25 May 2024
George Floyd exposed the failure of US police reform 4

George Floyd exposed the failure of US police reform 4

The coldness of Derek Chauvin, a notorious police officer, when he knelt on Floyd's neck to death shows that reforms have failed in American law enforcement.

The death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, once again fueled anger about police violence against black people in America.

This reality is most evident in Minneapolis.

For many black residents of Minneapolis, who make up one-fifth of the city’s population, the outrage over Floyd’s death has become frighteningly familiar.

In 2002, Christopher Burns, a 44-year-old black man, died in front of his children from a police chokehold.

Riot police walk through blue smoke during a protest in Minneapolis, May 30.

One day after Floyd’s death, police officer Derek Chauvin, who directly knelt on his neck, was fired by the city police department and faced a charge of second-degree murder, which means intentionally killing someone but without thinking.

Vanita Gupta served as head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Bureau under Obama.

`This is very important, because criminal prosecution of individuals alone is not enough to address long-standing systemic problems within police departments,` said Ms. Gupta, now the head of the Conference

While the US Department of Justice considers expanding the investigation, some senior officials of President Donald Trump’s administration are skeptical.

When asked if Trump shared O’Brien’s view, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a press conference on June 1 that the President essentially denied the idea that the actions of Chauvin and the police were different

Over the past three years, the Trump administration has scrapped many of the police reform measures left behind by the Obama administration.

Former Secretary Sessions also reviewed many other Obama administration executive orders, aimed at reforming police departments accused of civil rights violations or violent practices, creating barriers that made them difficult to implement or restricted

After replacing Sessions since 2019, William Barr focused more on the investigation of special prosecutor Robert Mueller than on reform of the criminal justice system.

When asked about what the Trump administration is doing to address police violence, White House Press Secretary McEnany on June 1 only mentioned the civil rights investigations into the deaths of Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, the man

Trump’s stance on protecting police has earned him support from many police officers in America, including Minneapolis.

`The first thing President Trump did when he took office was to allow the police to do their job, putting handcuffs on criminals instead of handcuffing themselves,` he said.

George Floyd exposed the failure of US police reform

Police arrested a protester in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31.

Long before Floyd died, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) realized the tactics they were using were dangerous and often led to tragic results.

Although many police departments in the US have refrained from strangling suspects since then, 17 years later, it is still the cause of Floyd’s death.

Measures to increase police accountability are also considered difficult to implement.

A 2015 report from the US Department of Justice found that only 21% of complaints at MPD were ever investigated.

Efforts to establish a police review board also failed.

Only 13 out of nearly 1,200 police complaints from October 2012 to September 2015 were disciplined.

`Statistics on disciplinary measures say it all. The most severe form of discipline we know of is a 40-hour suspension. Is that a level of responsibility you can accept?`,

In the attached data about officers against whom complaints were made but who did not face disciplinary action, Chauvin’s name appears eight times.

George Floyd exposed the failure of US police reform

Protesters wiped each other’s tears with their hands on Lake Street, Minneapolis, late May. Photo:NYTimes.

Many other agencies of Minnesota state government also show little support for reform.

The state legislature also opposes police reform.

But as the protest movement has lasted more than two weeks and shows no signs of stopping, many people still hope that Floyd’s death can lead to lasting reforms in the police force in Minneapolis and across the United States.

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