On May 25, 2020, at approximately 8:24 p.m., George Floyd took his last breath. He was murdered–in front of a large crowd–by Derek Chauvin, an officer of the Minneapolis Police Department for nearly twenty years.
Floyd’s life is one of the 463 (and counting) lives taken by various police departments across the United States this year; these same police departments collectively kill, on average, a thousand American citizens each year. Many of the victims are unarmed.
Since his death, large protests have materialized in over two thousand cities across the U.S. as well as sixty other countries. These protesters are asking for nothing extraordinary…unless you consider liberty and justice for all to be an excessive request.
While a great deal of the country has placed its focus on protests that unfortunately devolved into riots rather than the motivation for the protests to begin with, it is important for the rest of us to remember what we’re fighting for.
America’s police force is not the most murderous police force in the world, but it could be far better off. We could combine the number of people killed by the police in one year in the following countries:
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
…and it would add up to 991, thirteen less than U.S. law enforcement killed in 2019.
These countries’ residents add up to 2,355,996,273 individuals. This is over seven times as many people as there are in the United States.
All of these locations (and then some) enjoy a lower rate of police on citizen deaths than the U.S. per capita as well.
Open your eyes.
This is a problem.
We can all agree that the lives lost due to rioting are a tragedy. The majority of people around the globe who are protesting have no intention of taking life; their goal is to preserve it.
While it’s heartbreaking, and we need to be more careful as a movement, most of the blame lies on the very police force we are attempting to hold accountable. They quite often instigate the violence:
These recordings are a drop in the bucket, but we cannot stop demanding justice–no matter how difficult it may be.
Black Lives Matter.
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