The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is torn apart for a week by demonstrations and riots in protest against the death of George Floyd, an African-American 46-year-old died after being restrained by a police officer.
The metropolis is, however, not to his first clashes on a background of racial tensions, since the city has been the theatre by other past events and sadly similar.
To better understand these riots, which are increasing by the day, here’s what you need to know about the context surrounding this crisis.
1. Several complaints against the police
Before being accused of murder in the third degree from George Floyd and manslaughter, police officer Derek Chauvin had received no less than 18 complaints against them during his career with the police service of Minneapolis, CNN reported. Only two of them would have resulted in a “letter of reprimand”.
2. Other deaths recent Afro-Americans in Minneapolis in the hands of the police
The Monday’s incident also revived in Minneapolis the death of other citizens, afro-americans who have lost their lives in recent years under the shootings of police officers.
The death of Jamar Clark, in 2015, and Philando Castile, in 2016, both to be slaughtered, in particular had attracted the ire, and then the protests of the population, because of their characters highly avoidable and unfair, according to many.
3. Few sanctions for police officers
In the case of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, the officers who shot them have not been punished by the justice.
If the police responsible for the death of the first pulled, without charge, Jeronimo Yanez, the officer who opened fire on Philando Castile, has been fired, but has, however, been acquitted of a charge of second-degree murder.
4. A mayor-requesting formal charges
The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey
Because of this, it is perhaps one of the reasons why the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, was publicly asked what the police officer responsible for the death of George Floyd was arrested and formally charged.
“To be black in the United States should not be a death sentence”, he stated, asking openly “why the man who killed George Floyd [was] not in jail.”
5. Videos which belie the initial version of the police
To add to the anger of the population, a report by the police service of Minneapolis pointed out initially that George Floyd would have resisted his arrest.
However, there are several videos that have surfaced since shows that this is not finally the case.
6. A tragedy that reminds us of a case of 2014
The death of George Floyd reminds many of the case of Eric Garner, another African-American who died in 2014 as a result of an arrest, police in New York city.
Locked violently by the police and thrown to the ground, you could hear him say in a video that he could not breathe. The phrase “I can’t breath” was then taken up at a number of events and the movement Black Lives Matter.
7. Other fatal incidents singled out in the United States
The death of George Floyd is in addition to at least two other similar deaths that occurred in 2020 in the United States in the framework of police operations.
Highly publicized cases of two other Afro-Americans, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, shot dead by the police in unclear circumstances, are still under investigation and have also led to protests from the public.
8. One of the worst cities for African Americans
The city of Minneapolis has been named the “fourth worst metropolitan area in the United States for African-Americans” in 2019. To establish this list, the organization 24/7 Wall St. based on the socio-economic gap in areas such as income, education, health and incarceration rates.
9. A history of segregation
In the same vein, the magazine of the Times recalled that the neighborhoods of Minneapolis were still highly segregated, since there were areas where the population is predominantly african-american and policing, like profiling, would increase tenfold.
10. An event deplorable this week in New York
Let’s remember that this is not the only event that happened this week against the backdrop of racial tensions in the United States.
A few hours before the death of George Floyd, a white woman has called the police in Central Park, in the city of New York, saying it was “threatened” because an African-American had asked him to keep his dog on a leash.
The man has fortunately not been arrested, but the woman in question, Amy Cooper, has been criticized from all sides, losing his job.