Sunday, April 11, 2021

Second evening of protests after the death of an American black man at the hands of the police

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Demonstration against the death of George Floyd after his violent arrest by police, May 27, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. KEREM YUCEL / AFP

Protesters gathered on Wednesday, May 27, for the second consecutive evening in Minneapolis, where the death of a black man after his violent arrest by police has sparked anger and calls for justice.

Read also Four police officers dismissed after the death of a black man during his arrest in the United States

The police chief of the city of the North of the United States asked the demonstrators to keep calm so as not to experience the same excesses as the day before. In particular, the windows of a police station had been smashed on Tuesday evening and the police had replied using tear gas and rubber bullets.

A demonstrator exposed to tear gas on May 27 in Minneapolis.
A demonstrator exposed to tear gas on May 27 in Minneapolis. Carlos Gonzalez / AP

The four police officers dismissed but left at large

The family of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died after a brutal arrest, the video of which went viral, said on Wednesday that the officers involved were charged with murder. "Because that's exactly what they did, they committed murder against my brother"said his sister Bridgett Floyd on NBC. "I have faith and I believe that justice will be done"she added, saying that the dismissal of the police was not " not enough ".

May 27 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
May 27 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. KEREM YUCEL / AFP

The four police officers involved in Floyd's arrest were sacked on Tuesday, but released after an investigation was launched. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey wondered Wednesday "Why the man who killed George Floyd (was) not in prison ". "If you or I had done this, we would be behind bars right now", he said.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he had asked the federal police (FBI) and the Department of Justice to shed light on this disappearance "Sad and tragic". "My thoughts are with George's family and friends. Justice will be done! ", he promised.

" I can not breathe "

Filmed by a passerby on Monday, a video of the arrest shows a police officer tackling George Floyd on the ground, keeping his knee on his neck for long minutes. We see this last groan and repeat: " I can not breathe. "

The agent, a white man, tells him to stay calm. A second policeman keeps passersby away who start to get angry when the man arrested does not move and seems unconscious.

New videos appear to dismiss the police argument that George Floyd, suspected of having tried to forge a counterfeit $ 20 bill, resisted officers who arrested him.

In images captured by the cameras of the restaurant in front of which he was arrested, his hands are handcuffed behind his back and he offers no resistance when a policeman drives him to a patrol car.

Without the images broadcast on social networks, the police "Would have given a false version of the facts and they would have hidden that under the carpet"said Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the family of the deceased.

A society marked by racism

Memorial at the place where George Floyd was arrested on May 27.
Memorial at the place where George Floyd was arrested on May 27. KEREM YUCEL / AFP

Many personalities have denounced unjustified violence on the part of the police against blacks. Black Senator Kamala Harris, former California prosecutor, castigated "An act of torture" and an "Public execution" in a society marked by racism.

"It is a tragic reminder that this is not an isolated incident, but part of a cycle of systematic injustice that still exists in our country"said former US Vice President and Democratic Presidential candidate in November Joe Biden. The case, he said, is reminiscent of the circumstances of Eric Garner's death in 2014 in New York. The black man died after being suffocated during his arrest by white police who suspected he was selling contraband cigarettes.

The case had notably contributed to the emergence of the Black Lives Matter protest movement ("Black life matters"). Other deaths of blacks at the hands of the police had caused riots in the country.

Read also Black Lives Matter, the new voice of blacks in the United States

NBA star LeBron James posted a photo of kneeling former American football player Colin Kaepernick and one of George Floyd's tackle to the ground on Instagram under the title: " That's why ". The Los Angeles Lakers star basketball player also wrote:

"Do you understand NOW?" Or is it still as confusing for you? "

In protest at police brutality targeting black people, Colin Kaepernick launched a boycott of the national anthem by kneeling on the ground when it was played before the games of the American football championship.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Racial divide and disappointment of blacks under Obama

The World with AFP

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