The killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in the US has revived the Black civil rights movement and underscores how the US police force is one of the worst human rights violators in the world, an African American journalist in Detroit says.
Floyd’s murder “has exposed further United States human rights violations, despite the fact the US claims that it is a paragon of human rights around the world,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.
“People see that clearly now that they had not harbingers of human rights, but they are in fact, betrayers of human rights and they are some of the worst perpetrators of human rights violations in the world,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Thursday.
“So this whole process over the last two and a half weeks has catapulted the African-American struggle, the anti-racist strongly United States to new heights,” he added.
Protests have been held across the US for nearly three weeks in response to the killing of Floyd, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.
A video of the incident shows Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as the 46-year-old was in handcuffs. “Please, please, I cannot breathe,” Floyd can be heard in the video as Chauvin continues to kneel on his neck.
His death has reignited long-felt anger over police killings of African-Americans and unleashed a nationwide wave of civil unrest unlike any seen in the United States since Martin Luther King Jr’s 1968 assassination.
Floyd’s brother told the US Congress on Wednesday to “stop the pain” and pass reforms that reduce police brutality, describing his brother’s murder as a “modern-day lynching.”
Philonise Floyd’s appearance before a US House of Representatives hearing came a day after funeral services for his older brother were held in his hometown of Houston, Texas.
“They lynched my brother. That was a modern-day lynching in broad daylight,” Philonise Floyd, 42, a resident of Missouri City, Texas, told the committee, his voice breaking with emotion.
“You don’t even do that to an animal. His life mattered. All our lives matter. Black lives matter,” he added, wiping away tears.
“I can’t tell you the kind of pain you feel when you watch … your big brother, who you looked up to your whole entire life, die – die begging for his mom,” he said.