By Lea Barrios
WASHINGTON DC – Peaceful protests across America have been met with violence, false arrests, rubber bullets, pepper spray, concussion grades and teargas—prompting four congresswomen to address police brutality and put measures in place to prevent it.
The recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have sparked worldwide interest and peaceful protests in every state. Their deaths were a breaking point for the black community, and many demanded justice for Floyd’s killers.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s charge increased from 3rd degree murder to 2nd degree murder, and a second autopsy concluded that Floyd’s cause of death was asphyxiation from sustained pressure from Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck and back for nearly nine minutes.
The other three officers who were involved in Floyd’s fatal arrest—Tou Thou, Thomas Kiernen Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng—have also been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting.
The officers who fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her sleep during a no-knock raid are still free and on duty. A petition for her killers to be charged has 2,787,861 signatures.
Although some protests have turned violent, a majority of the protests across the country have been peaceful, yet police officers have been recorded unprovoked pushing of people, knocking an elderly man down, breaking a baton on a protester, and hitting protesters with a police car.
In a statement from Rep. Ayanna Pressley, she stated that she, and Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Karen Bass, and Barbara Lee have made a resolution to “condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and the excessive use of force.”
“For too long, Black and Brown bodies have been profiled, surveyed, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized, and murdered at the hands of police officers,” said Congresswoman Omar.
She also addressed that “police use of force is among the leading causes of death for young men of color.”
Their official statement of resolution addresses that violence toward Black people stems from slavery, Jim Crow laws, lynching, disproportionate incarceration of Black people and the war on drugs.
“We have seen far too many young men and women of color murdered by police, for as little as driving their car, riding public transportation, having a cell phone, or just being in their own homes,” said Congresswoman Lee, adding, “in the wake of Floyd’s death, we are reminded of the hundreds of innocent black people who have died because of police brutality and excessive force.”
President Donald Trump had been criticized again for tweeting, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” and calling protesters “thugs” that people have argued is a new, coded n-word.
He also threatened to use militarization to tame protests after the White House turned dark due to protesters around the perimeter. It is rumored that he went to an underground bunker for his safety.
The resolution stated that “data shows there is a direct correlation between the increased militarization of a police department and corresponding levels of police brutality.”
According to the congresswomen’s resolution, Trump’s threats of militarization would not calm protests, rather it would lead to more injuries and possibly deaths.
Their resolution begins by stating that police violence begins with policing “low level offenses” and that is where excessive force leads to shootings, chokings, brutal beatings, and deaths.
“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence,” said Congresswoman Lee.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9