A Note on George Floyd

This is unequivocally wrong.

Yet…

It also saddens me to see the plethora of social media posts suggesting that the atrocity that happened in Minneapolis is somehow mainstream. It makes it harder not only to deal with what happened here and bring justice to those who deserve it, but it propagates a falsehood; a falsehood that continues to rip our country apart.

And, I might add, a falsehood which further discourages GOOD PEOPLE from joining the force.

You concerned about bad cops? Keep it up. Keep up the lie that all (or even most) cops are racist; that all (or most) cops are violent; that all (or most) cops are criminal foot soldiers bent on enforcing racism and bigotry. Keep up the narrative that any time someone of color dies at the hands of an officer, that ANY person of color could and will likely die at the hands of an officer. Keep it up, and those kinds of monsters are exactly what you’ll end up with, because no good, upstanding men and women will dare put their lives on the line for THAT.

As someone who knows plenty of law enforcement, I can tell you WITHOUT hesitation that what appears to have happened in Minneapolis (again, I can only go off a video) is not widespread, nor is this the attitude or behavior of most police officers.

The officers have been fired, and justice will run its course. Let it.

And yet, I can understand how people can be brought to feel this way and live in fear, because that’s what they’re told day in and day out. I do not blame them.

Despite the narrative on social media and on news outlets, justice will be served. It won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last.

To name a few:

  • The police officer who killed Botham Jean, the unarmed black man in his own Dallas apartment, went to prison.
  • The police officer who killed Walter Scott, an unarmed black man walking away from the officer in North Charleston, went to prison.
  • The police officer who shot (16 times) and killed Laquan McDonald in Chicago went to prison.
  • The police officer who killed a restrained Eric Harris in Tulsa went to prison.
  • The police officer who killed Deravis Caine Rogers in Atlanta went to prison.

There’s an exhaustive list of cases where an officer either did something knowingly wrong or made a really poor policing decision, and upon whom our justice system came down with full force.

George Floyd didn’t reach for a gun in this Minneapolis case (like in the case of Philando Castile) or try to grab the officer’s gun (like in the case of Jamar Clark). This guy didn’t break the eye socket of the officer while trying to get in his patrol car and take his gun (like in Ferguson). No, those officers didn’t go to prison, because our justice system found that they were within the confines of the law. They were being attacked.

Goerge Floyd, on the other hand, was a guy who was on the ground struggling to breathe and the officer, whose job is to protect ALL life if he can help it, doesn’t let up. And they’ll pay.

I hate to get into the minutia of statistics during a tragedy like this, but since everyone seems bent on propagating the narrative that there is inherent racism in America’s police which has in turn led to the deaths of innocent, unarmed people of color, here you go.

The statistics simply do not match this narrative. You’re statistically more likely to be killed by police as an unarmed white American than you are as an unarmed black American. Full stop. That’s not me; that’s not some narrative I’m clinging on to because I’ve got family and friends on the force. No. This is just math.

According to the Washington Post,  1014 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year,” in the United States.

Of those, 3 (or 0.03 percent) were unarmed and black. 7 were unarmed and white. 

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But let’s look at all the other years on file.

Black White
2015 38 32
2016 19 22
2017 21 31
2018 17 23
2019 9 19
2020 YTD 3 7

Again, you have a statistically better chance (though it’s a pretty even split) of being killed by police as an unarmed white person than you do as an unarmed black person. You can scroll through the data here:

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Or you can access the Washington Post’s database here, and dig in yourself.

It merits a note: the WashPo’s headlines in this database are misleading as it cites the number of deaths of black Americans at the hands of police compared to white Americans as “disproportionate,” but when you drill down into the data and see that the vast majority deaths of black Americans involved a gun or other weapon (on their part), and you FURTHER drill down and look at the number of UNARMED black Americans, the narrative changes. A lot.

Bottom line: of the 5,338 people killed by police in the last five years in the US, two percent (107) have been black, unarmed Americans. Two and a half percent, or 134, have been white unarmed Americans. 

And even THAT is complicated. “Unarmed” doesn’t necessarily mean the person’s not a threat. They could be using their car as a weapon, high on PCP and exhibiting superhuman strength (yes, it happens; just ask the patrons and workers at this Maryland McDonald’s), or they could be unarmed but grabbing for the officer’s gun (as was the case in the Jamar Clark OIS).

More African Americans were killed on the streets of Chicago last year due to gang violence than those across the ENTIRE nation who died at the hands of police. Where’s the outrage?

Bottom BOTTOM line: black Americans are not being hunted and senselessly killed on the daily. But when tragedies like what happened in Minneapolis occur, the narrative is that that they are. 

Most officers are good, kind, brave, loving human beings who put their lives on the line for (excuse me) shit pay and shit hours. They’re mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives who put on the badge while their loved ones celebrate countless holidays, birthdays, and graduations without them. While the rest of us go about our days oblivious to the hell that exists on the other side of that blue line, they see death of those young and old; they see untold filth, violence and gore. And what do they so often get in return? A spit in the eye, and calls to see them “fry like bacon.” 

I know officers who can’t even buy their dinner while on duty unless they can see the person preparing it (e.g. like a Subway-type restaurant), because of restaurant workers who routinely spit on their food, rub it on the floor (or more) out of spite for police.

So yeah, keep it up. Keep up the narrative that all cops are like this one—and just watch as all the good ones say FORGET THIS and peace the heck out.

Again, I don’t know anything beyond this video. And it’s a BAD LOOK.

But please, do not judge all police officers by the actions of some. Do not judge all WHITE people by the actions of some. Let’s deal with THIS case and make sure those who were wronged get justice. We can be mad about what happened to George Floyd and be mad at those who did it without besmirching the character of the good guys.

Anything else isn’t helpful; it’s poisonous to our country.

Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston, and on Newsmax TV. She can be reached at: afuturefree@aol.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree

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