It Takes a Village to Enable Police Abuse. Deep-Seated Reform Must Start Now

By Daily Editorials

June 3, 2020 6 min read

The killing of George Floyd should unite this country, not divide it with day-and-night riots, looting, arson, rubber bullets, and tear gas. This should be a time to seek peace, not more violence.

The killing should unite us because nearly every living being on American soil rightly shares sadness, anger, and grief over what appears the callous and brutal murder of a black man by a white Minneapolis cop as three fellow officers stood by and did nothing. In a country divided over almost everything — a culture that politicizes hydroxychloroquine — we agree that George Floyd should live among us today.

We should have demonstrations around the country. We should have vigils and prayer services. We should express our shared emotions regarding this crime and coalesce to enhance justice and peace.

We cannot ignore blatant, televised injustice and pretend nothing happened. We cannot disregard that our country remains obsessed with race, which manifests in police brutality, hate crimes, prejudice, the passive and soft racism of low expectations, identity politics, and more.

Just as Americans have the right to peaceably assemble — and the right to say almost anything — they have the right to personal safety and peace. They have the right to private property. Our rights mean nothing if authorities don't uphold law and order.

Yet, day-after-day and night-after-night we are seeing injustice in cities throughout the country. Violent protesters are ruining businesses in Denver. In Colorado Springs they have broken glass, obstructed law enforcement operations, and escalated the conflict to the point of Gazette journalists choking on tear gas and taking rubber bullets for trying to do their jobs. Innocent people are getting hurt and killed.

TV news provides footage of protesters randomly injuring people with bats and planks, kicking them in the head to the point of unconsciousness.

President Donald Trump spoke Monday of state and local officials allowing violent thugs to viciously attack people and their properties. He vowed to end it.

Trump wasn't alone in expressing disgust with the violent and hateful mob crimes in response to Floyd's killing. George Floyd's brother, Terrence Floyd, admonished a Minneapolis crowd. As criminals looted businesses and burned buildings, Terrence and his family peacefully prayed in the midst of the violence. They have demanded justice, asking authorities to seek a first-degree murder conviction against the officer who killed their loved one.

They have not joined the madness.

"If I'm not over here blowing up stuff. If I'm not over here messing up my community, then what are you all doing," an impassioned Terrence Floyd demanded of the crowd. "What are you all doing? You all are doing nothing. Because that's not going to bring my brother back at all. It may feel good for the moment, just like when you drink. But when it comes down, you're going to wonder what you did."

Terrence Floyd said his family, like his deceased brother, respects peace.

"My family is God-fearing," he said. "Yea, we're upset. But we're not going to take it."

He means they're not going to accept more violence by criminals victimizing the community in the name of George Floyd.

In every case of police brutality, the same thing has been happening, Terrence Floyd said. "Y'all protest, y'all destroy stuff and if they don't move, you know why they don't move. Cause it's not their stuff; it's our stuff being destroyed."

History has shown us that neighborhoods burned and pillaged by race riots take generations to recover if they recover. Those most destroyed by this violence are typically the minorities criminal rioters claim to care about.

Trump said governors and local authorities will uphold law and order, or he will do it for them with the National Guard and other military assets.

George Floyd had a right to live. We all have a moral duty and God-given right to be upset, angry, and to express our grievances about that disgraceful killing in Minneapolis. Yet, nothing gives anyone the right to hurt people and property, destroying innocent lives in disingenuous concern for George Floyd and the racial injustice he symbolizes.

What happened to Floyd must never happen again. We should unite around our near-unanimous outrage. This is a time to heal. It is a time to care about each other, showing respect for life without regard for anyone's race, religion, sexual orientation, creed, or other personal traits. If we care about George Floyd, we must care about each other.

Nothing good comes from death and destruction. Floyd's family surrounded him in life and death with a philosophy of love, peace, and faith in God. They want and deserve justice, not the injustice of violent chaos ruining lives from coast to coast as they try to grieve in peace.

REPRINTED FROM THE COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE

Photo credit: DariuszSankowski at Pixabay

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