
These police officers must be mental, as normal people would approach black suspects with kid’s gloves after extensive media coverage of deadly confrontations between white officers and black men.
As usual, whenever people gather to protest and demonstrate for just causes, there is always an opportunity for people with ulterior motives to infiltrate and exploit the movement.
This is seen in the nightly violence in Minneapolis, with the senseless looting and burning of businesses. The violence does not advance the objective of the protest, but rather divert attention from the objective towards the criminal destructive behaviour.
Community leaders and activists must move to bring the situation under control, as the destruction of public and private property simply feeds into the stereotypical narrative of violent, out of control blacks.
They need to emulate the actions of Dr. Martin Luther King and more recently, Michelle Obama who said “when they go low, we go high”.
I don’t pretend to understand race relationship in the USA, but the time appears to be long pass for deep nationwide introspection into the relationship between law enforcement and black communities.
Genuine attempts must be made to improve the relationship.
Lawyers and politicians must be prevented from hijacking the death of George Floyd to advance their professional and political careers.
The demonstrators must focus on bringing those responsible for George Floyd’s death to justice and achieving fundamental improvements in race relations.
All parties must be honest is assessing the behaviour, conditions and circumstances that have led to the toxicity in relationship between white police officers, black communities in general and black men in particular.
From where I sit, it appears the best defence the police officers involved can mount is…..temporary insanity!!