Immigration policy demands scrutiny too. The “hostile environment” policy, designed to make life unbearable for undocumented migrants, has caused widespread harm. It destroyed the lives of many black British citizens from the Windrush generation. Unable to prove their citizenship, they lost homes, jobs, and contact with loved ones after being wrongly deported. The scandal led to a compensation scheme and damning independent review. Yet the policy remains in force and most of those affected have yet to receive compensation.
“You might think you know what it’s like to grow up, exist, survive & even thrive in this country as a Black person, but let me tell you, regardless of how many Black friends you have, how Black your neighborhood was, or if your spouse or in-laws are Black… You don’t know,” Wright wrote.
“You don’t know the anxiety, the despair, the heartache, the fear, the rage and the disappointment that comes with living in this country, OUR country every single day,” he added.
So it depends on what Derek Chauvin was thinking. If he walked into the situation thinking “I’m going to kill that guy”, it’s first degree. If in the moment he realizes “I’m killing this guy” and continues, that’s second degree. If he just thinks “Eh, if he dies he dies”, that’s third degree. If he should have known that Floyd’s life was at risk, it’s manslaughter even if he didn’t know.
In my personal opinion, the Floyd killing is second-degree murder. But if I wanted to give myself the best chance to win in court, I’d do what the prosecutor has done. I’m not sure I could prove to a jury that the thought “I’m killing this guy” went through Derek Chauvin mind (though being surrounded by people yelling “You’re killing him” should have given him a clue). Proving that Chauvin acted recklessly and should have known Floyd might die seems much easier.
I don’t want to hear the platitude that violence never changes anything. In fact it does, and I think we’re seeing that now. The riots are sending white America the message that this can’t go on. It could have heard that message when Eric Garner said, “I can’t breathe.” It could have understood that message when football players knelt. But it refused. Now the message is being sent with fire and broken glass.
So far, a lot more is being said about these mystery men than anyone actually knows. Some say they’re white supremacists trying to set off the race war that their rhetoric says is coming. Trump says Antifa is behind it.  A number of protesters in Minneapolis suspect undercover police of agitating the violence to discredit the peaceful protests. (In the Umbrella Man video, bystanders keep asking “Are you a cop?”)
Any of those stories might have been false originally, and then become true. If you’re an isolated white supremacist or a left-wing anarchist, and you hear a false report that people like you are trying to turn the protests into riots, maybe you go out and do it without orders from anyone.
My advice: Pay attention to actual cases and the observations of specific witnesses, but don’t take anybody’s conclusions seriously yet.
Trump has a long history of racist controversies
It all started with a call to police over a $20 bill
In 2016, Philando Castile was shot dead during a routine traffic stop in the suburbs outside Minneapolis.
And in 2018, Thurman Blevins was killed during a police chase in the city. He was captured on police body-cam footage pleading, “please don’t shoot me”.
About 1,000 Americans are shot and killed by police every year, according to data compiled by the Washington Post.
And while African-Americans account for just under 13 per cent of the population, they are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.
Bowser pushed back on Trump’s remarks later Saturday morning in a series of tweets and during a press conference, saying D.C. police officers were “were doing their jobs from the start” and were assisting Secret Service “like we have done literally dozens of times in Lafayette Park.”
The Washington Post and CNN both reported that D.C. police were on hand on Friday night, along with other law enforcement agencies, as officers pushed back on protesters in Lafayette Park. The Secret Service later confirmed that D.C. police officers were on scene at the protest.
There are no good options. So I’m just sitting in my front yard on a Thursday trying to hang on to hope but feeling like it’s racist deja vu all over again.
Twenty-eight years ago, I was in the 4th grade when Los Angeles was beset by upheaval over the injustice of the Rodney King trial. The fires and looting from protestors reached the outer edges of my elementary school and school officials told us to run home. I was afraid the cops would see us running and shoot us, but running was our only option. I’ll never forget that fear as we ran.
Nineteen years ago, I was in 12th grade when an undercover police officer pulled me over and gave me a swift beating because I was wearing a red bandana tied around my head like I’d seen Tupac Shakur do. He said he was doing it to save my life because if “they saw you like that they’d smoke you up.” I didn’t ask who “they” were. I was just glad I didn’t get a ticket.
Imagine that. I was happy I didn’t have to pay for a racist beat down.
Ten years ago, I was a young journalist in D.C. during President Barack Obama’s first term. I used to walk through the Newseum’s Pulitzer Prize section where they had a collection of prize-winning photos of racist lynchings. One day, I asked my photographer friend what she would have done if she was a journalist during a scene like that. She said she would have probably taken the photo because it has more power to prevent many more lynchings than to stop the one lynching.
I guess that made sense at the time. But I remember her answer just made me feel helpless to change the past. I guess I thought I’d somehow change the future.
But this present … man.
So I’m just sitting here in Southeast Los Angeles on a Thursday thinking about the black kid who just danced and the brown kid who just graduated middle school.
Use Google translate.
Last night, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested by State Patrol in Minneapolis as he covered the riots and chaos in response to the police killing of George Floyd. Though Jimenez showed his credentials and complied with all orders the police gave to the media, he was taken into custody. While he was carted off to jail, another CNN reporter, who is white, was treated differently, and in his own words, “politely.” This arrest underscores the frustration people of color feel with some members of law enforcement. He’s been released now, without apology but the governor apologized to CNN management. Jimenez says the only thing that gave him comfort during the arrest was knowing everything was happening live on camera, so he had a world of witnesses. Is it any wonder why people whip out their phone cameras when stopped by police these days?
The hardest part of this is knowing, down in my soul, that it didn’t have to be this way. It just didn’t. These people died because of Incompetence, Malice, and Racism.