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Violent Protests in Us Cities After the Death of African-American at Hands of Police: is the Bell Tolling for America?

An senior air warrior and political observer who has the pulse of the region and can sense a change when it comes.


The reason for the violence

Sometimes it requires a small matchstick to light a flame. In this case, an African-American named George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man died on May 25 and the cause of his death was a neck hold by a white police officer named Derek Chauvin. Floyd was handcuffed and was not a threat but the police officer Chauvin watched by 3 other officers continued with the neck hold for many minutes till he breathed his last. In between the man was gasping for breath and blurting out that he couldn't breathe but the cop did not relent in his hold.

Floyd had been arrested in Powderhorn, a neighborhood of Minneapolis in the US state of Minnesota. The entire incident was trivial and brings out the bias of the police officers against the African-Americans. It has been alleged by the police officers that Floyd physically resisted arrest when he was asked to come out of his car.

So confident was the police in what they did that several bystanders took video recordings of the happenings and these recordings tell a story of police brutality and insensitiveness.

Such a video was bound to inflame passions especially as it was clear that Floyd was repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe"

All the four police officers have been removed and Derek Chauvin is arrested. This was not enough to douse the flames as the family of Floyd demanded a charge of first-degree murder against all 4 police officers.

The FBI is investigating the case but then in such a volatile situation. One can see that prima facie a case can be made out against the police officers. Yet no one is charged and only Chauvin is charged with 3rd-degree murder. Such an approach was bound to inflame passions and the result is violence all over America.

America has a wounded soul and the African-Americans have a feeling that they are being discriminated against despite having in America for over 300 years. It was inevitable that violent protests would break out.

His death sparked outrage across the country and in Minneapolis, protests transitioned to rioting and looting with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze.


The violence

The news of the death of Floyd at the hands of the police spread like wildfire all over America. The net result is violent demonstrations and acts of arson across many cities in the USA.

The demonstrations all over America were probably expected yet the authorities failed to anticipate the deep hurt of the black community. The reason is the repetition of similar acts by the police. One can recollect the case of Eric Garner who was placed in the police chokehold in New York in 2014. So it appears that such cases happen with alarming frequency.

One cannot condone the violence and the arson that accompanied it. All this could have been nipped in the bud, in case the authority had preferred the charge of murder against all the four officers and put them up for trial. Whatever the verdict would have been immaterial but for the moment the flames would have been doused.

In 2014, another African American Michael Brown was killed by white police officers. and there was a lot of talk of reform – but nothing happened down the line.

After the riots erupted on Friday the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck was charged with murder (3rd degree). Cases of violence against African Americans don't seem to abate. Michael Brown who was was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson captured and global attention, for a time.

When Brown was killed, a new movement for racial justice grew under the banner of Black Lives Matter, and there was talk of systemic reform all over the country.

Six years have passed but it appears nothing much has happened. There is a growing chorus heard asking what America has done to stop the bleeding.. Tragically there is no answer.

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Last word

America is on fire. I have been watching CNN and RTV at my residence and I am concerned as I have relations in America. Curfews have been put in place in more than 25 cities across America as protests continue.

Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Miami are among the major US cities that have been placed under some form of restriction.

Floyd died on Monday and the officer was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder.

But the arrest has done little to stop the protests.

More than 1,400 people have been arrested until Thursday and in New York, at least 340 people were arrested on Saturday night alone.

The National Guard has been deployed in the states of Minnesota and Atlanta, as well as the city of Los Angeles, and in Washington DC, Donald Trump warned protesters that they will be met with "vicious dogs."Can't think of a more silly comment from the president.

The army is put on alert amid public anger. This shows the seriousness of the situation and one wonders if the great American state riven by Coronvirus ( 100,000 deaths) and China's game plan is facing an implosion to erode its status as the number one power in the world. Americans have to put on their thinking caps and accept that something is rotten in American society that needs cleansing.


MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 05, 2020:

Robert, Cheers!

Robert Sacchi on June 05, 2020:

I appreciate your sympathy.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 04, 2020:

Robert, I am saddened

Robert Sacchi on June 04, 2020:

That is the typical pattern in America.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 04, 2020:

KC McGee, this is sad and I can't understand how protests for a legitimate cause can degenerate to looting and arson. Something is wrong.

KC McGee from Where I belong on June 04, 2020:

It's odd how thugs can go out and riot, loot, burn down buildings, but I can't go to a church.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 03, 2020:

I think we are getting somewhere. It's the job of the police and prosecutor to dig up evidence.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 03, 2020:

Robert, with my knowledge of Law I think both American and Indian law derive their statues from English Common Law( So is Australia and Canada and other countries where English ruled). In this case its absolutely clear that case of first degree can be made out. To form a conclusion evenb before the charge is framed and tried that this might happen is not the best way forward. It shows a desire on the part of the authorities to try and save the cops. There is a judgment by the High court in England and the Indian Supreme court that custodial death in police custody is ist degree murder.

Robert Sacchi on June 03, 2020:

Derek Chauvin and George Floyd worked security at the same club a year ago. If there was bad blood between them that could supply more evidence for a 1st degree murder charge.

