The murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the United States and subsequent protests has dwarfed the usual pandemic reporting we’ve had non-stop since February. The murder was recorded by a passerby and now the whole world has seen it. It shows a police officer kneeling on a man’s neck as he lies face down on the ground. The man can be heard gasping for his life. It’s disturbing and shocking and people are right to be up in arms and protesting about it. Police officers are meant to protect us, not kill us. This is grave abuse of the trust we give them. The police officer has rightly been charged with murder.
There were three other officers who stood by and watched as the man died. They have apparently been fired but that’s not good enough. To stand by, watch someone die, and do nothing makes them just as culpable and they should also be charged and sent to jail. It’s disgraceful that this has not happened already.
There have been protests around the world in solidarity with what has happened in the US. In the UK there have been protests in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. The US protests have had problems with rioting and looting. Our countries have a long tradition of protests which have helped to shape a fairer society and I don’t think a pandemic can or ought to stop it however I don’t condone the violence that is happening. It might help to understand how and why things have got so out of control when we consider that many of these people have been locked up for two months, many have lost their jobs and seen their income plummet. Poor people in low socioeconomic groups have been more adversely affected by this pandemic and this has likely exacerbated the response to the tragic murder of George Floyd.