The following post is going to speak on the following content: George Floyd’s murder, police brutality, “resisting police”, and other matters that have occurred lately, as well as those that have been happening for a long time. As a fellow black woman, I find it necessary to share my thoughts on this, and necessary to spread this on all platforms I am on, and have, including this website. And those who think so too should continue doing so. Read with caution, but do not hide from it. Spread the awareness and continue to spread awareness.
Words cannot properly, or even wholly, express the magnitude of horror witnessed by thousands of Americans days ago. The blunt, broad-daylight execution of George Floyd for an alleged crime was inhumane, insensitive, unjustifiably egregious, and undiplomatic. As we watched the man cry out for his very life and complain that he couldn't breathe as a selfish brute kneeled him more, it was disheartening. And to have people justify it is just as sickening.
But we have to be honest with ourselves. This is not the first time and it will not be the last if we continue to brush it aside as “accidents”. Instead of making excuses and victim-blaming, we should hold corrupt, racists cops accountable for their inhumane actions. The force should also check each other before things like this escalate to death. The more the police department and others protect corrupt cops and shield them from accountability, the more innocent people will die. We have seen this happen and continue to see it happen.
After his death, some have posted horrid pictures that made his death a JOKE, honoring the police officer for getting rid of another “subhuman”. I have seen and encountered people who find killing him justifiable and just another “trash” gone from the earth. I have witnessed people saying things like “he shouldn’t have resisted”, “well not all cops are like this”, and “well he should have done things differently”. Two of them are acts of victim-blaming and one has no relevance in anything. They all are part of comments that don’t bring any change. But the truth is, George Floyd, DID NOT resist. There are videos of him FULLY cooperating with the police. He did not try to run, he did not push them back or fight, and he did not do anything on the real lines of “resisting”. He did absolutely everything right and he still died.
Americans, even white Americans, are enraged. But this is not the first. You see a lot of police departments encourage the systematic racism that is in place. They do so by ignoring there is one, backing up their corrupt officers, and not poking at the problem to change it. Indirectly or directly, each department finds itself not handling the issue. There is a system and mentality that shows ALL blacks as threats. A system that can’t tell an innocent citizen from a target. A system that gives people of darker skin a higher sentence than those of lighter skin when the crimes are the same. It is the same system that teaches our newer generations these things through racist means that often fly above their heads.
Let’s dig into some history, shall we? How did cops come about? It started with watch systems: Boston 1636, New York 1658, Philadelphia 1700, etc. Originally, they consisted of volunteers. It wasn’t until later when actual municipal police departments were created. It started with Boston, in 1838, and by the 1880s, all major U.S cities had them.
Taking a swing at the southern states, the policing was a “Slave Patrol”. Their functions were three things: chase down and return slaves to owners, provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts, and maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules. With the Civil War, vigilante-style organizations in the Southern police were a means of controlling freed slaves that were laborers working. This style enforced segregation and denied freed slaves equal rights and access to political systems.
Believe it or not, but these types of styles are still held by police departments today. They are just more modernized, undetected, and not to the extent of it before. Cops still go undercover and start “controlled terror” such as burning down things, destroying properties, and other means to deter protestor revolts. If the government thinks protestors are becoming violent, they will enforce more “force” to shut them down instead of focusing on their message. In our day, the Southern policing style is more modernized to fit our times and normalized and is often under a lot of our radars. Continuing with the history though, anecdotal accounts show increasing crime. Frequent violence was particularly directed at immigrants and African Americans by white youths.
Early American police departments shared characteristics that are shockingly still in our times now: they were notoriously corrupt and flagrantly brutal. There is much more to read on this and I urgently suggest you read: https://plsonline.eku.edu/insidelook/history-policing-united-states-part-1
But enough of history for a minute, let’s talk about our time. The following is going to be explaining my personal view about cops and others’ views. For starters, the comment “well not all cops are bad” is irrelevant when it is said during POC struggles. It is another fight-response said instead of focusing on the PROBLEM. Many others and I don’t have a problem with good cops. The problem we do have is an unfair system. Personally speaking, I respect cops and what they are supposed to do (protect people from each other). The wrath of our angry is solely targeted at racist, corrupt cops. These racist, corrupt cops consist of two groups: the BOLD ones that carry out the inhumane brutality and the ones that WATCH them without checking them.
Secondly, I, without a doubt, think that entering the police field isn’t easy. It is a type of job you know before getting into it that you may not get to return to your family. But guess what, when corrupt cops kill innocent people, THEY DON’T GET TO RETURN TO THEIR FAMILIES. Their children are left without mothers and dads. Their lovers are left loverless. Their parents are left childrenless. THEY ARE LEFT WITHOUT LIVES.
Every job has training, rules, regulations, and above that, are subject to THE LAW. When you are a doctor handling a patient, there are things you should do that ensure you stay within the boundaries and power you legally have. There are also things you should not do that causes you to step outside of your legal amount of power(thus causing you to abuse it). When you are a health care person who is handling the elderly and those with disabilities of sorts, there is still a fine line of accountability. With every job, there are do’s and don'ts. What happens when you step overstep them? You get corrected, charged, and punished accordingly. So why is it that the police department protects their corrupt cops? When they overstep, why do fellow policemen not correct them? Why are corrupt, racist cops always protected by defending or justifying their inhumane actions? The answer is because people allow them to be above the law.
People who deny that an unfair system is in place gives corrupt, racist cops the ability to be above the law and not be held accountable. People who deny that white privilege exists give corrupt, racist cops the ability to be above the law and not be held accountable. People who blame the victims of police brutality and find fault with their actions(even if it falls in good light) give the CORRUPT, RACIST cops the ability to be above the law and not be accountable. But people who see the main issue of the matter and fight to fix them give GOOD cops the ability to be separated from the bad. It is up to you and me to fight the PROBLEM, not find excuses.
Another thing about cops is that their jobs aren’t easy. It’s scary having to enter a gunfight with a criminal. It’s scary to get shot and feel your strength leaking. It’s scary to truly fear for your life. Guess what? INNOCENT PEOPLE WHO ARE KILLED FEEL THE SAME WAY. It’s not easy to adequately judge in the heat of the moment. I get that. But when people show absolutely no signs of threat, harm, or whatever, there is NO NEED to be aggressive. To shoot without asking questions. To step out of your training and discipline because you “feel” a faint, unjustifiable fear for your life. There is also NO NEED to have 4 or more cops on one person for alleged crimes and petty crimes.
I get that there are gray lines to it. I will explain different factors to it. However, I will end this post with this, and continue with another post. Hold on tight because this rollercoaster is not over. But before I dismissed, here are some statistics you can dwell on.
Racial Disparity in Federal Criminal Sentences:
Police Brutality/Other Police Statistics:
Immunity for Cops: