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Police brutality : Let’s talk about Floyd

                                         Police Brutality: Let’s Talk About Floyd 

I like to compare Nigeria to America in every category imaginable, and when it comes to police brutality, recently, Nigeria is nonpareil.

The difference is,  America has cameras everywhere, media coverage, and are in constant combat with the enemy. But Nigeria, we have learnt to live with whatever it is that is killing us. 

From what I have seen, the Nigerian police appear to be overly aggressive, violent, use excessive force, and seem to be able to kill almost anyone with impunity. They seem to be militarized in many cases.

They are also violently resistant to accountability, and attack those who film them.

In translation,  they are just thugs in uniform. 

But let’s talk about Floyd… 

For the past few days, I have been wondering about what is going on across America, the so-called “land of the free and home of the brave”. The recent protests due to the death of George Floyd, a Black American citizen who was murdered in cold blood by a White police officer. I watched his death on camera and was horrified. Mr. Floyd was lynched in a broad daylight.

It made me ask myself, what crime did Black people commit to deserve this harsh treatment? This quote below summarizes the anger that Black people are feeling at the moment.

“Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.” Ella Baker, 1964.

After 400 years of slavery, Jim Crew laws, human rights violations and other inhumane acts of violence against the Blacks, I don’t understand why Black people in America are still treated like 2nd class citizens in their country. For over 400 years, America is the only country they have ever known. What else do they need to prove that they belong in America. 

As Brother George took his last breath on this earth, I couldn’t’ help but wonder what was running through his mind. He said; “Mama, I can’t breathe”, multiple times. Can you imagine his pain as the 46 year old said his goodbye to his mother? It is painful to watch.

His hands was already tied behind his back. His face was already pushed to the ground. Why would a police officer strangle the man on his neck for 10 minutes? It is clear to me that this was a 1st degree murder. We already know that the officer knew Floyd because they worked together at the same Mexican club as bouncers. Other officers didn’t bother helping at all. They stood there to let the killer finish the job. It is clear that they wanted brother George dead, so it is highly likely that this murder was pre-meditated.

I don’t think black people in America are asking for too much. They are just asking for a right to live. A rights to be treated equally. A rghts to be treated with dignity and respect, like other citizens. 

The protest,  the looting , all could have been avoided if  only the officer in question was charged for murder right after the death of George Floyd. This tension wouldn’t be here. Black people are tired and exhausted. At this point, they will fight for our right by any means necessary.

Sad. In Nigeria, this case would only get a hash tag and a retweet. We are just too scared to speak. 

When Black people knelt to protest against police brutality, they didn’t care about consequences. 

When Black people marched ( peacefully) to protest against Police brutality, They didn’t  care if the White people criticized. 

The irony ( of course) is that this is not the first time and certainly will not be the last time. We have seen this situation before. It is safe to say nothing changed after Trayvon Martin. Or, did it? Not a damn thing! Black people are sick and tired of being killed by the oppressive and dictatorial regime of the American government. And for some reason it is the same in Africa too. 

Black people have been complaining about police brutality for many years. By any means necessary.

At this point, America has no right to tell Black Americans when and how they should protest. Properties will be restored, but the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and thousands of Black brothers and sisters won’t. Protesting is not supposed to make you comfortable. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a protest. Kneeling didn’t’work. Peaceful protests didn’t work. Black people will continue to fight, by any means necessary. 

Black people have given America enough time. If they are worried about these protests, they should simply fight for criminal justice reform and tell the police force to stop killing black brothers and sisters in their own country. It is that simple.

Nigerians need to learn from this. I feel like we gave up too soon.  Nobody protests when SARS or the Nigeria military kills an innocent citizen. A lot of people were killed during the lock down but we rather not speak about it. 

But “God will fight our battles”.

Break your silence and speak up. If you are worried about these protests, do your part to restore justice and equality for all. 

By Ekechi Gerard

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