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Black Lives Matter: The movement

BY: Sophia Abbasi

Police violence or police brutality is legally defined as a violation of civil rights where an officer unwarrantedly uses excessive force against a civilian. Police brutality is commonly found to associates with racial profiling, differencing of race or ethnicity whilst arresting. From assault and battery to mayhem and torture, often resulting in murder. Whether it be a first world country or third, racism has cost the lives of millions and has impacted the society in which we live. Due to racist remarks and inherent systematic racism, minorities continue to be oppressed in today's society; eliminating basic human rights.

The United States of America; a country with a history of slavery and brutal oppression. The country is home to 320 million citizens. According to the 2010 Census, 38.9 million (12.6%) identify as African American, whilst 1% of the American population identifies as African American combined with one or more races, totaling 3.1 million citizens. Overall, up to 13.6% (42 million) of the American population distinguish as Black or African-American. With a history of forced immigration, African Americans have been dehumanized for years.

As centuries past, racism grew throughout the world. Minorities seen as threats and POC treated unfairly. It’s as if the world is moving backwards in terms of racism. Though you would expect society to grow, the pigmentation in one's skin seems to define its importance. In recent years, due to antipathy being fed, cases of police brutality and hate crimes have risen sharply against the black community in the United States (+globally).

On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd (a Black male) was killed at the hands of an American Police officer. During the arrest, Officer Derek Chauvin (White male) used excessive force to detain Mr.Floyd. By doing so, he lodged his knee on the neck of a detainee (George Floyd) while pinning him on the ground. Footage collected from bystanders and security cameras shows the officers taking actions that violate the Minneapolis Police department bylaws. As footage shows, Officer Chauvin kept his knee on Mr.Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 45 seconds. He failed to remove his knee as Mr.Floyd went unconscious, resulting in a lack of oxygen. Due to Officer Chauvins’ inhumane actions, Mr.Floyd passed shortly after lapsing into unconsciousness. A total of four officers have been recently arrested, Chauvin being charged with 2nd-degree murder and manslaughter.

The death of George Floyd stormed the internet, infuriating people around the globe. Another day, another police brutality case motivated by racist remarks. To put it simply, George Floyd was murdered by the hands of officer Derek Chauvin. Protests started to begin in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota as the news began to spread. In a matter of 24 hours, the peaceful protest became violent. Using tear gas and rubber bullet guns; Minneapolis Police attacked protesters in an attempt to stop the movement. However, the story of George Floyd’s death united people around the globe.

As hours passed, protests began in different cities and countries, resulting in a large Black Lives Matter movement. Social media platforms became the #1 way to spread the movement; with famous celebrities engaging, petitions being signed and donations frequently being made.

The recent lives that have been lost will not go unnoticed. In this time, the black community needs our support. With centuries of oppression and slavery, they have been stripped of their fundamental rights. As we approach history in making, we shall stand together. To George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland and thousands more, we will mourn you forever.

The pain matters, the rage matters, your life matters. Black Lives Matter.

“Silence in the face of injustice, is injustice in action” - Joybell C.

*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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