Like most people, I am watching the unfolding events across the USA. When it comes to ‘Facebook’ I’m a lurker but I do take a ramble in there to read other posts. In this regard I keep coming across accounts of police brutality in the States including many murders for what the authors claim is for no reason. They tend to be hard to believe but it is the incessant nature of these claims that makes one think there must be something in it.
So the video footage of George Floyd’s unlawful killing came as no shock to me. Such footage of similar killings always seem to be doing the rounds on Facebook. My hesitation to believe or condemn it all is based on my knowledge of video editing and special effects software. The industry is so far ahead on realism that anything can be video faked, including a murder and when you view it, it’s so very believable.
But I do believe the Minneapolis man was unlawfully killed by a policeman and by extension therefore, the street protests are both morally justified and legal under the First Amendment. Americans have the right to free speech and peaceful protest and any effort at suppression of that in regard to this murder would be wholly wrong.
However, while peaceful protest is right and proper, looting and rioting is not. The looters and rioters are committing criminal acts and should be hunted down, arrested and tried for their crimes. They are hijacking a perfectly legitimate cause to break-in and steal things they want, they are damaging property, endangering lives and throwing rocks and petrol bombs when challenged. That is lawlessness and the state can either confront it or let it happen and increase in intensity until all civil structures break down and it’s each man for himself.
“Black lives matter,’ is a laudable banner to march under but it quickly gets out of control as we saw with the Rodney King murder in L.A. in 1992 and several times since then. I have no doubt that black people, or African Americans or whatever politically correct phrase is currently in vogue, are getting a raw deal in the US and always have done. Perhaps their deal is not as raw as that given to the native Americans but they are treated unjustly and it is an issue that Americans need to address.
Mind you, footage of the nightly looting and rioting going on now is hardly an incentive for Americans to address anything other than restoring law and order and then making an example of several unfortunate black guys to make such a thing unattractive in the future. If that happens, and Trump wants it to, then the question becomes who is ultimately responsible for it?
Is it that stupid policeman who committed murder or the lawless bastards who took advantage of it?
Append: A reader has pointed out to me that Rodney King was not murdered. Perhaps I had murder in my head as I typed because indeed, Rodney King was not murdered by the Police but was savagely beaten 37 with batons and kicked seven times as well. It was the video footage of this appearing that set off the LA riots at the time, the real point I was trying to make.