America in flames
Police have been aggressive, and Donald Trump has stoked division
May 31st 2020
FOR SEVERAL days, Americans have awakened to searing images. A police station in Minneapolis engulfed in flames. A police truck in New York driving into a sea of protesters. Scores of riot policemen, unidentifiable behind their helmets and face shields, storming down a residential street in Minneapolis, and firing paint rounds at people who did not run inside quickly enough. Joyce Beatty, an African-American congresswoman from Ohio, pepper-sprayed by police while trying to quell a confrontation. Police in multiple cities appeared to deliberately target journalists with rubber bullets and tear-gas canisters.
The proximate cause for the protests was the killing of George Floyd, who died on May 25th after Derek Chauvin, then an officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, pressed his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes—almost three of them after police failed to detect Mr Floyd’s pulse. On May 29th Mr Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Mr Chauvin is expected to appear in court today. Protesters in Minneapolis had been clamouring for his arrest for three days, since mobile-phone footage of Mr Floyd’s death went viral. But his arrest did not quell the demonstrations that Mr Floyd’s death sparked. Over the weekend, they spread. America is now wracked by the most widespread, sustained unrest it has seen in more than 50 years