'I Can't Breathe'

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which was already killing black folks disproportionately, the brutal death of George Floyd by police has pushed a nation over the brink.

Say His Name — #GeorgeFloyd

UPDATE: All four officers have been charged in the killing of George Floyd, and charges for ex-officer Derek Chauvin have been upgraded.

The world watched in horror the May 25 video where ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd with his knee on Floyd’s neck. A handcuffed Floyd, 46, begged for his life and yelled, “I can’t breathe.” He called for his mother as bystanders recorded the scene with their cell phones. He died shortly after.

The series of events began because a store clerk accused Floyd of passing a $20 counterfeit bill.

Police arrested Chauvin and charged him with third-degree murder and manslaughter, but three other officers at the scene have not been arrested. And, a preliminary autopsy report cited underlying conditions as a possible reason for Floyd’s death — not the obstruction to his airway by Chauvin.

Since then, commercial buildings in Minneapolis and several cities across the US have burned, businesses have been ransacked and officers have clashed with protesters. Police have become increasingly aggressive. Trump has hurled insults and appeared to inflame tensions. After a weekend of protests and rallies, the movement continues into Monday.

No Justice, No Peace. Prosecute the Police.

It’s an injustice that COVID-19 obstructs its victims’ airways and is snatching black lives disproportionately. It’s an injustice a white cop maliciously obstructed Floyd’s ability to breathe. It’s an injustice the other three police officers at the scene have not yet been charged.

‘I Can’t Breathe’ describes the state of being black in America.

Black Iowa News salutes all the Des Moines and Iowa protesters and rally-goers — and those across the county. We hear you. Don’t give up. ✊🏽 Continue to fight, but please wear a mask. COVID-19 is real.

(Phot credit: Shannon Matthews. Special to Black Iowa News).


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