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Trouble in America – I can’t breathe

By Kole Omotoso
07 June 2020   |   3:25 am
Finally the United States of America has lost its shine. Time there was when the States was the place to run to.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JUNE 3: A man holds up a sign stating “I Can’t Breathe” at a memorial for George Floyd on June 3, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Former police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and the three other officers who participated in the arrest have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Floyd’s death, the most recent in a series of deaths of black Americans at the hands of police, has set off protests across the country. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/AFP Stephen Maturen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Finally the United States of America has lost its shine. Time there was when the States was the place to run to. It was the place of opportunities, the place to go to. Within a few years under a racist uneducated trader a sophisticated society has been reduced to a rumble. It takes time to build but no time at all to destroy. Here is the way and manner that Trouble arrived in the United States of America and mashed up every thing that was the pride of the country. The post-second world war political and economic infrastructure had been crafted and led by the U.S.A.

The Governor of New York Cuomo can list the number of unarmed black men who have been murdered by the police while in police custody from 1930 until now. So, when George Floyd was murdered last Monday in broad daylight and recorded for the duration 9 minutes, it was another name to add to the infamous list. But it was a name too many. As the younger brother of George said he was tired, fed up, weary of mourning these men murdered by the police who are supposed to take care of them.

While police officer Chauvin had his knee on the neck of Mr. Floyd thee of his colleague police officers watch over him warning him that he should stop it, that the prisoner was in distress. Floyd had been handcuffed to his back and was lying flat on the ground.

He was crying out “I can’t breathe.” To which the police officer would reply “Relax.” “I can’t breathe, Mama.” Until he lost consciousness and died. There were two other video films of the process that took the life of George Floyd. This was the first fully filmed record of the murder of an African-American. Without it would have been impossible to make the case conclusively against the police officer.

Police Officer Chauvin had 18 complaints filed against him by members of the community. He was only called up to answer to two of them. One of them was by a bunch of white teenager boys. When interviewed 5 years later, one of them said that they were saved by their being white or else they would have been shot without any witnesses. It was impossible to get the details of any of the other cases for which the police officer never answered.

As soon as the police commissioner saw the video of the murder of George Floyd he dismissed the four police officers from his force. On the 4th day former police officer was arrested and held for murder and 3rd degree murder. On the 7th day the police commissioner came to the place where Mr. Floyd died to knee in respect of a place that was already a sacred ground. But it was too late. Why was it that only Chauvin was arrested? What about the other 3 implicated by their presence, who did nothing to save George and so were implicated? And why did they wait until four days before arresting Chauvin?

Within 24 hours after the murder of George Floyd the streets of America were already teeming with protesters and rioters. The protesters carried placards with I CAN’T BREATHE or BLACK LIVES MATTER. They were also singing with the names of the unarmed African-Americans who had been murdered unrecorded over the years, over decades, over the period of 400 years. The rioters broke into the shops and looted them especially at night when the peaceful protesters would have gone home done with their peaceful protest.

The protesters and rioters were busy on the streets, doing their own things, in the name of Saint George Floyd. The Governor, the Mayors, the elected officers as well as the military officers along with the police sided with the protesters. They were sure that the rioters came from across the border to cause trouble in their state. The president sided with the rioters who were looting for whom he had the rhyme made famous by an offensive police commissioner of police of the 1960s period of freedom liberation struggle which said “When the looting starts the shooting starts.”

The protesters and the rioters operated together and it was difficult to separate one group from the other. Where one went the other followed. And sometimes it was not easy to identify one group from the other. The rioters were more dramatic and more attractive to the media. They lit fires from thrash in the middle of the road. They threw Molotov cocktails through church windows. They burnt down five storey buildings. They reduced police offices to ruble and police were seen abandoning their offices to these rioters. At one point it is said that the president was taken down to the dungeon in the White House when the rioters breached one of the securities of the presidential palace.

By the 8th day of the murder of Mr. Floyd every town and street in the country had been covered by protesters and rioters. Arguments went on on television and on radio. Protesters were allowed and encouraged during the day. Curfews were imposed to curb the rioters at night. Yet, peaceful protests took place during the day while rioting and looting took place during the night. Hundreds of such rioters were arrested while curfew breachers were also put behind bars.

There was no one to console Americans in their hour of need. The president was not that kind of person. He was in fact no president. Across the world, in countries where people used t look up to America protesters appeared on the streets of Great Britain and Europe. And on the streets of Australia and New Zealand, all in sympathy with the African-Americans along with their endless struggle against police cruelty.

Will this protest end in reforms? Arrest and charging of the 4 policemen with the certainty of finding them guilty. The reform of policing procedure throughout the country. The new rules for recruitment of police as well as proper training of them. The abandonment of the idea of a few bad apples and the acceptance that there is a systemic racism that must be purged out of America once and for all time…