Protests for justice and peace as Black lives are threatened by the police

Protests+for+justice+and+peace+as+Black+lives+are+threatened+by+the+police

Samantha Blandon, Senior

A few months ago, a police officer was seen kneeling on a Black man’s neck as he struggled for breath.

In Minneapolis, on May 25th, 2020, Officer, Derek Chauvin, pushed his knee against George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, leaving him breathless, because the police suspected him of using counterfeit money to purchase items from a convenience store. 

A day after in Minneapolis, Floyd’s tragic death provoked protests for justice and peace, which shortly led to riots, burning of police cars, looting of businesses, and police officers tear gassing and shooting rubber bullets at the protestors in an attempt to control the large crowds of people.

Many videos surfaced the internet of police officers in different states using excessive force towards protestors without any threat posed. A protestor from Philadelphia named Lizzie Horne was pepper sprayed and tear gassed along with a large group of protesters who were trapped on a highway. Horne states, “Out of the blue, they started breezing pepper spray into the crowd…then they started with the tear gas. Someone who was right in front —  had a tear gas canister hit his head and started running back. We were trying to help him, flushing his eyes and then he just fainted and started having a seizure.” 

More recently on August 23, Jacob Blake was shot numerous times by a Kenosha police officer in the back as he tried to enter his car with his three daughters, although it has been reported that Blake is in stable condition, after being rushed to the hospital. 

Student and advocate Julian Garcia explained, “Today, police around the country aren’t fulfilling their duty to protect citizens, but, instead, are harming the innocent for no reason other than the color of their skin.” 

People around the country are fighting for justice and peace, long awaiting for change to happen.  Police throughout the country have been targeting people of color for decades and many citizens are fighting back the injustice of this negative treatment and harassment.