Students reflect on Racial Injustice after the death of george floyd
BY KAMRYN STALLINGS
Imagine being targeted by people that are supposed to be protecting and helping you, but instead they are killing you. This is the reality for many African Americans today in the US and it got more attention from the world late last year.
On May 20th, 2020, George Floyd, a 46 year old African American, was a victim of a hate crime in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was murdered in broad daylight outside of a small grocery store by a police officer. This incident was recorded and posted on social media where it caught the attention of many people and started a global movement.
“I was very disappointed and sad [about what happened to Geroge Floyd] but not surprised because this has happened way too many times in the world where innocent African Americans are victims of police brutality. I feel Black people and people of color are targets in this society,” Nijah Momer, an African American 11th grader at DSA, commented.
As a result of George Floyd's death people took to the streets and expressed their rage and anger by protesting. At first many of the protests around the country were peaceful and included advocates holding signs and putting their fist up showing that they wanted justice. A little while after, there were reports of shootings and vandalism in many cities. .
“The protesting I think was a good idea because people's voices needed to be heard. I got where they were coming from but the vandalizing and rioting was too far. Yes something terrible happened but that does not mean for people to go into businesses break and take things for no reason. There are many ways to express your rage and anger,” Brenna Romeroseta, a Hispanic 11th grader at DSA, stated.
In a video taken at the scene of Floyd’s death, a police officer was holding Floyd's body on the ground by kneeling on his neck and left him in that position for eight minutes and 46 seconds until he died. The video was seen by people all over the world. There was major conflict about the outcome of Floyd’s death, should the officer go to jail or should he be let off?
“The officer that killed George Floyd should be put away in jail, I feel as if this situation where police officers killing African Americans get away with it every time. They have no punishments and only result in them being suspended. The term Blue Lives Matter I am not comfortable with it, it’s basically saying that what police officers are doing is right. When we say the term Black Lives Matter it does not mean that Black people are above everyone else it means that we are whole,” Momer explained.
Derek Chauvin, the officer that killed Geroge Floyd,was put under a lot of fire, some people gathered around his home and yelled for him to plead guilty. There were also people on his side in his defense saying he was only doing his job and that Geroge Floyd was a criminal and not following directions. There were a lot of debates during Chauvin’s trial but ultimately he was found guilty of second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and, second degree manslaughter. Chauvin will spend 12.5 years for each charge.
PHOTO CREDIT: KAMRYN STALLINGS
George Floyd’s name outside of the DSA school parking lot. There is still artwork symbolizing Black Lives Matter all over Durham.
“I think that the way more and more people started speaking out and the more attention Geroge Floyd’s death has gotten, it was a really good movement and I liked the way everyone came together to speak out on police brutality. It really was nice,” Romerosesta mentioned.
People speaking out and actually expressing their anger and discomfort has brought attention everywhere. Social media plays a big part in this. Tiktok is one of the many platforms where the BLM movement sparks. There are many videos speaking on what happened and how it needs to end.
“We are at a point where this needs to stop, hopefully innocent Black people will stop be killed by police officers and we can live in a world where people will stop discriminating [against] others just because of their race,” Momer concluded.