By Lucius Gantt
My heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, neighbors and all others that loved George Floyd who was recently murdered by law enforcement officers in Minnesota.
Every day in America a Black man, woman or child becomes a victim of police brutality and misconduct!
When African Americans are killed by people that are paid to protect them and serve them, our people get mad.
Citizens have a right to be angry. Black people are tired of being tried!
When a Black sheep in the pasture get attacked mercilessly by a white wolf, it is only natural for the sheep to get pissed off!
Angry Minnesotans filled the streets of Minneapolis to protest the killing of an unarmed, restrained and controlled Black man that was hand cuffed, face down on the ground with a devilish beast choking George Floyd by forcing his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly ten minutes while three other cops stood by and refused to intervene to stop the unlawful killing.
The people decided to protest. Thousands of residents, tired of police getting away with brutality and murder, took to the streets to protest.
I have no problem with demonstrating and protesting. I have no problem when oppressed and exploited community members march, sing, pray and express their opposition to beastly murder.
Minnesota citizens can voice their disapproval, they can riot and they can burn the police precinct down but they better not destroy too many of the white man’s businesses.
If you don’t know, there are thousands of folk that go to protests but only a few people in the crowd throw rocks, set fires and steal stuff.
Breaking laws to protest law violations by law enforcers is understandable in some instances. It is not unusual to believe that sometimes proper limits have to be exceeded to right a wrong. Think about Rosa Parks refusing to obey laws that required her to sit in the back of the bus.
When a few people throw rocks at a purported enemy that has weapons of mass destruction like automatic rifles, tanks, helicopters, water cannons, dogs, tear gas, pepper spray, mace and metal batons, the rock throwers may get shot but more importantly, their actions put the innocent, law abiding, peaceful and non-violent protesters into harm’s way when police react and respond.
Also, the people that can change policies, procedures, actions and the behavior of bad cops, will not be in the burned buildings and cars, they will not be in the damaged Black owned businesses and they will not even be in the distressed and disturbed communities where the alleged police misconduct and state sponsored murder took place. They will probably be at home watching the protests and riots on television like the rest of the world.
If you want to protest, protest right. Police violence can provoke violence in neighborhoods. Violence, misconduct and police brutality has never been really curtailed. Law enforcement in the murders of Black people is nothing new. It has gone on for more than 400 years. Closet klansmen cops were involved in atrocities in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rosewood, Florida and many, many other places.
Whites in Georgia claim they can make citizen arrests, but you can’t. Today, protests in Minnesota have escalated. Protests are going on in many cities.
The police and the government that shields and protects law enforcers that murder suspects have plans to deal with Black protesters, you should have plans on how to deal with government.
In my mind, elected city officials in Minneapolis are complicit and liable for what happened to George Floyd. Why? Because city and county commissioners voted to allocate millions of dollars to train police officers how to make lawful arrests.
Since police murderers felt it was OK to choke an unarmed man to death, just like officers do in other cities, where did the training money go? Elected officials can be forced into a courtroom to explain how putting your knees and full body weight is a tactic learned in taxpayer financed police training.
Floyd’s lawyers are on TV daily talking about arresting the police but none of the lawyers you love are talking about suing elected officials in their public and personal capacities. This is not column talk. Elected officials can be brought into court to discuss police misconduct. Lawyers know how to use “Westlaw” to view cases where politicians had to explain the lack of training and police misconduct. Lawyers are reluctant to sue politicians because they fear losing legal risk management business from governments.
At the end of the day, I probably will not throw rocks or burn buildings at a peaceful, nonviolent protest.
But like the victimized and exploited people in Minnesota, I want local and federal authorities to arrest the beasts!
Meanwhile, stay safe from both viruses, Corona and systemic police racism.
Lucius is a contributing columnist to NNPA newspapers around the nation, and the author of “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing,” available on Amazon.com and from bookstores everywhere.