Wednesday, June 3, 2020

America Is On Fire

On May 25, 2020, Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, knelt on George Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; 2 minutes and 53 seconds of which occurred after Floyd became unresponsive with no pulse.  As seen on videos, taken from multiple angles,  Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, while Chauvin had his knee on his neck. The three other arresting officers have been identified as Thomas K. Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng.  Officer Kueng held Floyd’s back while Lane held his legs, and Thao stood nearby and looked on.  The four officers were fired the next day, but charges were only brought against Chauvin on the 29th.
| A man stands on a burned out car on Thursday morning as fires burn behind him
in the Lake St area of Minneapolis, Minnesota. | Date: 05/28/2020 | Photographer: Lori Shaull
| This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. |

When charges weren't immediately brought against the officers, a series of protests morphed into a series of fiery riots.  I kind of vagueness understood when rioters burned the 3rd police precinct, in Minneapolis, as a symbol of police brutality.  I didn't like it, but I got it. 

The destruction didn't stop there though. The past few nights have seen property burned, looted, and destroyed in multiple cities across the United States of America.

It's been horrific.  Small businesses, already struggling because of the Corona crisis, have been mercilessly obliterated.  Millions of people have been subjected to curfews and martial law.  Countless lives have been thrown into chaos.  And lets not forget, people aren't staying six feet apart with masks on during these demonstrations. 

It's the year 2020, and African Americans are still being killed by law enforcement personnel whom aren't being held accountable for the murderers they've committed. Eric Garner, Terry Price, and Tyree Crawford are among the multitude of unarmed African Americans who've been slain by law enforcement since 2015.

It's hard to condemn people for fighting back against a system which has failed them so completely.  Yet, they're not attacking "the system," as much as they're destroying their own communities.  Burning cars and businesses does nothing but create unwarranted hardship for people who depend upon those cars and businesses for their livelihood.  

Before you say, "They're sticking it to the fat cats."  The "fat cats" who own the Target store are going to be able to absorb the loss a hell of a lot easier than the employees of the Target store who depend on those jobs to feed their families.

Do you want to know the real bitch of it?  Do you want to know the part that makes this story so monumentally stupid?  This farce ends shortly after the other three officers are brought up on, appropriate, charges.  The Minneapolis prosecutor says he needs more evidence to indict.  Yet, he has the murder on video from multiple angles.  African American singer Archie Williams spent 36 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit based on less evidence. 

This debacle isn't about evidence, it's about skin color. 

These are three organizations supporting meaningful change:

Black Lives Matter

American Civil Liberties Union

Campaign Zero

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