The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police officers has sent shock waves throughout our country. The videos show the unnecessary, excessive use of force against a handcuffed man. We watched in horror as the people whose job it was to protect and serve killed George Floyd.
In the week since George Floyd was killed, we have seen largely peaceful protests spread across the country. Yes, there have been instances of violence, destruction of property, and looting. And no, that is not OK. Still, the overwhelming majority of Americans who have taken to the streets have done so in peaceful, powerful protest. In watching these protests, what has disturbed me the most has been the reaction we’re seeing from police.
If you are like me, you are watching the hundreds of videos from across the country, showing graphic, excessive violence by police against American citizens who are exercising their Constitutionally protected rights, and it makes you angry.
It’s easy to dismiss these misdeeds as a ‘few bad apples,’ and look away from the ongoing abuses. However, these videos from the past week show, unequivocally, there are a lot more than a few bad apples. They show a larger systemic problem which must be dealt with.
That is why we at Stand Up Republic are asking you to take action. We recognize that actions at the state and local level are paramount to addressing the issues in police departments across the country, and we encourage you to get involved locally. We also believe Congress should exert some leadership and take action. Please send a message to your members of Congress and urge them to adopt a resolution which:
- Condemns unnecessary and excessive use of force.
- Condemns racial profiling.
- Supports additional de-escalation training for law enforcement officers.
- Encourages the Department of Justice to evaluate and investigate instances of racial profiling, police brutality, excessive use of force, and civil rights violations.
- Supports holding law enforcement officers accountable for their actions by ending qualified immunity, allowing Americans who have had their rights violated to find recourse through civil court.
We have a lot of work to do to live up to our ideals of liberty and justice for all and equal protection under the law. It will take time. But we must stand up and start demanding change right now.