Sometimes, we come across such incidents which leave us in a state of dejection and disappointment. They make us question ourselves as a community. What happened on May 25 in Minneapolis was one of these incidents. A 46-year-old black man George Floyd was killed when a white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the street. This cycle has been common in America. A black man is shot or choked to death in cold blood. The police officers involved are usually given paid administrative leave until the case file is not closed. However, it was a change in the norm when the involved police officer was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Still, this cycle needs to stop. The system needs to be changed but how will it change?
The director of Northeastern University’s Institute on Race and Justice said that while Minneapolis Police chief Medaria Arradondo’s firing of Chauvin and the other three officers involved in Floyd’s killing signals an ‘unprecedented’ response, police departments must do more to change the way they operate. There was a huge protest conducted by the people standing against this heinous act of violence even in these tough times considering the pandemic situation. According to the director, Law enforcement agencies must heed the demands of the protestors and act to bring about structural change to departments. Other reforms are necessary to address racial injustice and inequalities within the culture of policing. He supports training programs that help officers recognise and address underlying bias, as well as monitoring their interaction with the public. While the camaraderie and solidarity of law enforcement are important in helping build trust and partnership among officers whose job requires them to work together in often dangerous and tense situations, he said, it can also repress officers from exposing corrupt colleagues.
It is quite evident after this incident that there is a lot of restructuring and changes required in the police system and the government will have to take precise and strict measures to bring out a positive change in their departments.