To those wondering what the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, below the knee of a white policeman in Minneapolis, has changed in law enforcement practices in the United States, many Afro-African families Americans will answer without hesitation ” nothing ! “. Take the Browns to Elizabeth City, a small, mostly black college town in North Carolina. Their relative, Andrew, 42, died of five bullets – including one in the back of the neck – fired by a white police officer who had come to issue him an arrest warrant for drug trafficking.
The father of seven was killed while driving his car, in which no weapon was found. The district attorney ruled on May 18 that the shots were “Justified”. The tragedy occurred on April 21, the very day after the verdict convicting the murder of George Floyd, police officer Derek Chauvin. On May 3, the victim’s sister attended Andrew Brown’s funeral.
That of Daunte Wright also had made the trip to North Carolina. Coming from the suburbs of Minneapolis, 2,000 kilometers away, the young Métis joined the circle of recently bereaved families. On April 11, during an ordinary traffic stop, her 20-year-old brother was fatally shot by a white policewoman. The latter, thinking to use her Taser, had hit him at close range as he got into his car. The young father was not armed. His death came a quarter of an hour’s drive from the bunkerized court in Minneapolis, where, at the same time, the Chauvin trial fueled debates over the excessive use of force by US police.
A litany of burrs
The publicity given to the Floyd affair did not save Mario Gonzalez either. On April 19, the 26-year-old Hispanic died after being held down for five minutes by white police in a park in California. Ten days after the incident, under pressure from the family and their lawyers, the authorities made the images of the arrest public. Visibly disoriented, perhaps drunk, the young man has difficulty answering questions from the police. Lying on the ground, the knee of a policeman buried in the back, the man, corpulent, stops breathing after a few minutes. An agent then asks his colleague. “Don’t you think we should put it to the side?” “ In vain. The three police officers present were placed on paid leave for the duration of the investigation.
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