Mapping Police Violence has updated its numbers to suggest that since George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, more than 1,646 people have been killed by the police, averaging three a day.
BY RAY TAMPA, The Ray Tampa Podcast
You would think that the worldwide protests and the huge spotlight on police officers after the murder of George Floyd would have caused a decrease in abusive police behaviors. You would think that the arrest and conviction of rogue police officer Derek Chauvin would have caused officers to think twice before abusing innocent citizens.
Too, you would think that some of the many police reform measures implemented in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s murder would have had a chilling effect on police violence. However, it surely seems that none of this is true. The numbers of murders, beatings and other abuses appear to be on an upswing.
In Columbus, Ohio, a police officer’s body camera clearly captured a 20-year-old man being killed while in bed. The victim, Donovan Lewis, was shot immediately after the officer opened the door.
There was no order to “drop what’s in your hand,” “put your hands up,” “get down on your stomach” or anything of that nature. All we have is a 30-year veteran with a happy trigger finger needlessly killing yet another Black man.
Approximately one week before the killing of Donovan Lewis, a gentleman in Crawford County, Ark., was seen being seriously victimized by three law enforcement officers. A bystander’s cell phone camera caught one officer repeatedly punching Randall Worcester in the head and slamming his head on the pavement as he was pinned to the ground.
A second officer was seen violently kneeing Mr. Worcester in the body during the encounter. The third officer was seen holding the victim on the ground while his comrades punched and kneed the man.
Once the officers took note that they were being filmed, their ire turned to the young lady with the cell phone and ordered her to get in her car by using profanity. Hopefully, their careers as “peace officers” are over. Also, they should be arrested and tried for excessive abuse of a civilian and violation of this man’s civil rights.
Unfortunately, even if these officers are arrested, convicted and given lengthy prison sentences, the abuses will continue unabated.
This past March, writer Sam Levine published an article entitled “No progress since George Floyd: US police killing three people a day.” One very sobering paragraph from his article reads:
“Law enforcement in the US have killed 249 people this year as of 24 March, averaging about three deaths a day and mirroring the deadly force trends of recent years, according to Mapping Police Violence, a non-profit research group. The data, experts say, suggests in the nearly two years since George Floyd’s murder, the US has made little progress in preventing deaths at the hands of law enforcement, and that the 2020 promises of systemic reforms have fallen short.”
Levine’s article, in general, and the paragraph above should have us all scratching our heads and wondering – what in the hell can we do about this mess?
Mapping Police Violence has updated its numbers to suggest that since George Floyd’s murder in May 2020, more than 1,646 people have been killed by the police, again averaging three a day.
In my humble opinion, these disturbing trends will not subside until Congress drafts a law to eliminate “qualified immunity,” a legal doctrine that limits legal remedies for victims of police violence or misconduct. According to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “qualified immunity creates an absolute shield” against accountability for police officers accused of using excessive force.
Eliminating qualified immunity is the most promising initiative to curtailing the staggering police brutality numbers. I really believe this.