Recent Police Brutality Protests: Deja Vu…

I couldn’t help but notice as I watched news reports about people all over the world, young and older, of all and any ethnicity, loudly and angrily protesting in the streets of various cities (Minneapolis, Washington D.C., New York City, San Francisco, London, Paris, Atlanta, etc.), after the insanely brutal behavior of Minneapolis police officers towards an African American man (George Floyd) on May 25, 2020, who had allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a liquor store, resulting in the homicidal murder of Mr. Floyd by these police “public servants” who are paid by our tax dollars to uphold the law, protect citizens and their constitutional rights, etc., that this whole tragic unfortunate situation reminded me of first-hand stories I have heard throughout my life about police encounters of male friends and family members. This situation was also a deja vu for me of the turbulent ’60’s when I was a teenager. Too bad, so sad that marginalized people (particularly African Americans, people of Latin descent, Native Americans, the homeless, the mentally challenged, etc., and in perhaps that order!) in the USA, in particular, are still struggling with equal protection and equality of rights as citizens, since the inception of this country…

Whatever happened to the presumption of innocense under the U.S. Criminal Justice System and Laws, until proven guilty by Due Process?!? When it comes to African American males (and in the past ten years or more: African American females! But, far more frequently: African American males, which has been the case since our ancestors were first brought to these shores of the USA, unwilling and in chains from our homeland of Africa, all the way to present day, over 400 years ago!!), the rule has been “shoot to kill” for African American male suspects in far too many police departments and trainings across the country (I have in my memory first-hand statements of this kind from young police cadets of other ethnicities in training as well as male family members who once were, or still are, police officers in California and Louisiana!), therefore, African American male suspects relative to any and all criminal activity are presumed guilty, whether innocent, false identity or not, forget about Due Process!! Far too often , African American male suspects are unemployed, underemployed (like Mr. Floyd reportedly was in the wake of being layed off from his job during this 2020 Cornovarius Pandemic, which hit USA shores and spreaded throughout this country by the middle of March of this year) and can not afford decent, fair, and just legal representation from a criminal attorney. Plus, often times, most African American criminal suspects are unaware of their right to request legal representation for criminal cases from a Public Defender, provided by tax dollars. Even if an African American male suspect manages to receive fair and just Due Process, it is very rare, if ever, (which is true for any marginalized suspect regardless of ethnicity, social status, economic status, etc.) he would be offered support services for mental health issues, education needs, employment, housing, and the like. We definitely need modifications of our Criminal Justice system to really meet the needs of all citizens who could benefit from additional resources support, in order to be functioning contributing members of society, instead of winding up as a statistic and a detriment to society.

George Floyd ( and so many other George Floyd(s), from the time of Reconstruction, and arguably beforehand, until present day!) was a victum of not only the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic to loose his job and apparently taking on a lesser paying job(s) to support his family , but he lost his life and a chance to revive his life after COVID, like many people throughout the world hope for right now, and ultimately to live his life fruitfully as a brother, friend, father, and so forth. Unfortunately, he was also a victum of an on-going Pandemic of Racism in the U.S.!! (What a tragic and totally stressful commentary, for Mr. Floyd’s family and friends to have to undergo not just one, but two, pandemics at the same time! Stressful and demoralizing for the African American community in general, for that matter. Although many of us African Americans have good coping skills to racism and stressors of life we face each and every day, we are still only human, like anyone else! Contrary to the mindset of many bias folks: African Americans are not made of steel to let all this negativity just roll off of us!!). Mr. Floyd was apparently attempting to start his life over again in Minneapolis, after experiencing several years of bad luck with his life in college at South Florida State College (as well as Texas A & M University, Kingsville campus) and in his hometown of Houston, Texas. He had a rough and challenging life growing up with his mother as a single parent, similar to alot of people, but he also had to cope with being an African American man in the U.S. A tall order to fill for many African American males! Accounts show that Mr. Floyd actually contracted COVID-19 Pandemic in early April this year from which he recovered, and he moved to Minneapolis to try to start his life over again (trying to escape his demons in Texas) in a positive vein with a new job and so forth, but to his demise he contracted the Pandemic of Racism about a month later, in the very city that brought him hope for a brighter more stable future for him and his children (his family).

