(Minneapolis) More horrific photos, more people killed by police officers, and the trial for premeditated murder nears its end. In the United States, the public’s confidence in law enforcement may never have been low.
The recent buildup of videos showing police abuse has sparked debate about the role of the police across the country.
“I am a black man, and I know from my own experience that police officers are not professionals, and the way they run is not right,” said Darnell Square, 46, who sells T-shirts and baseball shirts on a suburban Minneapolis street.
In this large city in the north of the United States, the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former white police officer accused of murdering George Floyd last year is underway.
They are not there to protect residents, or to make people feel safe, no matter what they say … It has been clear to me since I was a kid.
Darnell Squire, 46 years old
He adds, “I do not trust the government’s promises that things will change, and I do not trust the system or the courts.”
At Derek Chauvin’s trial, the indictment and pleading are expected early next week, before the jury deliberates and leaves his camera with a verdict.
As pictures of the officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck swirled nauseous in a Minneapolis courtroom, new police deaths across the United States sparked outrage and brought thousands of people to the streets.
In the Brooklyn Center, in the suburb of Minneapolis, Donut Wright, a young black man, died after a policewoman shot him, claiming that she had missed her pistol for Taser. Her death is documented through footage from the police’s infantry camera.
In Chicago, police released frightening footage of a policeman shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo on Thursday. The teenager was killed in a dark alley last month after a police officer suspected he had dropped a pistol shortly before the tragedy.
I would feel the same, even if Chauvin was found guilty. “It’s a long battle,” said Selena McKnight, a 46-year-old activist in Minneapolis who regularly takes part in protests against police misconduct.
She adds, “The trial (of Derek Chauvin) is only one case, and this battle will not end until justice is achieved everywhere.”
Some point to the contrast between the cases of Floyd, Wright and others, and the cases of police officers dealing with aggressive white men.
On Wednesday in another city near Minneapolis, a police officer was attacked with a hammer and pulled at high speed by a car driven by a 61-year-old white man, accused of attacking store workers who asked him to carry a mask against COVID- 19.
No shots were fired, and the man was later arrested.
“Did anyone shoot him?” No, of course not. It shows you everything you need to know about police bias, “says Selena McKnight.
“You might think all of these videos can make a difference, but it only shows what we know has been happening for a long time,” she adds.
As the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial nears, the United States is preparing for potentially violent protests in the case of an acquittal.
The deserted downtown of Minneapolis has seen the proliferation of wooden signage protecting companies, as National Guard patrol armored vehicles.
“I’m afraid of the police, not COVID-19,” said Tesfai Habte, a Minneapolis-born resident of Ethiopia, who believes the situation has worsened in recent years.
“America is democracy, the constitution and freedom of expression, but the police are extremely aggressive and inhuman. I am following this trial closely, and I am concerned,” he says.