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Efforts Since George Floyd Killing Fail to Stem US Police Violence

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Efforts Since George Floyd Killing Fail to Stem US Police Violence

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The stunning demise of Tyre Nichols after a police beating has reopened anguished debate throughout the United States about police violence, fueling a way that the massive, nationwide demonstrations of 2020 have finished little to remedy the issue.

Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, died in a hospital on January 10, three days after a brutal beating by 5 Black law enforcement officials within the southern metropolis of Memphis, Tennessee.

The 5 have since been charged with second-degree homicide.

Memphis police launched body-cam footage of the incident — after starkly warning viewers of its brutality — late Friday.

“I’m simply unhappy for the place we’re in America; we’re nonetheless right here,” said Lora King, whose father Rodney King sustained a violent beating by police in Los Angeles in 1991, also caught on camera. The incident fueled lethal and destructive riots in that city and elsewhere. “I’m in disbelief.”

“We have to do higher,” she told CNN. “This is unacceptable.”

Deaths at 10-year excessive

Nichols’ demise left many Americans questioning how a lot actual progress had been made since 2020.

The killing that 12 months in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a Black man whose videotaped demise beneath the knee of a white officer was seen thousands and thousands of occasions, reignited the historic Black Lives Matter motion throughout the US and overseas.

In the wake of Floyd’s demise, guarantees of police reform swept throughout the nation.

And but two years later, the quantity of people that have died throughout interactions with police hit a 10-year excessive in 2022, at 1,186 deaths, in accordance to the web site Mapping Police Violence.

“They say it’s a brand new 12 months, however usual, usual,” said Robert Jones, a 26-year-old salesman in Memphis.

African Americans accounted for 26 percent of those deaths, though Black people represent only 13 percent of the US population.

By way of comparison, fewer than 20 people die in France each year during police interventions.

A huge factor explaining the difference is the enormous number of privately owned firearms in the United States — there are more guns than there are people — which sharply increases the sense of vulnerability police feel during interactions with the public, making them much quicker to draw their own arms.

Last year, 66 police officers were killed by gunfire while on duty, according to a fund created to honor them.

But attorney Ben Crump, who represented Floyd’s relatives and is now working with Nichols’ family, sees a deeper dynamic at work.

“We have to talk about this institutionalized police culture that has this unwritten law that you can engage in excessive use of force against Black and Brown people,” he mentioned throughout a press convention Friday.

‘Unnecessary and aggressive’

The tumult of 2020 led, amongst different issues, to efforts to curb the appreciable authorized immunity granted to American police, or to set up a register of officers who’ve been discovered to use extreme pressure.

Proposed federal laws, initially supported by each political events, finally failed in Congress at a time when homicides have been rising sharply, with Republicans falling again on their conventional appeals for “regulation and order.”

In the absence of progress on the federal level, the push for reform advanced primarily on the local level — modestly and unevenly, producing a patchwork of different approaches.

Across the United States, there are nearly 18,000 autonomous policing entities — city police, county sheriffs, state highway patrols — each with its own rules for recruitment, training and on-the-job practices.

Some of them have reviewed and revised their rules, notably banning strangleholds, such as the one killed George Floyd, requiring greater use of body-cams and increasing the penalties for unjustified violence.

The Memphis police were among those adopting reforms. Officers were barred from forcing their way into homes unannounced; were told they must step in to stop colleagues engaging in violence; and were given additional training in de-escalating dangerous confrontations.

Despite all that, the officers who stopped Nichols for a simple traffic violation were “riled up” from the start, and “the escalation was already at a excessive degree,” said Cerelyn Davis, the Memphis police department’s first Black female chief.

For activists, the central problem is the extensive arrest powers American police have, even over minor infractions.

“We must stop relying on police to respond to issues related to poverty and disinvestment,” mentioned Kathy Sinback, director for Tennessee of the American Civil Liberties Union.

That strategy, she mentioned in a press release, “leads to extra frequent, pointless and aggressive actions by regulation enforcement towards group members.”

US police have killed nearly 600 people during traffic stops since 2017, according to Human Rights Watch.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 workers and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

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