It is my hope and prayer, similar to so many other folks of all races, religions, and social/economic standings throughout the world, that this recent revitalization of the Civil Rights Movement for African Americans and other marginalized people with the “modern day lynching” of George Floyd will bring about, at the very least, a change in how the police in our cities are “policed” themselves, monitored for compliance to fair & just police policy, made accountable for their lack of adherence to police policy therein and therefore professionalism, and on top of it all, neglect to follow established policy (through local, state and federal mandates) up to three times (at the most! after all, we all are human, but let the punishment of the offending law enforcement officer fit the crime!) resulting in lost of job, immediate jail time when appropriate, Due Process under the law, and so forth, of course. It is probably far easier to change and/or modify police policy and the criminal justice system across the USA (and the world!), than the hearts of those who are bias (to put it lightly) towards African Americans (and other marginalized people)!! Far too many times, for over 400 years, law enforcement officers have gotten away with brutalizing, and in most cases, throughout this country, murdering African American males, which is also a loss of a son, a father, an uncle, cousin, friend, etc. for community members. An upsetting tragedy, demoralizing, and often times, outright loss of faith in our Criminal Justice System…

Our law enforcement officers, our court system, not to mention our local, state, and federal governmental officials are suppose to uphold the U.S. Constitution for all, not just a selected few citizens and would be citizens of this country. Looks like this COVID-19 Pandemic has awaken a whole lot of folks to the fact that this country does not live up to its “truths that all men are created equally”…losing their jobs to make ends meet each month, no matter the skill or educational levels, has been a wake up call to millions of Americans (and other folks around the world, I am sure) that they can be negatively impacted once again, after the 2008 Recession was so devastating to their lives!! With the persistently angry demonstrations, protests, looting, taking rubber bullets to their bodies from law enforcement officers, and the like, young and older people seem to be saying: we deserve our needs to be met as members of this society and we deserve equal protection from unfair, brutal police and jails!!!

Many countries, particularly the United States, given our higher, than any other country in the world, COVID-19 cases and mortality rate to date ( currently around 2 million cases and 114,000 deaths) from COVID-19, certainly need to utilize Best Practices from countries like Denmark which, I understand, is experiencing far, far fewer cases and deaths due to COVID (about 12,000 cases and around 600 deaths to date) than any other western world country. (you can Google Denmark to get more details about the status of their economy and how they did it!) Furthermore, I understand from UC Berkeley economists, public health scientists, molecular biologists and other research scientists regarding this issue, through a recent webinar that Denmark’s economy has not suffered like ours since this pandemic or rarely ever, for that matter, because their government was established with the needs of the people of Denmark in mind: to meet their daily and retirement needs, relative to education, employment, housing, medical concerns, and so forth. Senator Bernie Sanders is considered a socialist, a leftist, and even a communist, in some folks minds, because he advocates for free education and free medical even during retirement! In addition, the labor unions in Denmark are considered valuable to assist employers with having fair employment conditions for workers. These systems even work in countries like Costa Rica and Canada! All of these vital and fair systems are considered taboo or not politically correct in the U.S., every since Ronald Reagan became governor and then president of the U.S. He was a “union buster” to boot! Too bad and so sad for U.S. citizens because these systems are proving to work around the world, especially during a pandemic like we find ourselves experiencing right now, in order to have viable functioning societal infrastructures , at any given period of time for a country. It is noteworthy to mention that Denmark has not had the disruption to their economy with employment layoffs, closing of businesses, etc., like we have had!! Check it out: Google Denmark and other countries who maintain a “people-centered” society…

Now look at the unfair, unjust, devastating , poor economical, political, and social shape the U.S. is in because we refuse to look at Best Practices for the benefit of the people!

Stay tuned…Be well, Be safe, Take care.

Published by B.G. Aucoin

I am a new Blogger. Looking to chronicle my life with various non-fiction posts. I am a retired Literacy Specialist after over 30 years, now a part time Civil Court Mediator with a law degree for 10 years. I have been an advent Journal Writer since my teens.

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