We Need To Stand Up For George Floyd!
Unfortunately, we once again need to rally against police brutality and remind the world that Black lives matter.
On May 26th, news sites displayed several videos of a Black man pinned down by a cop whose knee crushed against the man’s neck. Screams such as “I can’t breathe”, reminiscing those of Eric Garner were heard as he was clearly suffering and needed help. However, he was wickedly placed in this position for more than seven minutes before being sent to the hospital. Sadly, the man known as George Floyd passed away.
First of all, he was supposed to live. The application of such an unnecessary type of force was violent and unethical. There was an account that George had committed some level of forgery and was resisting arrest by police officers. However, there aren’t videos that effectively document these statements, but the main circulating video clearly shows that George was handcuffed and subdued by the police officer who had other officers to help him if he couldn’t effectively tackle the situation. However, George had to suffer immense pain as his neck was severely crushed by the knees of the police officer, eventually leading to his death.
These accounts of police brutality are pretty common and have happened to people such as Stephon Clark, Michael Brown, Philando Castile and Eric Garner. It shouldn’t be the norm of this country. Black people do not need to be targets of the police nor do we need to be brutalized. If it wasn’t for the buzz these videos caused on social media, the police wouldn’t have undergone any type of scrutiny or punishment. If you don’t believe so, please revisit Ahmaud Arbery’s story.
Nonetheless, we need to make sure we stay on this case before people in authority sweep this under the rug and divert your attention. The whole world needs to know how ineffective The United States’ police system really is. In the mean time, these are things you can do to shed light on this situation and bring about positive change.
Visibility and imagery is important. We need to go out to the streets and make our presence known in order to spread awareness about this dire situation. The virulent impact of COVID-19 has suppressed our ability to join ourselves in numbers, but if we are able to wear masks and maintain a proper distance between other protesters, it is more likely to happen. We can still organize protests even if we are not currently present in Minneapolis. Many people did this for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
However, we need to peacefully protest. Violence against cops and destruction of property are not effective ways of going about this critical situation. First of all, you can get in trouble with the law and cause other grave and unintended effects in the community.
A member of George Floyd’s family recently opened a GoFundMe page to cover the funeral expenses. It will be very helpful for us to provide support to his family who is going through a tough time dealing with this catastrophe. The Black Lives Matter Movement has not yet issued a statement on their website regarding the death of George Floyd, but they actively engage in criminal justice and policy change and will need our support to carry on with their objectives. Lastly, the NAACP is also actively involved in federal advocacy and criminal justice and has handled cases with police brutality. They also have a place for you to donate.
The power is now in our hands. With the click of a button, we are able to spread information from one continent to another in seconds. We can also voice our opinions and share content regarding this situation. When we stay idle, the law and the oppressive criminal justice system win. We should talk about this with friends, family and colleagues. We should advocate for justice on all social media platforms. Every little action you do to positively help this situation is critical.
It is quite normal for such a situation to have a large public outburst and then die down in a couple of weeks. People don’t want to be stressed out or bombarded with bad news everyday. That’s true. However, we need to make sure that we are knowledgeable about every move that has been taken in regards to this situation. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor went under the radar until public outcry but they can disappear if we stay idle.
Sign Petitions & Contact Attorneys
It will be very helpful for the general public to have conversations with Police departments, legislators and other people of authority in order to find ways to tackle the issue of police brutality. Protests and activism can create a positive buzz and stir up the conversations but people in power are the ones that eventually bring about change. We need to make sure that these cops are charged for their wrongdoing. Period.
You can do so by contacting the Minneapolis District Attorney to demand justice for George Floyd. (612-348-5550, firstname.lastname@example.org, hennepinattorney.org/about/contact). You can also sign a petition through change.org to allow the fired officers to face convictions and charges for their act. You can do this by texting "FLOYD" to 55156 or "JUSTICE" to 668366 to sign this petition.
In conclusion, we need to stay on top of this case and other vile incidents that have happened to Black people. Ignorance and idleness are the two main enemies during these times and if they conquer us, we are going to see many of these same situations happen again and again. Police brutality should never be the norm and we must never accept it as it is. George Floyd is our brother and represents each one of us in the Black community. Failure to advocate for justice signifies the reluctant acceptance of injustice. Black lives matter yet it is unfortunate that we need to write and protest about injustice against our community. RIP King Floyd. We Love you forever.
1. Donate to George Floyd - https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
2. Donate to NAACP - https://secure.actblue.com/donate/naacp-1
3. Donate to Black Lives Matter https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
4. Contact Minneapolis District Attorney - hennepinattorney.org/about/contact