US civil rights hypocrisy…US fatal police shootings soar

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By Eunice Masunungure

PERPETUAL senseless killing of black people and other races who are not Caucasian by American police is enough evidence to disqualify the United States as human rights prefects, anywhere in the world.

From the time of the murder of George Floyd by the police, numbers of African-Americans being killed by law enforcement officers in the US are still very high.

The incident of May 25 2020, when 46-year-old black Minneapolis resident George Floyd was knee-pinned, face-down on the ground, in handcuffs, by a white police officer for more than eight minutes must have been the last of such evil in the US.

However, the anti-racist demonstrations and the promises of reforms following Floyd’s death failed to bring about closure to the senseless killings by US police while on duty.

Clearly, the deep-seated racist tendencies of US police towards African-Americans are too big a mark to be washed away by any kind of soap; world criticism, demonstrations and deafening calls for reforms.

Weeks after Floyd’s death, there was insistence that his death would be the last killing and this was used even in political campaigns by people like Joe Biden when running for the presidency.

Twenty-one states, including New York and California, instituted bills that focused on police supervision but statistics show that there is nothing to parade so far as ample evidence of improvement of police treatment of non-white people while on duty.

Fatal police shootings in the US instead seem to be increasing.

Statistica Research Department reveals that since the passing on of George Floyd, police have killed people senselessly at the same rate.

By way of ethnicity, 36 per million of the population were African-Americans who suffered as victims.

From January to June 30 2021, the US police shot 440 people to death.

Seventy-eight people were killed by police in January 2021, 85 in February 2021, 68 in March 2021, 82 in April 2021, 65 in May 2021 and 62 in June 2021. 

This is not much of an improvement if one looks at what was transpiring during the same period in 2020, where 88 were killed in January, 78 in February, 93 in  March, 79 in April, 111 in May and 77 in June.  

The difference of 86 is too minute after the inauguration of a president who promised an end to the ordeal of racism.

The US reforms in response to the killing of black Americans as a result of police brutality are still insignificant.

Reforms seem to have been stalled at state level, including in the Minnesota legislature as well as in Washington.

The African-Americans were killed under suspicion collated with danger, supposed violence and a threat to American security.

Mapping Police Violence, a research collaborative collecting data on police killings, reveals that by April 2021, there were only six days in which police did not kill while on duty.

Many are remembered in this issue of senseless killings.

For example, on May 31 2021, Demetrius Stanley was murdered by plain clothes police officers.  They came in an unmarked van and were stalking the outside of Demetrius’ family home. 

The 31-year-old went outside to check the suspicious movements outside his house and they shot him from inside their car. 

The police claim they were conducting surveillance on Stanley’s home related to an armed robbery Stanley was reportedly involved in.

Blacks are branded as suspects of all crimes in US from birth.

For example, the Mesquite Police Department in Texas shot and killed Ashton Pinke on May 4 2021 following what his family lawyers say should have been a wellness check by authorities. 

Instead, police claimed the 27-year-old Pinke charged at them ‘with a knife and a club purportedly’ leaving the officers no choice but to shoot to kill.

Andrew Brown of Elizabeth city, North Carolina, was killed on April 21 as Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a search warrant. 

He was not armed.

He is alleged to have driven away in his car when police fired a total of six to eight shots.

This killing came one day after the guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd.

Daunte Wright was killed on April 11 2021 after officers pulled him over for displaying air freshener on his rear view mirror, a traffic violation in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. 

The story being published on line is that when the police attempted to detain him, Wright hopped back into his car where an officer fired, fatally wounding him.

Time visions of Equity reveal that on April 11 Daunte Wright was shot to death at a traffic stop in Brooklyn Centre in Minnesota.

Kim Potter who says she mistook her gun for her Taser and meant to contain Wright’s possible fight-backs instead of killing him.

Sources reveal that Potter was allowed to resign on her own terms before being arrested and charged with second degree- manslaughter.

Another ordeal is of March 29, when Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy was shot dead on the West of Chicago.

Social media reveal that the police department could not substantiate whether or not he was armed.

Even after Anthony Thompson, a 17-year-old black high school student was shot to death by an officer in a school bathroom; the Tennessee Bureau of investigation could not afford straightforward information about the incident that led to his killing.

Most of the killings are later on noticed to be senseless because they are fostered by deep seated feeling that a black man is dangerous, evil and need to be countered ‘or-else-they-kill-you-first’.

Elsewhere, although the figures are less in the United Kingdom, black Londoners are three times more likely to be murdered on the streets of London.

Almost half of all murder victims in London in 2019 were Black despite them making up only 13 percent of the city’s population of the other ethnic groups in United Kingdom.

It is not right for one who who wants so much to be the world’s chief civil rights advocate elsewhere to continue erring so much in their backyard.

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