Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, then you’re probably aware of the murder of George Floyd that occurred in Minneapolis. A man who was confronted by the police for an alleged forgery of a check ended up on the ground with a knee pinning down his neck until he suffocated to death. It’s tragic, it was preventable, and incidents like this just seem to keep happening over and over.
Now if you’ve been reading my blog, a decent amount of posts have been leaning more towards personal insights towards myself. But that’s not all this blog will be about. As I had said before, this blog will also be about my thoughts on culture and the modern world. And one thing that has been all over the news in America has been George’s murder.
Police killing black men and women without proper cause isn’t new. And one of America’s biggest problems is that nothing ever seems to be done about this. And the officers who overstep their boundaries like this tend to get nothing more than a slap on a wrist. At most they’ll get fired, but the police department and local government normally do what they can in their power to protect these officers.
And every time their is a peaceful protest, a social media campaign for a call to action, or a documentary made about the inequality that African Americans deal with on a daily basis: nothing changes. And it makes you wonder, maybe that’s why this time there’s a full fledged riot going on in Minnesota. I woke up this morning to check the news on my phone to find out that a police station in Minneapolis was just set on fire. Videos are circling the internet of people chanting George Floyd’s name in front of a burning police station, this is definitely unprecedented times we live in right now.
Do I agree with these actions? No. Do I understand why people are doing them and their point of view of it all? Yes. People are mad, they’ve been trying to do peaceful protests for years. They’ve been criticizing the police force over and over again. Yet it seems like every month there’s another story of another cop or group of cops killing more black people that didn’t deserve it. So what happens when there’s no improvement in the situation? People get angry.
And they’ll take their anger out as they see fit. Their message by rioting and setting the police department on fire sent a message that was loud and clear to the world. And without a doubt, that message was heard. People are sick of the oppression, and now America has to lay in the bed its made. Currently the national guard is on their way to Minneapolis to control the riots, and I can’t imagine how bad that situation is going to get.
As for my personal thoughts on how to improve the situation of cops killing African Americans unlawfully? Well, peaceful protests haven’t worked, and violent protests only spur more outrage in the opposing side. I feel like the best way to bring about change is within the police force and the government itself. It starts by a massive re-training of the police force to better prepare them on how to deal with situations involving minorities, so they’re no so apt to just kill without thinking.
It also starts with getting rid of the slap on the wrist mentality and having zero tolerance. Cops like the one’s who killed George shouldn’t just be fired, but should be arrested and charged for their crimes. Justice needs to be served. People need to understand that being in the police force doesn’t mean your protected by the law and the local government and that you can get away with committing unlawful murder. And when you have cops who have multiple accounts of overstepping boundaries, you fire them immediately. As for many cops like that it’s only a matter of time before they kill someone without a cause.
There needs to be a stricter hiring and screening process in the police force. There has to be a more in depth focus of psychological stability and aptitude among police officers. When you’ve got assholes who are looking for power trips who are getting into the police force, there needs to be precautions to screen people out. As well as ways to screen out candidates with a history of aggression, especially aggression towards minorities.
Finally, there needs to be a shift in the culture of the police force. There’s a clear component of complacency and refusal to take action towards officers who do wrong. One of the officers seen in the video of George’s murder was simply standing next to the group and was watching George suffocate to death. Did he do anything? No, he watched the other officer continue to pin the man down. In my opinion that’s a metaphor for the police force as a whole. Most cops don’t try to stop their fellow officers from overstepping their boundaries. Even worse, they’ll cover for each other if they have to. Unfortunately, the ones who do say something about it are shunned. This is beyond fucked up, and this attitude needs to be fixed. Officers need to hold each other accountable.
In these times, it’s hard for people to trust the police force. And there’s a clear understanding as to why “Fuck the police” is such a popular phrase. It’s because of incidents like George’s murder happening numerous times. I also guarantee people won’t start calming down until the officers who started this all are in prison. If there is one thing that can come from all this chaos so far, it’s that people of all nationalities are banding together to support this cause. Times like these will be one of the defining moments of 2020, and possibly in American history. Hopefully, it will mark the turn towards a better future for minorities, especially African Americans.