How many more innocent lives must be taken for the country to wake up to not only its history of oppression, but the current reality of oppression as well?
‘I Can’t Breathe’: Massive Protests in US Over Another Killing of Unarmed Black Man
The US has witnessed yet another tragic example of the deeply-embedded and systematic racism that plagues the country: George Floyd, who was black, was violently arrested on Monday and was pinned down to the ground by a white police officer – dying hours after the aggressive incident.
Despite not resisting and repeatedly saying that he couldn’t breathe, the officer continued to pin him down aggressively on the neck for more than seven minutes. Floyd died hours later – another innocent black man killed by a police system that has for so long failed to protect its black citizens.
Massive protests have since erupted after Floyd’s murder, with many comparing this case to the death of Eric Garner – another black man murdered in 2014 after being choked to death by a white police officer. His words caught on an onlooker’s video were: “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe”.
Protestors have gathered at the spot where Floyd was arrested on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue, marching about two miles from the site to Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct building. According to CBS, police officers dressed in riot gear barred protestors from getting near the building. There were also videos and reports of police officers using smoke bombs, tear gas, and flash grenades against the demonstrators. At least one demonstrator was hit in the head with a rubber bullet.
— Tay Tay (@_papitayy_) May 27, 2020
Amidst the dramatic scenes of the demonstrations, a few notable leaders and public figures have condemned the killing of Floyd as well as the harsh response given to the protestors:
Shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at unarmed protesters when there are children present should never be tolerated. Ever.
What is happening tonight in our city is shameful.
Police need to exercise restraint, and our community needs space to heal. https://t.co/vwAIV7t5WJ
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 27, 2020
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) May 26, 2020
The four officers involved in the arrest of Floyd have reportedly been fired – but many have rightfully pointed out the fact that this does nothing to address the deeper issue at hand: black Americans continue to be systematically targetted and killed for simply being black in America. How many more innocent lives must be taken for the country to wake up to not only its history of oppression, but the current reality of oppression as well?