Robert Sacchi on June 03, 2020:

The laws in India are different than those in Minnesota. In most states first degree doesn't have to require planning. The premeditation can only be a matter of seconds. FlourishAnyway seems to be right though a first degree murder charge probably wouldn't stick. In many states it is possible to charge people with first degree murder and other homicide charges. This leaves it to the jury on what they can do. This gives the prosecution a big advantage since instead of a hung jury the jurists can come back with 2nd degree murder or manslaughter as a compromise.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 03, 2020:

Flourish, thank you for your opinion. I will only state that in a similar case of custodial death in a police station the Supreme Court upheld sentence of life imprisonment for 6 cops on first-degree murder in India.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 03, 2020:

Second degree murder is appropriate but certainly not first degree because there was no premeditation. The other officers were complicit and should be charged with lesser offenses. Let justice prevail.

The marches will come at the expense of many lives — lives of those several weeks from now who catch the Coronavirus and may not have even been in the streets protesting.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 02, 2020:

Robert, the ineffectiveness of the US police is a surprise to me as it's their job to anticipate and control lawlessness especially when lumpen elements have hijacked the agitation causing widespread looting and arson. One reason could be a deep-rooted animosity at what they feel being unfairly targetted for human rights abuses. Secondly, I have a lurking feeling at some places the African American cops had their own ax to grind. This is just an opinion.

Robert Sacchi on June 02, 2020:

You put forward the most important question why were the police ineffective? Civil disorder was something local law enforcement and city officials should hae anticipated. This scenario has played out many times before.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 02, 2020:

Robert, nice reading your views. but nothing is cut and dried and the large urban centers are the centers of the upheaval. It looks spontaneous and my relations in Chicago and New York confirm it but there are lumpen elements taking part to fan the flames and I am told the police for whatever reason has been ineffective. But in case the charges had been preferred immediately this could have been averted.

Robert Sacchi on June 02, 2020:

It is good to see a foreign perspective of the situation in America. Arrests gone bad are inevitable. Riot is often the go to reaction. A riot binge was bound to happen. This being an election year made things only made rioting over something or other only a matter of time. Immediate arrests and changes would have made little difference. First degree murder charges that result in acquittal, get plea bargained down, or found guilty on lesser charges would have resulted in rioting. That has been the pattern in America. This pattern is unlikely to change. Hopefully those you know in America don't live or work in large urban areas.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 01, 2020:

Leslie, thank you

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on June 01, 2020:

It is! This is NOT “economic anxiety”.....although the greed at the top is legendary. This is about this:

And thank you for the platform to speak!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on June 01, 2020:

Leslie, thank you for your comment, yes,it's the system that has to be changed and also the mindset.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on June 01, 2020:

I guess some don’t get it...,,police brutality is police brutality.

A young black woman who spoke mentioned Native Americans, what was and is being done to them.... do you know here, Trump tried to end Wampanoag status? Tried to Take their land! It was stopped by our legislators here....senate and rep.

And we know why it was done....trump has a revenge motive, as usual. Check his feud with Natives and casinos.

My daughter had her run in with the system.,.ask her what she thinks of the American Dream.

Ask my husband.

But, the point is, today.,,,Right now....This is about the system, The whole system, and every one who’s ever been abused by it.

It just so happens those visibly on the top of the abuse list are black Americans.

Horrible, despicable abuse. There is no justification for it AT ALL. And we are done hearing it!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 31, 2020:

Nick, You certainly have a point there as the native Americans the so-called red Indians have suffered badly at the hands of the white man. But they are small in number and hence the press is not bothered about them.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 31, 2020:

Leslie thank you for your comment and opinion. I hope you are right,

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 31, 2020:

Thanks, Kyler for commenting.I'll have a lurking feeling that there is more than what meets the eye with plain rioting. Obviously someone inside America with the help of some external power or agency is orchestrating all this. All the same, the Americans have to pull out of this morass and it is going to require a great effort.

Nick Bishop on May 31, 2020:

We hear so much about African-Americabs tragically dying at the hands of police, but what about other racial groups?

For example, many Native Americans die at the hands of law enforcement, but do we ever hear about that-no!

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 31, 2020:

Right.....and the competing plans:

Is Trump the hero or the villain?

But I say America will survive. Our diversity is our strength!

Kyler J Falk from California on May 31, 2020:

At this point I have to say that I can hear the bells tolling the beginning of the end of our nation here in America. The one thing I am keeping my eyes on, however, is how much of this is directed by foreign agents. Following a lot of the bread crumbs through the bail, donations, and funding links, we can already see many ties to China, Russia, Iran, and many other countries that don't really seem to make sense without a deeper dig.

Americans can barely organize their family to go buy some Mcdonald's, let alone organize protests that lead to riots in such a short time. Then the swiftness with which these events are being blamed on domestic and foreign terrorism... something is amiss. If COVID-19 cases don't shoot up by the thousands after this then it is absolutely concerning.

The narrative we are being fed here in America isn't adding up, and judging by other world events I'd be willing to place a bet on a dastardly, overarching plan.

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