Here is a quote from Police Chief Butch Ayers of Gwenett County who fired two police Officers for brutalizing Demetrius Hollins in Gwenett County:
“The fact of the matter is, the suspect was in handcuffs, the suspect was on the ground, the suspect was not resisting,” he said. “At that point, that’s it. There should have been no other application of force.”
This rule should always be followed, but it is usually not and was not used with George Floyd.
MY HEART IS BLEEDING FOR GEORGE FLOYD
The George Floyd incident has had a devastating effect on my being. I don’t and pleads for air to breathe. I also cannot get the image of the other officer standing in front of him viewing the officer’s behavior as normal and acceptable with no attempt to counsel the kneeling officer on his action. All this because of a counterfeit $20.00 bill, which as Jimmy Kimmel said, Mr. Floyd may not have known was counterfeit. I worked in a bank many years ago and I am not sure that I can easily recognize a counterfeit bill and may be used on innocently. I wasn’t there, but I can still hear Mr. Floyd’s pleas for air ringing in my ear. I broke down in tears, and as I write this article, I am, once again, prone to breaking down. His face rubbing into the cement sidewalk. The single act of the officers showing some empathy and removing their knees from his neck and back would’ve made a tremendous difference and outcome.
President Obama used to say in many of his speeches on racism, that “This is not who we are,” meaning that this is not America. I would caution President Obama, Oprah Winfrey or anyone who utters that statement, that they are wrong. This IS who we are. The statement should be, “This is NOT who WE SHOULD be.” One would think that after all the struggles of MLK, that things would have progressed for the better. one would think that after having a black president, that there would be change for the better, but that seems to have put us back decades of Sundays. There is a man in office who could not denounce Natzi’s or the KKK nor would he show his taxes, but was bent on denying that President Obama was a citizen of this country and fought to have him show his birth certificate. The latter is what spearheaded him to run for president along with his own jealousy that a black man have the audacity to be president of this country. A well educated man and a great orator who was respected, admired and loved. The man in office can only say regarding Mr. Floyd that what he saw is, “A bad, bad thing,” and that “We’ll have to see after the investigation what should be done.” Despicable.
MLK did not endorse violence. He preached non violent demonstrations, but that song has been sung to a crescendo that has yielded nothing. People are tired of it and while burnings and violence are extreme and destructive to everyone concerned, it seems to be the only way to get attention and get results. Burning of the precincts in Minneapolis and other buildings along with demonstrations have resulted in the officer being arrested, otherwise he would’ve gone on to seek and get jobs and continue living his life quietly as would the others while George Floyd’s family grieve in pain.
I am the aunt of a retired police officer and three young black nephews, one of whom is now returning from university in the UK where he earned his BA. Are we to now worry that this could happen to him or any one of my other nephews? Yes, damn straight; it is entirely possible. Should his mother not sleep at night if he’s not at home that she’ll get that phone call about her 6′, 3″ black son? I am sure that Mr. Floyd’s family never thought their son would die this way – less than an animal in the street begging for air, crying in pain that his neck hurt as a white man’s knee is jabbed into his neck, and for what? a stinking, so-called counterfeit $20.00 bill.
I have many black male friends that this could happen to because one does not have to be guilty of a crime in this country for this to happen. One only has to be Black, primarily male and in the wrong place at the wrong time faced with the wrong people. Please know that I am not against police. I’ve dated police officers. As stated above, one of my nephews is a retired police officer, my brother-in-law was a police officer, as was his brother, but there is a disrespect for black men in this country that is so prevalent that it’s scary. Caution your children and make them aware of what could happen even if they’re innocent. This could’ve happened to Christian Cooper in Central Park when an angry white woman used the race card as leverage to call the police because she resented being asked by a black man to do the right thing – leash her dog. It doesn’t matter if you are educated, (as he is), refined, good looking, dressed well, light skin or dark skin, to insensitive racist whites, you are just another nigger and a threat. Yes, I said the ‘n’ word.
There should be a town hall meeting on this issue which should be held in every state. There should also be reform in the training of police officers, sensitivity training concerning this and other issues such as dealing with people with mental health issues, another problem which police DO NOT know how to handle. Finally, let’s all get out and vote. I’ve always been an inspector at the polls, I intend to be proactive again this year.
Here are a few victims of police brutality and killings with no convictions and only in a few cases were officers fired:
Ahmaud Arbery – Killed (non-police – racist killing)
Eric Garner – New York – Killed by police
Kevin Matthews – 2015 – Killed by police
Janet Wilson – 2016 – Killed by police
Keith Childress – 2016 – Killed by police
Michael Brown – Ferguson – Killed by police
Botham Jean – Dallas – Killed by police
Breonna Taylor – Kentucky – Killed by police
Freddie Gray – Baltimore – Killed by police
Trayvon Martin – 2012 (non police – racist killing)
Tamir Rice – 2014 – Killed by police (12 yo)
Demetrius Hollins – 2017 – Brutalized by police
Rodney King – 1991 LA – Brutalized by police
James Mincey, Jr. – 1982 – Killed by police
There are many more . . .
I am not famous and I do not have a podium from which to voice my opinion other than this blog, but I feel strongly that we all must do what we can, when we can no matter how small. Caution your children.
Stay well, stay kind, be aware and do what you can. Join the Obama MBK organization. Join the NAACP organization and lend your voice.