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Policemen, please police thyself

Community voices

'If you have 12 bad cops and 1,300 good ones who don't turn the bad ones in, you have 1,312 bad cops'— Unattributed.

I haven't commented on racism since July 2013, when the 17 year old teenage black boy, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by a security guard, George Zimmerman, but unfortunately, AGAIN, we are faced with a racist crisis in conjunction with a pandemic. I wish this would calm down, but how loud do African Americans have to shout before they are heard? These bad cops used their authority to kill someone, this should be the worst crime a cop could commit. It is like a doctor killing their patients. Would anyone trust that doctor?

May the murder of George Floyd — unarmed, handcuffed black man, be an example of those instances the courts may give us justice and peace. Yes, Zimmerman got a non-guilty verdict from the criminal justice system but an overwhelmingly guilty verdict in the court of public opinion, further exacerbating the age-old tension between morality and law. Politics and ideology aside, almost everyone are in unison in condemnation of the murder of George Floyd.

Looters SHOULD be arrested. Sure, there are objectionable people of all colors, no discourse in sainthood here. One size fits all, specially with regard to other human beings, is reflective of a very lazy mind. Tipping points are real. Like the virus, this one will not magically disappear. But this go-to response of cops putting their knees on a person's neck? Maybe cops need a basic anatomy class, there are certain parts of the human anatomy that can lead to death if compromised. Murdering comes in when someone is faced down in handcuffs. That puts a lot of pressure on the chest and can make it difficult to breathe for some. Death is rare but everyone should know it is a potential outcome. If someone says they cannot breathe, you have to do something. Positional asphyxia is a real thing. All he had to do was roll him over. George Floyd passed out and he still did nothing.

I think Derek Chauvin was making a statement to watchers and bystanders. His supporting officers checked Floyd's pulse and found him dead. He then deliberately put his knee back on him for additional two minutes while being watched by a crowd. He wanted to make sure he stayed dead and hoping to instill fear into the witnesses. To let them know that this could happen to them as well. This is beyond despicable, loathsome and reprehensible, Look at his face as he was being filmed casually committing murder. No sign of humanity, no emotion as he slouch down. Ever seen a lion with its jaws around the neck of its prey, suffocating it to death? Unbelievable sight!

This isn't a hold that should ever be used on anyone, ever, no matter the skin color. We need to demand our law enforcement agencies adopt an absolute zero-tolerance policy on it's use with immediate termination being the consequence, and/or immediate arrest in the case of resulting loss of life. Again, I am having a hard time figuring out how someone on their stomach with their hands cuffed behind their back could be a threat to anyone. What was the point of holding him like that for almost 10 minutes? For anyone else it would be premeditated murder. Indeed, the murder of the 17 year old teenage black boy Trayvon Martin, and the verdict left me and many why we need this conversation to be rooted in strength, sadness and determination. This homicide touches me personally because I have two adult black men and want to share the ache and in sharing, clarify it and support the integrity of it. I pray that this event, this tragic loss will serve as the beginning point of a new world. It is time for all of us to move together, for real.

I don't know what you should say to your sons, or your daughter. You are all fine fathers and will find the right words to tell your children but most of all empower them with self confidence, compassion, empathy and courage. Be fearless and gentle, is all I can come up with. Fearless through faith — per fidem intrepidus, gentle and wise. Like dad. This black man's death was not in vain as he has brought forth awareness to Americans that racism still exist no matter how much we deny it. To trivialize this reality and deny its existence is wrong. It is disingenuous and fallacious. It undermines this nation's ability to make peace with each other. However, remind them that not all white people are racists, those that are, are few. Remember the only way these unnecessary deaths in the hands of cops will rest in peace is if we somehow come to peace with their deaths.

The judicial system once again, did more than fail. The system never intended to protect Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and many other black men gunned down. Allowing the use of deadly force so long as a person 'believes' their life is in danger has little to nothing to do with self-defense. It is a justification to pull the trigger or kneel on the neck. Kneeling across the jugular veins may see like he can't breathe. In reality, it cuts off blood flow. In other words he was strangled to death. Deadly force does not have to be present, only the “belief” that it is present. The burden of proof for such condition is essentially non-existent. Just like 'He was going to kill me with his umbrella' or some such nonsense.

No, the system did not just fail them. It has failed all of us, black parents especially, and put all our lives at risks. They treat the U.S. constitution like they do their bibles, pick and choose the lists they like, invent the rest and claim Jesus said it. There is a silent and deeply pained screaming against this hypocrisy. It is time for that often silent but fair and reasonable majority to scream against these laws and this inequality in the judicial system. Peace be with you all.

— Dr. Osmond Ekwueme, Medford