Black Lives Matter: Justice Is Served For George Floyd

3 mins read
A mural dedicated to George Floyd and honoring the Black Lives Matter movement in Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 29, 2020. © 2020 munshots/Sipa via AP Images

A Minnesota jury has properly convicted former officer Derek Chauvin of second-degree murder for the killing of George Floyd on May 26, 2020.

Millions of people across the country watched the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck until long after he lost consciousness and stopped begging for mercy. And many concluded what the jury made official today – this was a murder by a police officer.

The jury rejected Chauvin’s efforts to blame Floyd’s death on drugs, a weak heart, and even the police car’s exhaust. Unlike juries in so many previous prominent cases in which officers killed unarmed Black men – including Terence CrutcherPhilando Castille, and Freddie Gray – this jury did not accept the police officer’s excuses. Prosecutions of police officers are exceedingly rareconvictions even more so. This lack of criminal consequences for police violence has sent the message to officers that they can engage in abuses with impunity.

Unfortunately, this one conviction does not herald a new era of accountable policing. Few cases are so clearly indefensible as this one. Chauvin’s commanding officer testified against him, and even many police unions issued statements condemning him. The deliberate nature of his actions and the unambiguous video evidence made this case more easily proven. As Chauvin’s trial proceeded, police killings continued unabated. Just a few miles from Minneapolis, a Brooklyn Center officer killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. So far in 2021, police have killed at least 319 people.

Beyond the killing, police continue to have coercive, but non-fatal, interactions with people, especially Black, brown, and people living in poverty, that do nothing to advance public safety. Arbitrary detentions and searches, abusive arrests, non-lethal applications of force, selective enforcement of minor violations, and racial profiling all contribute to an understanding among many Black people that police do not protect or serve them but are intent on controlling them.

A criminal conviction for the most egregious and dramatic incident of violence is unlikely to change the systemic problems of US policing. Policy and training-related reforms have had little impact. Addressing poverty that contributes to crime, supporting community growth and development, providing access to health services, housing, education, and jobs, instead of responding to societal problems with police whose main tools are blunt force and criminalization, will improve public safety and reduce police violence.

This article previously appeared on Human Right Watch and is published here for educational purpose

 

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Sallu Kamuskay

Sallu Kamuskay is a Sierra Leonean activist, storyteller, and blogger. He was born in Sierra Leone but later relocated to Guinea as a refugee because of the war in his country. Sallu Kamuskay uses his phone to engage on social media, under the name ‘’Salone Messenger’. He Co-Founded the Salone Messenger platform after his experience of the war, Ebola, and injustices. According to him, silence was the root cause of war, and of many social injustices, we continue to face as a nation. In 2013, during the Ebola crisis, Sallu Kamuskay took the risk and volunteered to fight Ebola. He spent some months in both safe and unsafe places; helping the victims and telling their sad stories. The election in 2018, left a divided country with communities fighting on tribal lines. This inspired Sallu Kamuskay to serve as the coordinator of the United Sierra Leone peace concert, which was organized in 4 major parts of the country, targeting violent communities and troubled youth. Sallu Kamuskay led a group of entertainers, activists, and organizations across the country on a peace tour, a program supported by the European Union, United Sierra Leone, Africa Union, ECOWAS, and the Messeh Leone Trust. Sallu Kamuakay has also served as a staff writer for the Hidden Voices Magazine.
Over the years, Sallu Kamuskay has been using his Techno phone to be able to tell stories, the phone he used to tell the story of Gbessay during Ebola who was admitted at one of the Ebola treatment centers after rumors that she had Ebola when the actual sickness was ulcer, she was almost abandoned at the treatment canter with no medication provided to her. She could have died. Sallu told the story via social media and was able to secure funding from the United Sierra Leone to buy her medication and advocated for her. She was later discharged and taken home, He did the same to a patient that died and was abandoned in the street, Sallu Kamuskay used his phone and shared the message across, the corps was later taken and buried. It could have been more disaster without his voice. The story of late America Stress 3-year-old daughter. The hero’s daughter was abandon after his father's death. He shared her sad story and was able to get a sister who has taken the child as her own and is currently providing her with educational support. The article of America Stress can be read on the link below http://ayvnewspaper.com/index.php/k2-categories/item/7350-america-stress-a-hero-to-recognize.
Sallu Kamuskay feels the stories of Gbessay, America stress and that of many others need to be told. The media house we have cannot better tell these stories, they are better reporters than telling human interest stories. He created the Salone Messenger platform and brought together passionate storytellers to be able to tell these compelling stories.

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