Since the protests began last week, we’ve all had an opportunity to reflect on what’s going on in the world. The death of George Floyd on May 25th was a tragedy. It was also unnecessary, unjust, and, unfortunately, all-too-common for black men.
According to Mapping Police Violence, a black person is killed at a rate of 2.5x more by police than a white person in a report from 2013-2019. In Los Angeles, a Black person is 5x, and a Latinx 1.8x more likely to have deadly force used on them from 2016-2018.
In the broader context, there is a history here of oppression, subjugation, and racism. But we also need to have a conversation about how the police are trained, and how the policing system has been set up. Here’s a reminder:
It all fits into a systematic issue. The police are trained to act instantly and use excessive force at any perceived potential threat. Then they are protected by the system, as many of the complaints remain ignored, and the police seem to evade any accountability.
Then they are protected by a legal concept called ‘Qualified Immunity’. It’s a doctrine that prevents government officials from being held personally liable for constitutional violations and has been used to protect law enforcement from lawsuits. The report from Reuters confirms that police won 56% of cases when they claimed ‘qualified immunity’ from 2017-2019.
We need concrete and legislative measures that protect citizens from extra-judicial killings; especially, for the sake of black, brown, and indigenous people. We need these voices to be heard, and it’s through peaceful protest and other forms of direct action that we can expect change.
Protesting is your right and a part of being in a vibrant democracy. We have to call-out injustice and do what’s right to protect our communities– and it’s time to stand up. And that means we protest peacefully, we donate, and we do what we can to make changes for the betterment of all.
The police need to be held accountable for their actions. And we need a severe overhaul of a system which is ripe with conflict-of-interest and inflicts violence on its civilian population.
Finally, all my thoughts and prayers go to George Floyd’s family. No one should go through this. His death truly saddens me, and I don’t want anyone to lose their life like that.
I’ve linked to some charities below. I’ve donated to the George Floyd Memorial Fund, The Community bail fund, and Campaign Zero. I’ve linked to some others below, please do your research before contributing. Thank you!