9 months after the murder of George Floyd. How does the Biden administration evaluate U.S. police racism?

2021-03-21

9 months after the murder of African-American George Floyd, questions about the official U.S. attitude to police racism toward citizens continue, and with the coming of President Joe Biden's administration - early this year-several challenges arise about the new handling of the problem of racism. The United States has not yet embarked on a radical reform of the police service but continues to move at a limited and substantive pace to combat violence and racism among law enforcement. The killing of Floyd, a black forty-year-old, by asphyxiation under the knee of white police officer Dirk Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd's neck, on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (northern United States), shocked the country and sparked weeks-long demonstrations demanding reforms. A question arises: What Remains of this extraordinary mobilization as the trial of policeman Derek Chauvin accused of killing George Floyd begins? The most important achievement of the wave of American protests following Floyd's death was a change of heart; if the black minority had for years denounced abuses against them, the majority of Americans, especially white ones, still viewed police officers with much regard. “It's culturally acceptable in America that police commit acts of violence, " explained Kate Levine, a professor at Cardozo Law School in New York. There is an assumption that the police commit acts of violence because they face acts of violence”, noting that “videos, demonstrations, and victim statements have dealt a blow to this assumption”. Former Black policewoman Tracy Casey, who co-founded the Center for equality in police treatment, said that with the murder of George Floyd, “people who had never reviewed themselves and thought about police violence had to do so, even though it was not pleasant to them.” Real-time measures Since last June, calls have been made for radical changes, particularly the slogan “cut off police funding”. Announcement Several measures were taken immediately to “calm the spirits”, Casey explained, with some cities banning the technique of squeezing the neck of detainees, while others announced disciplinary files against police officers or tightened their preparation programs, as well as other measures. The House of Representatives passed a bill limiting the broad immunity enjoyed by police officers, which will now be debated in the Senate. In general, the United States has embarked on a review of its history, removing many of the statues, most of which symbolizes its past associated with the slave trade. Stalled efforts As the campaign intensified, the debates took a political turn, and at a time when the crime was on the rise in major cities, former President Donald Trump put himself in the position of defender of “law and order,” accusing Democrats of being lenient on this issue. The scene missed any radical reforms, and Levin asserted that "a fleeting attempt was made in Minneapolis" as the municipal council pledged to” dismantle “the law enforcement, but Levin stated that” nothing was done " in the end. In New York, the authorities approved1 billion in police budget cuts in June, but they were later significantly watered down or distributed over a long period, and the federal reform process was first dropped by the Senate. There has been no improvement on the ground, with 1,000 people killed by police bullets in 2020, 28% of whom are black, while they represent only 12% of the U.S. population. The court also refused to prosecute those responsible for the deaths of unarmed black Americans, such as Brianna Taylor, who was shot dead in her Kentucky apartment, and Daniel Broad, who was strangled while having a psychotic episode near New York. Miscellaneous initiatives Discussions continue despite all these obstacles because " leaders are certain that some things are no longer acceptable,” says Tracy Casey. President Biden, who was elected with the support of a majority of black Americans, promised to make combating racism one of his priorities. In Congress, the House of Representatives has reaffirmed the police reform bill, and Democrats hope to reach a compromise with Senate Republicans. Efforts are continuing at the state level, with Illinois finally approving a criminal law reform that includes new rules for arrest techniques, and Maryland planning to toughen penalties for violent offenders. In the United States, there are 18,000 law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Municipal Police, Highway Patrol, local forces, and others. Levin said that the abundance of such devices is a hindrance because “there can be no large-scale repair” that applies throughout the United States, but in return, it opens up the field for testing. In this context, the city of Berkeley, California, has finally banned most road checks to reduce friction between police and citizens. “History has shown that we have tried to progress on many occasions, yet now we are in the starting line, without having found a solution to the racial issue,” Casey said. “We have a new opportunity to do it differently,” she added while acknowledging that “it will look very different depending on the region each one comes from.

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