Three years after the tragic homicide of George Floyd by law enforcement officials in Minnesota, the Black group in america continues to grapple with deep-rooted skepticism and distrust towards legislation enforcement forces.
“I worry that anybody with a black or brown complexion can turn out to be a sufferer of police brutality,” expressed Alicia Jennings, a 39-year-old Houston resident, echoing the feelings of many. “Merely being within the unsuitable place on the unsuitable time may make our pores and skin shade turn out to be a reason for police brutality.”
Jennings, chatting with Anadolu Company (AA), emphasised that Floyd’s homicide uncovered how police deal with black people in a different way from their white counterparts.
“These points are deeply rooted in racism. It’s extremely doubtless that some law enforcement officials harbor internalized racism or bias, which contributes to strained relations with the Black group,” she stated.
With a way of unpredictability and vulnerability within the presence of legislation enforcement officers, Jennings believes that the eye drawn to Floyd’s killing in the course of the pandemic performed a pivotal function.
“With everybody confined to their properties, consistently watching the footage of George Floyd’s brutal remedy on tv and the web, individuals turned extra conscious of the systemic injustice that has continued for years.”
Historical past of Police Brutality
The 4 officers concerned in Floyd’s tragic loss of life have all been convicted and sentenced.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee in opposition to Floyd’s neck for practically 9 minutes, resulting in his premature demise, acquired a sentence of over 22 years for homicide and manslaughter within the state case.
Moreover, he faces a concurrent 21-year federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights.
The three different officers – J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao – are serving federal sentences starting from 2.5 to three.5 years.
Derek Handley, an assistant professor on the College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, emphasised that Floyd’s killing introduced the difficulty of police brutality in opposition to black individuals to the forefront for the youthful era.
Nonetheless, he famous that this injustice will not be new, citing the beating of black motorist Rodney King by Los Angeles law enforcement officials in 1991 as a big occasion that make clear the issue.
“Police brutality in opposition to black males has occurred for generations, usually resulting in race riots as a consequence of lack of accountability,” Handley added.
The wave of social justice protests following Floyd’s loss of life has prompted adjustments in police practices.
“We’re witnessing a rise in physique cameras, which permit us to establish the reality behind occasions when footage is launched,” Handley defined. “There’s larger accountability inside the police power, with violating officers being positioned on administrative go away and even dropping their positions.”
Past just a few unhealthy apples
To stop future incidents like Floyd’s homicide, Handley believes that complete reform of the legal justice system is critical.
He cautions in opposition to portray all law enforcement officials with a broad brush, recognizing that institutional issues exist reasonably than the difficulty being restricted to a couple “unhealthy apples.”
“The lengthy historical past of perceiving black individuals as criminals has permeated society, leading to legislation enforcement treating them accordingly,” Handley identified.
This bias persists whatever the race of the officers concerned, as exemplified by the case of Asian and black officers and Thao and Kueng’s involvement in Floyd’s killing.
Handley additionally highlighted the case of 5 black Memphis law enforcement officials who fatally beat black motorist Tyre Nichols earlier this yr, reinforcing the institutional conditioning of how police view black people.
The expertise of being a black individual in America necessitates psychological preparation when encountering legislation enforcement companies, in response to Handley.
“Each black individual feels a little bit nervous when approached by a cop or throughout a visitors cease. My tactic is to place the police officer comfortable as a result of survival is the precedence. I roll down all my home windows, place my fingers on the steering wheel, and keep away from sudden actions. I reply respectfully with ‘sure sir’ and ‘no sir’ and inform them of my actions to eradicate any perceived menace,” he defined.
Whereas societal stereotypes could not change in a single day, Handley believes a bipartisan effort to reform the legal justice system is crucial.
“Society should decide to fixing the issue. It is a political argument concerning how we allocate funds and supply coaching for the police,” he acknowledged.
Regardless of her skepticism, Jennings stays hopeful that change is feasible. “We should always deal with everybody with respect, recognizing our shared human values. All of us bleed the identical and are destined for mortality. Pores and skin shade ought to by no means be a foundation for differentiation,” she asserted.