TW—This article discusses racism, anti-Black police violence, and death.
The murder of Geroge Floyd was one of many avoidable deaths caused by racist police violence. Derrick Chauvin abused his power as a white officer in a system that has proved time and time again that men like him get away with their actions. The fact that George Floyd’s murder has been politicized by both the American left and right reveals deeper systemic issues that need to be addressed.
George Floyd did not sacrifice his life. And I am not here to write about why George Floyd did not deserve to die. Because it does not matter what type of person he was, or his accomplishments, or any of the things people use to justify why he did not deserve to die. The point is, he did not deserve to die. No one deserves to die that way. It does not need to be justified. The police should be abolished, the system should be dismantled, and Black people should be liberated.
Derrick Chauvin has been found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree unintentional murder, and third-degree murder, but this is not justice. This should have never happened. His name should not be known by everyone. What about the other officers who let this happen? What about the entire police department supporting him? You cannot reform an entire system this way.
In the face of increasing police violence, I encourage all non-Black people to redistribute their funds if possible, or any other resources available to you. If you can, donating to Black people in need is the most basic step to being an ally in times like these. Providing direct support to people being harmed by these systems is a way to encourage anti-racist actions. Here is a link to one of many sources on places and people you can donate to. I also recommend searching on Twitter and Instagram for people like @openyrpurse, where you can provide direct funds to people who are crowdfunding.
This country, founded on racism and human trafficking, cannot be reformed. We must take action, and be vigilant in demanding a future where policing is abolished.
ACLU says, “Since the protests decrying the murder of George Floyd began in May, the institution of American policing has taken center stage. Activists are calling for change, and the phrase ‘defund the police’ can be heard in cities across the country. As the concept of slashing police budgets and reinvesting those resources into Black and Brown communities goes increasingly mainstream, a more radical call is also gaining attention: Abolish the Police.”
People and police officers like Derrick Chauvin should not be free.
This NYT article says “Nearly all of the victims [of police brutality] since March 29 have been men, with Black or Latino people substantially overrepresented — a pattern that reflects broader criminal justice research. And most were under 30. Four were teenagers.” They go on to say that “Even as cellphone videos and body cameras make it harder to hide human error and abuses of authority by law enforcement — and even as social media amplifies public outrage — only about 1.1 percent of officers who kill civilians are charged with murder or manslaughter.” People should not have to record traumatic killings to reveal the truth and to hold racists accountable for their murders.
The police are inherently anti-Black. Here are some resources to take action against anti-Black police violence and to become a better ally to the Black community as provided by earthjustice. We need to listen to Black people and uplift their voices, experiences, and thoughts. We need to do our job as non-Black people as allies by educating, providing, and supporting. Here is another site that can be used as a resource for people looking to educate themselves further, donate, and support.