The headlines this week were disturbing. George Floyd was on the ground having been arrested by the police. The police officer knelt on the man's neck as he lay handcuffed on the ground. Mr. Floyd said he could not breathe. The police officer did not move for several minutes. Mr. Floyd died.
Mr. Floyd was accused of some sort of forgery. Did he deserve to get arrested? Quite possibly, but to me that seems less than important right now. Certainly he did not deserve to die for whatever offence he had committed.
I know police officers do a very difficult job. They need to make split second decisions and put their lives on the line all of the time. I also know that like any of us, police officers have their own biases and beliefs. Unfortunately though, too many young people of colour die each year at the hands of the police. The police officer who kneeled on the man's neck has had a checkered history in his career in dealing with people of colour. This is not the first time he has been accused of racial bias in his work.
A man has died. Race relations are again heated. Is our community any safer? No in fact it is probably much less safe (ask the business owner's who stores were damaged in the ensuing riots). Mr. Floyd may or may not have done something wrong. We can only pray that his violent death will not beget more violence. It is time for the violence to end.