White ex-police officer charged with “murder” Wednesday, June 17, 2020, five days after shooting a young black man in Atlanta, a drama that rekindled calls to reform law enforcement in the United States, extremely pressing since the ordeal of George Floyd. Under pressure from the street, initiatives are multiplying at the local level, in Washington and even at the UN, to tackle police violence which targets the African-American population disproportionately.
After a timid decree from President Donald Trump, Republican senators on Wednesday introduced a bill that tackles “bottlenecks” and the training of police officers, without affecting the broad immunity they have enjoyed for years. years. However, the failure to prosecute the police in the event of an abuse of their force is one of the main complaints brought forward by the crowds who have been demonstrating throughout the United States since a white police officer asphyxiated George Floyd, a black forties, May 25 in Minneapolis.
Read also “The protest movement against racism calls for concrete action”
As the processions began to wane, a new drama, which occurred Friday evening in Atlanta, the big city of the South, rekindled the anger: Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black father was shot twice in the the back by a white agent who wanted to arrest him for drunkenness on the public highway. Garrett Rolfe, 27, was immediately dismissed from police on Wednesday for “murder”, a death sentence in Georgia. A colleague present at the scene, Devin Brosnan, is being prosecuted for “assault” and arrest warrants have been issued against them.
“We concluded that at the time of his death, Rayshard Brooks did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious injury to the officers,” Fulton County attorney Paul Howard said in a press conference. . The two police officers were called by the employees of a fast-food restaurant because Rayshard Brooks fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle and blocked access to the drive-in.
When they arrived, he was “cordial”, according to the prosecutor, but the situation had deteriorated after more than 40 minutes when the police wanted to arrest him. He then grabbed the Taser from one of the officers and fled. It was then that Garrett Rolfe opened fire. A video revealed that the policeman had kicked his victim once he was down. This “does not reflect a feeling of fear towards Rayshard Brooks, but another kind of emotion,” commented Paul Howard.
Read also Death of George Floyd: to condemn the riots is not to oppose the demonstrations
The prosecutor nevertheless welcomed a “remarkable” fact: the second agent agreed to cooperate with the justice system and to testify against Garrett Rolfe, which is very rare in this type of case. Rayshard Brooks’ widow’s lawyer thanked him for his “courage.” “These are the types of officers who will change the police,” said Chris Stewart.
” Help us “
George Floyd’s brother went to the United Nations to obtain reforms. “You have the power to help us get justice,” said Philonise Floyd in a video released during an exceptional debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. “The way my brother was tortured and killed in front of a camera is the way black people are treated by the police in America,” he said. In a combative tone, he asked the member states to set up an “independent commission of inquiry into black people killed by police in the United States and into the violence against peaceful demonstrators”.
Without mentioning the United States, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, denounced “systemic racism” and called to “make amends” for centuries of oppression of black populations, with “official apologies” and “reparations”. The Council is due to rule on Thursday a draft resolution presented by the African group condemning the “discriminatory and violent racial practices” of the American police and beyond.
Read also George Floyd: the UN gets involved and demands action