Editor’s Corner -Dallas riots: How does violence bring about peace?

Closed copyI went to downtown Dallas yesterday to take pics of the carnage after the non-peaceful protests the weekend before.

For those of you who are not aware, an unarmed black man, George Floyd, died when FOUR police officers held him down while he was handcuffed in Minneapolis, MN. One of the officers put his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, which may have led to his demise. All four officers have been fired (even the three that were non-white) and a Grand Jury will determine their fate. I know they’ll never work in law enforcement again, at the very least.

When I first saw the video, I thought that (ex-) Officer Chauvin, the cop with the knee on the neck (the practice of which has been obliterated from most police agencies across the country, but sadly and obviously, is still used at times), was an obvious murderer. Mr. Floyd can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe!” Yet Chauvin did not get up, nor did his fellow officers try to stop him.

Bland copyFloyd was under arrest for trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. He did resist getting into the police vehicle, falling down on purpose. But as far as I know, there was no prior resistance to the arrest except for Floyd quoting the NWA song, “F*** the Police.” I don’t know why it took four officers to subdue a mostly peaceful criminal. But then again, I could only see a few minutes of this event that unfolded in much more than 10 minutes.

Two autopsies were done, and both found that the manner of death was homicide. But the two reports were a bit different. The autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner claimed that Floyd died from a heart attack, noting that Floyd had arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, was high on the drug fentanyl and had recently used methamphetamine.

The Floyd family had their own independent autopsy done which concluded that Floyd had died of “mechanical asphyxia,” which is basically the restriction of blood and oxygen to the brain, and is consistent with the knee on neck position.

Crowdus copySo why was I sent to downtown Dallas? This happened in Minnesota.

It is my belief that people were already on edge due to COVID, and when this happened, the anger broke loose all over the country. What I do not understand is why people think that violence is the proper response to violence. Dallas is thousands of miles away from Minneapolis. I do understand that colored people are sick and tired of police brutality directed at their race. As a white person, I can only understand on the fringe, though being a volunteer with the NAACP has taught me a lot. And it’s not like ONLY black people were protesting.

It was sad to walk down Main Street in Dallas and see the needless destruction. Very few pedestrians were walking about, but vehicular traffic seemed to be normal. So many businesses were boarded up and closed. It is my understanding that, despite the 7pm curfew, that downtown was preparing for more riots. A few protests were held just outside of the curfew zone in Dallas last night, but the biggest news was a protest in Arlington.

What is this world we live in? When will the Coronavirus cease to be a threat? When will people stop being on edge? When will violence about something that happened thousands of miles away stop?

I wish I could tell you. But in the meantime, stay safe and please express your opinions peacefully. Even George Floyd’s brother asked for peace. If he can rise above what happened, then we all can.

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