George Floyd anniversary: What’s changed in America?
Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary since the death of George Floyd, a Black American man who died under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
- Tuesday marks George Floyd anniversary
- His death sparked mass protesting and global outrage
- But statistics show little has changed in the US as the number of police killings remains consistent
- Change is being seen at local levels
The footage of Floyd pinned under Chauvin’s knee, sparked a global movement and the US along with Britain and the world said they’d take a deeper look into systemic racism.
In a rare case for the US, Chauvin is one of few officers who were tried and convicted of murder on the job.
But if the figures are anything to go by, very little has changed in the US since Floyd’s murder.
One year after Floyd literally had the life squeezed out of him, the killings have not stopped.
There have been similar deaths in 45 of America’s 50 states. Alaska, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Wyoming and Rhode Island are the only states without such deaths.
Police killings consistent
“At a nationwide level, when we look at the data, we see a fairly consistent and stable rate of fatal police violence, going all the way back as far back as we have reliable data, which is 2013,” Samuel Sinyangwe, one of the founders of the Mapping Police Violence project, told The Independent.
“Every year, the police kill about 1,100 people. It fluctuates from, you know, 1,000 up to 1,200. But it’s consistently around that number every single year.”
He added: “The big picture is we haven’t seen a reduction nationwide since the police murder of George Floyd, or since 2015 and 2014 and the activism and national conversation around this issue that happened.”
A study from Yale University showed Native Americans were killed by police at a rate three times that of white people, Black people were killed at 2.6 times the rate of white people and Hispanics were killed at nearly 1.3 times the rate.
Of the unarmed victims, Black people were killed at three times the rate and Hispanics at 1.45 times the rate of white people.
Dowin Boatright, the study’s author, said the fatal police shootings of people of colour needs to be treated as a “public health emergency.”
“Those killed by police on average are young people — the average age for all victims is 34,” Mr Boatright said when the study was released last year. “For Black people, the average age is 30.”
There also an impact on the communities, he says. “In areas where there are police killings, the Black population reports worse mental health,” he said.
‘It’s been a long year’
In the year since Floyd’s death, there have been calls for reform and accountability as well as defunding the police and dismantling the police unions.
On Tuesday, President Biden will host Floyd’s family at the White House.
“It’s been a long year. It’s been a painful year,” said Bridgett Floyd, sister of George, who attended a rally on Sunday. “That officer doesn’t understand what he took from us.”
George Floyd death
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