June 3, 2020



By Neal A. ShipmanFarmer Editor


African Americans and other minorities have long accused police departments across the county of exercising undue force and being racist when arresting them. And on May 25, the world saw clear evidence of that claim via a video of Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, handcuffing George Floyd and then keeping his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. During the video, Floyd can clearly be heard saying that he could not breathe and asking for help, which neither Chauvin nor the other three police officers responded to.
From the video it is clear that these officers went way too far in dealing with Floyd, who was being arrested for passing a counterfeit $20 bill. And as a result of their actions, and subsequent inaction, Floyd died.
The officers were obviously in the wrong. And they deserve the punishment that America’s legal system hands out to them. All four officers were immediately fired from the Minneapolis police department, while Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
While these police officers actions against Floyd are unforgivable, the rioting and looting that immediately followed in cities across the United States is equally unforgivable.
In the days following Floyd’s death, demonstrations and protests all across the country that started out to be peaceful turned ugly as buildings were burned, businesses vandalized and looted.
The question that has to be answered by those people who are causing all of this violence and senseless destruction of property is are their actions doing anything to help reduce racism, eliminate police brutality or bring about social change?
It doesn’t. Rather, it continues to fuel the fire of mistrust and anger among the races.
The violence, looting and destruction only further distances people from the original issue, which was the unforgivable and wrongful death of George Floyd. The violence doesn’t honor George Floyd. Rather it hinders the efforts of everyone who is working to bring this country together.
Together, Americans of all races and nationalities can solve the problems that we are facing. But so long as this country is divided, change is not easily accomplished.