In response to the actions by the Minneapolis police officer that led to the death of George Floyd, I say this: the actions of that police officer were horrific and abhorrent, and yes, I think he should be charged with second-degree murder.
As has been said by others, if I did that to anyone else, I would be on trial and would most likely go to jail. My actions were clear as day, caught on video, with multiple witnesses.
And as I think about this situation more, these questions keep coming to mind:
Why is it that when a black man, who is pinned to the ground, struggles and says, “I can’t breathe!” these officers do not have an immediate response to ease up on their responses?
If these officers were wrestling with their children in their backyards, and one of the children said, “Dad, please get off me, I can’t breathe,” wouldn’t they immediately stop what they were doing?
Why is it different while on the job with a black adult male?
Why is there this cognitive dissonance?
Where is the value of human life?
The International Association of Police Chiefs has a code of ethics, which reads:
As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve the community; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality, and justice.
When a police officer kills an unarmed black man, where is the duty to safeguard lives? Where is the duty to serve the weak against oppression? Where is the duty to respect the constitutional rights of all?
Death, as a result of digging a knee into a man’s neck or shooting him in the back, leaves him no constitutional rights…because he’s dead.
I strongly believe that these terrible actions we are seeing come from a small group of officers who make a bad name for the rest of the good ones, but sometimes, that’s how it goes.
So here is my message to police officers:
Live by your code of ethics. Value human life…ALL human life. Hold each other accountable. Stop tolerating this behavior and STOP KILLING UNARMED BLACK MEN.