The tragic abuse of power

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.

3 thoughts on “The tragic abuse of power”

  1. I can’t say that I agree with the violence that has erupted, either – but between the ongoing rapaciousness of corporations that disempowered people (aided by cronyism in govt) and then the pandemic, the situation was a tinderbox. One of the most dangerous things a govt can do to its people is give them nothing to lose, because then they’ve got nothing to lose.

  2. Have you seen the post by the lecturer who was stopped by the police while he was buying a burger? He was wearing a similar hat to a person described as having carried out a robbery and the police wanted him to go with them so the victim could say if it was him or not. He knew he knew he had to refuse, because of the fear that once they put you in the back of a police car, you start to look like a guilty person and he could easily have been wrongly identified, but he was also fearful of being accused of resisting arrest. He felt lucky because a woman stopped to watch, to check that the situation didn’t escalate. When he thanked her afterwards, she said we all have to be watchful these days. The really tragic thing is all the times this has happened when there was no-one around to film. It has got to the stage where police don’t stop people filming and it must be because they think they are doing nothing wrong. I have seen footage of another person killed by police in similar circumstances where there was no conviction, no repercussions.

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