One Year After George Floyd: America and the Police

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By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher, The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint

It appears that two important things have happened since the death of Geoge Floyd at the hand of the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota: (1) police continue to kill black men and women either by shooting them or physically killing them by hand. One would think that with the repeated airing of the video of Mr. Floyd being murdered by police officers kneeling on his neck and body, that everyone in uniform would know that such actions can lead to death. Well, here in San Diego and other places around the country, the police are still not only kneeling in multiple numbers on singularly pinned to the ground black individuals, but also still punching them with their fist while the person being arrested is still laying face down with officers on their back.

When questioned repeatedly about this practice, a black Assistant Chief could only say the practice was “consistent with the department policy of using “distraction” blows while affecting an arrest. Clearly this individual, who obviously rose to the rank of his position on the backs of other blacks who came before him, could not see the problem. Perhaps he is one of those “surplus” Assistant Chiefs” we really don’t need and those dollars could be better spent helping others. We will continue to raise this issue until we hear there is a policy change.

(2) One year after the murder of George Floyd, America has seen an agitated change in those who have been police victims, along with their friends and neighbors who have taken to the streets in protest. This is in spite of the pandemic. The result has been a fear on the part of those who have agreed with police practices and behavior against people of color. That fear was fed by the tremendous voter turnout in the November election where people, Black, White and others, stood in long lines for hours in order to vote. One Black woman in the South said, “I am waiting to vote like my life depends on it, and it does.”

Conservative “White” America’s response can be seen in the actions of the Republican side of the U.S. Senate that refuses to take up the George Floyd Policing Act which has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but needs passage in the Senate to become law for the President to sign. Conservative “White” America has also responded with 47 states proposing, and in a growing number of states, passing “Voter Suppression Acts”. That will make it more difficult for people to vote, especially people of color. Such actions are aimed at nullifying those sections of the U.S. Constitutions such as the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments guaranteeing equal protection under law. The idea is that if it becomes difficult for people of color to produce voter identification, or provide them with fewer voting precincts and hours to vote that interfere with employment or too few voting machines at those places left to vote, then only conservative white people of shared views on race and police violence against people of color, will vote. This means that democracy as we know it will be dead and this country will have moved backwards over 100 years.

The good news is that if we the masses were not being successful in challenging the police and those who support them, the massive voter suppression effort would not be under way. So when we fight the San Diego Police punching a man that they already have on the ground; when we rise up against the police murdering of Mr. Brown in Elizabeth City, N.C. as he attempted to drive away from them in his car; when we see the Police hide for two years their body camera film of them murdering Mr. Ronald Greene after a police stop and hearing him apologize and crying as they murdered him, then we know that we can not let up for a moment.

Each police action of brutality must be exposed and resisted. We must let “White” America and the Police know that we will not yield to either their fear or their hate. The struggle does indeed continue.

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