Updated: Jun 13
After watching the video of Mr. George Floyd being lynched by the hands of a law-enforcement officer and his cohorts, Minneapolis was in an uproar. The next few days following the lynching there were protests which turned into riots, and subsequent looting. I do not condone looting I’ve come to realize it sometimes it is a byproduct of civil unrest protests. Additionally, many believe that there are people who are not even connected to the city coming into the city to provoke an even start rioting and looting in certain areas.
But, I am writing this to bring light to why there is civil unrest. After a few days of pressure from the protest, the officer was eventually arrested. Both the governor and the mayor pledge their support to find justice for Mr. Floyd. However, the people were still not convinced. So, I had to do some research, and what I found really spoke to the reason why the people of Minneapolis were so pessimistic concerning the prospect of justice being served.
· 3 years ago...after a video was shown all over Facebook and other social media platforms, officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted of manslaughter charges. Officer Yanez killed Philando Castille during what be claimed was a routine traffic stop….The community and city were in an uproar.
· In 2010 Mr. David Clark, a man who had been clinically diagnosed with bipolar disorder was held down and restrained by Minneapolis police. He eventually died of asphyxiation.
· The Star Tribune reported that, “2002, Christopher Burns was killed when two officers used an authorized chokehold on the 44-year-old.”
· In 2015 Jamar Clark, a 24 year old gunned down by Minneapolis Police responding to a paramedic call.
· Finally, there was Bob Kroll, head of the city's Police Union, and his reference to the Black Lives Matter movement as a "terrorist organization....”
We see the outrage, and the looting. Many of us want to say, “This isn’t the way”, and while I don’t condone violence OR looting, it appears that the people in Minnesota are fed up. They’ve kneeled, they’ve silently protested, and it’s possible that right now they’re saying, “enough is enough”.
In all of this we cannot lose sight of the main goal. I often refer to the conviction as “low hanging fruit”, because although the conviction is warranted… without substantial change in the system, we will be waiting for the next hashtag. Don’t settle for a conviction, fight for an overhaul!
How do we fix it? We have to commit for the long haul, a system that has been broken for centuries can’t be repaired in days, or even weeks. The way to go is to infiltrate the justice system and change it from the inside out. We need to go to jury duty and become a part of juror pools. We need to create scholarship opportunities for our bright minds to attend law school with an agreement to come back and serve as defense attorneys. We need judges. We need to “keep this energy” and demand change. Remember, Not all thugs where bandanas, some wear badges. We need all hands on deck or it will get considerably worse. Lord help us.