George Floyd- What happened and what has happened since.

Racism, a word that’s on everyone’s lips these days. It refers to a systemic and mental prejudice against a particular group based on their looks, ethnicity etc. It’s a phenomenon that’s been around for several decades, it’s the thorn by the side of humankind that has hampered our enhancement. But why now, why the sudden uproar, why bring this issue to light so dramatically.

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The hotspot for this issue started in Minneapolis, USA, which has an infamous record of police brutality and racism against those of African-American origin. Even within US Minneapolis has had a blatant disregard for the rights of African Americans since the last two decades. The death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis resident was the tipping point for all this. The police were called on Floyd regarding a suspected forgery of a $20 bill, what happened next was both sickening and disheartening. Derek Chauvin, one of the officers in charge of “arresting” Floyd was seen crushing his windpipe by the pavement. He has been involved in using excessive force 20 times out of which 19 included no disciplinary action against him. His offences include pulling a gun at a couple of kids due to their Nerf gun hitting a passer-by. The kids were verbally abused and were threatened by Chauvin. They later told a news outlet that they feel the only reason they are alive is because they weren’t black. So, him killing an African-American in cold blood as he begged him to breathe isn’t too farfetched. Initially as soon as Floyd was termed dead at a local hospital, the police department issued a statement that he “suffered a medical episode while struggling with officers,” however a video posted by a passer-by by the name of Darnella Frazier showed the world the actual truth, as the body cams of the police officers involved were suddenly heavily muted and redacted. The video showed how no sympathy was shown the poor man, who had moved from Houston to start his life anew. What followed were massive protests throughout the country and then the world. The movement involved a cry for reform and justice, justice for Floyd and all the other victims and reform so that no other person suffers like them. However, the response from the government was rather lukewarm, initially whenever the Hennepin County attorney was questioned about the call for an arrest of Chauvin their spokesperson would reply as it being discussed. This sparked a major outrage which led to riots and looting within many states in the US. The subsequent looting increased to such a point that the military was asked to guard various stores to ensure the stores safety. Various celebrities have spoken up about this issue and how devastated they are, especially amongst the African-American community. The brother of George Floyd, Philonise Floyd was asked about his thoughts regarding the movement and its association with looting and breaking of stores and he said  “I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt because they’re tired of seeing black men die, constantly, over and over again,” And I understand, and I see why a lot of people doing a lot of different things around the world. I don’t want them to lash out like this,” he added. “But I can’t stop people right now, because they have pain. They have the same pain I feel. I want everything to be peaceful, but I can’t make everybody be peaceful.”  How this episode follows is for all of us to see.

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