Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Ben Crump held a press conference in New York this week to address the separate cases of the George Floyd and Daunte Wright’s police-involved killings in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s killer, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, is currently on trial for first-, second- and third-degree murder. The blue shield that too often protects cops from punishment for their wanton acts is no longer there as numerous of his former colleagues lined up over the past two weeks to testify against him.
As for Wright, not only has the veteran female police officer resigned after shooting the 20-year-old by “accident,” as she called it but her boss, the chief of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, resigned, too. The investigations that will follow will more than likely result in a trial with another cop attempting to defend her acts, including multiple failures to follow police procedures as pointed out by former D.C. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who reports regularly on the police shooting incidents on CNN.
What Sharpton and Crump addressed does not heal the pain of the mothers and fathers, siblings and friends who’ve lost a loved one by a policeman’s bullet. As Wright’s and Floyd’s family convey, they want justice, but they would rather have their loved ones alive instead. Not only are Black Americans debating the issue of justice, but others’ eyes are opening, and now they, too, are questioning if there is justice for the Black man or woman in America.
Black Americans are on edge, and once again, just like in Minneapolis, cities across the country are powder kegs for protests and violence in reaction to these repeated injustices. The skills needed to manage a police-involved situation don’t exist for those who all too often end up with a gun in their face for minor infractions that they are not allowed to explain. Even a military uniform is no defense against a cop with a gun and a badge.
President Biden called the killing of Daunte Wright “tragic” but said, “I think we’ve got to wait and see what the investigation shows — the entire investigation.”
It’s taken decades to get an investigation for the murder of Black people, and their patience is too thin to wait and see. A change has got to come now.