Without the police brutalizing and murdering George Floyd, Minneapolis would not be on fire. But if we listen to the protestors chanting “No Justice, No Peace” and carrying signs that said “Stop Killing Black People,” Floyd’s murder was not the match that lit the flame. The failure to bring Floyd’s murderer to justice was.
The distinction may seem merely academic, but it’s not. Floyd’s murder was at the hands of a ruthless and pitiless police officer, egged on (or at the very least ignored) by three of his equally pitiless colleagues. That is a problem of four bad police.
But having seen damning video from three angles that shows the officers ignoring Floyd’s pleas for more than 5 minutes to let him breathe, the Hennepin County Attorney General has, until today, failed to arrest or charge the officer(s) involved. The police killed a helpless man — not in a split-second bad decision, but in a long, drawn-out, deliberate act. And while they lost their jobs for the murder, they were allowed to walk free for nearly a week. That’s a system problem, and it’s one that’s played out time and time again across the country throughout our history.
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