Unjustified murders need to be put to an end

Discrimination against black people by police officers continue


Ryan Barnett

A woman takes part in a protest May 26 on Chicago Avenue, holding a sign reading, “George Floyd was murdered.” Floyd died May 25 after being detained and choked by four Minneapolis police officers, sparking citywide protests.

Tobias Khabie

When I first heard about the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police May 25, I was saddened and ashamed to hear that this horrific event occurred in Minneapolis. However, I was always one of the people who would give the cop the benefit of the doubt in most cases. 

Not knowing the details of the murder, I did not really have a strong reaction to the news. But after viewing an Instagram post by civil rights activist Shaun King displaying the horrifying murder, I felt an outrage I had never felt before.

The video shows Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin driving his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck, who was on the ground and handcuffed. In doing so, Chauvin blocked Floyd’s airway, and after desperate pleas by Floyd stating he couldn’t breathe, he passed out on the pavement. However, Chauvin did not stop the pressure and kept his knee on unconscious Floyd’s neck for minutes after he passed out. While this was happening, officer Tou Thao was standing by holding back bystanders who were protesting the gruesome actions. One bystander who was held back by Thao claimed to be a firefighter who pleaded with officers to check Floyd’s pulse. 

According to King, Floyd was being arrested because a grocer thought he forged a check. This is in no way a justifiable action for murder. According to KSTP, Floyd initially resisted arrest, which explains why he was physically detained. This is not the issue. Floyd was helpless and defenseless, and his murder cannot be rationalized. Furthermore, this was not a “heat of the moment” reaction by Chauvin. This was slow and intentional. Chauvin clearly intended to harm Floyd.

Floyd’s murder is yet another case of a white cop unjustifiably killing a black man. It is appalling to see this time and time again with no end in sight. This is no longer a coincidence. This is abuse of power and racism.

There need to be serious reforms to the police force. First, legislators have to severely punish any unjustified murder by a police officer that isn’t a split-second reaction. For example, if a suspect seems to be making a clear attempt to attack a cop, this is justifiable. But if a suspect is lying on the ground and handcuffed, this would definitely not be considered a justifiable murder.

Second, there have to be more mental tests for cops to ensure there are no prejudiced police officers in active duty. Cops have a unique position of power, and if the people who hold this position have any sort of irrational bias against a certain group of people, that is very unsettling. Lastly, these murders need to be condemned by all. This is not a partisan issue. No one should defend these actions. There is no excuse for these murders. 

That being said, we shouldn’t respond to these situations with more violence. There is an acronym spreading across social media saying All Cops Are Bastards (ACAB). All cops having to answer to the heinous actions of just a handful of cops is deeply disturbing to me. Police officers have long been generalized as bad people, and these situations only make it worse. In reality, the vast majority of police officers are the unsung heroes of our society, and they are, for the most part, morally good people. However, we need to make sure all cops are like this. No cop should abuse their power for any reason. 

Gruesome murders of innocent black men by white police officers need to stop. Enough is enough. We need a reform of the police training system and legislation that reduces and stops these horrifying acts of racism from ever happening again.