“I can’t breathe.” We all watched in horror as life was drained from George Floyd under the knee of a police officer as three other policeman stood by. But this is not just about Mr. Floyd. He is just the latest addition in a grim roster. Remember their names: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery (one of those involved in his killing was a retired policeman), Freddie Grey, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, Terence Crutcher, Stephon Clark. And there are many others whose names are
remembered only by their families and friends. BLACK LIVES MATTER!
George Floyd was not the first, or even the second, black man murdered by Minneapolis police. I learned of David Smith, age 28. Ten years ago he was Tasered by Minneapolis police, then held face down on the floor while a police officer had his knee on his back. The Smith family was paid $3 million as restitution for his death by the City of Minneapolis. And remember when Philando Castile was killed while sitting in his car after a traffic stop with his fiancee and a young child were also in the car. BLACK LIVES MATTER!
I encourage you to support Black Lives Matter and to call for justice for George Floyd. George Floyd’s murderer has been charged with 2nd degree murder (upgraded from 3rd degree murder) and the other three policemen have been charged with aiding and abetting. Although I find it difficult to support mass demonstrations in light of the Covid-19 crisis, I am with the demonstrators in spirit. There have been demonstrations all around the South Bay; in PVE by the police station (see pictures on our website), at Trump Golf Club, and on a march from Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach. [Please, if you choose to participate in a peaceful protest, wear a mask! And if you have a camera handy, take pictures and send them to our website.]
Although it should go without saying, I must join with Martin Luther King III, the family of George Floyd, and so many government officials in calling for the end of violence, arson, and looting that accomplish nothing. The way we, as individuals, can make our voices heard and accomplish change is to get out there and VOTE. That’s the way we will honor those Black men and women who have been so brutally attacked.
President, Palos Verdes Democrats