George Floyd Uprisings: Property Is Not More Important Than Black Lives

Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning liquor store near the Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct, Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Writing for Courier Newsroom, The Burton Wire’s founder & editor-in-chief Nsenga K. Burton discusses the misplaced anger surrounding the national uprisings against police brutality in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN by former police officers Derek Chauvin who kneeled on Floyd’s neck while three other police officers (Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Keung), who were swiftly. However, none of them were arrested and charged despite calls from some of the city’s leadership including mayor Jacob Frey, leading to uprisings in cities across the nation.

Check out an EXCERPT of the post on Courier News below:

“Unless you’ve been living under a rock or under some type of self-prescribed media fast, America is burning again. People fed up with unchecked police brutality against unarmed Black men, women and children have taken to the streets to protest the most recent killing of an unarmed Black man at the hands of white and in this case Asian police officers, again. 

George Floyd, who was alleged to have committed forgery, was taken into custody by police after a store clerk called them to complain about Floyd paying with a fake $20 bill. If you’re wondering how a routine police call ended with the senseless murder of yet another unarmed Black man, then so are we. 

Video surfaced of Floyd lying face down on the ground with his arms handcuffed behind his back. Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled with the full weight of his body, placing his knee across the back of Floyd’s neck while Floyd squirmed, gasping for air, pleading for his life and stating, “I can’t breathe.” 

People standing by and taping the arrest also pleaded for Floyd’s life to no avail. Chauvin sat there cavalierly with his hand in his pocket while literally snuffing the life out of Floyd for the world to see wearing a smug look of satisfaction on his face. 

While this video is shocking to some of you, it is normative to Black folks, who experience violence at the hands of the police in alarming numbers. 

In a snuff film seen around the world, America watched Floyd take his last breath at the hands of these men sworn to serve and protect. Although Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday, it’s not clear what, if anything, will happen to the other three former officers. All claimed Floyd resisted arrest. 

Add to the mix the release of the store’s video footage of the arrest from Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, the actual store owner, showing that Floyd did not resist arrest at all and was in fact peaceful. Protesters took to the streets surrounding the police precinct. 

What began as a peaceful protest turned into an uprising, some of which was in response to being met with police in riot gear. We all watched the countless videos of raging, armed white folks protesting coronavirus restrictions intended to protect their health—all, for what, their right to a haircut? We watched those protesters storm Michigan’s state capital without any arrests. 

America, the capital of double standards and hypocrisy and the king of “do what I say but not what I do,” is at it again. 

What is maddening about this most recent spate of uprisings is the continued trope of discussing protesters of color as riotersthugs and looters in mainstream media. I have read a plethora of op-eds today focusing on the destruction of property and not on the historic terror Blacks face on day to day in this country because of the color of their skin. 

Racism allows for the continued brutal beatings and killings of unarmed Blacks at the hands of rogue police officers, wannabe police officers or white folks who appear to hate Black people and think they still own us. See Amy Cooper…”

Read the entire post at Courier Newsroom.

Nsenga also serves as culture and entertainment editor for Black Press USA. Follow Nsenga K. Burton on Twitter @Ntellectual.

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