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Allgemein Artikel und Essays Englisch

Notes from a strange country

–      A white policeman in Buffalo, New York fiercely pushes a peaceful old man, because he feels harassed. Or did he fear for his life behind his visor, with his gun and his 60-cm baton? Or did he just give vent to his frustration over citizens being allowed to protest? Or did he simply have a little fun? The man hits the sidewalk hard. Lies motionless. Blood trickles from his ear. One policeman shows compassion and wants to look after him, but a fellow-cop grabs him and pulls him away. Why? Because it serves the old man right? Because he wants him to just snuff it? Because for him it is absolute routine to beat up citizens?

57 white police officers have resigned from the Buffalo police emergency unit. Seeing the headline I thought they protested against their colleagues’ behaviour and a deeply brutal police force. But far from it. They reacted to the suspension of those two police officers, as, after all, they had just followed orders and done their job dissolving a rally. So indeed this is about rights – the right to shove citizens around. Why else should one do this job? (When I was in the States for the first time in 1982, there were ads in every subway train with a police cap, a badge, a walkie-talkie and a baton, and the slogan: “Stop feeling powerless – join the police”!) Obviously the idea that the situation could have been approached differently never was even remotely close to crossing their tiny little minds.

–      Perhaps they have attended one of those courses that advertise training “bullet-proof warriors” in the “daily urban warfare”. (As to police training see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETf7NJOMS6Y; https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/us/minnesota-police-officers-bulletproof-warrior-training-is-questioned.html)

–      The vast majority of the US police force are sons of policemen and former military personnel.

–      During the current protests against police violence and racism reporters are specifically targeted by the police. One newswoman lost one eye after having been hit by a rubber bullet. They don’t like witnesses. Hasn’t Trump told them again and again that media just spread lies and are “the enemy of the people“? And “the people” foremostly seem to be police officers.

–      Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, is among those who cannot see how anybody can find fault with Derek Chauvin, the man who killed George Floyd. Kneeling on an Afro-American’s neck is police routine, that is what you happen to learn about dealing with darkies. That is why he announced doing everything for all four of them to be acquitted and readmitted to the police force. Sure, after all, nothing much has happened. By the way, Kroll himself has been accused more than 20 times of misdemeanour, brutality and racist insults, and was suspended from office once for excessive violence. He calls Black lives matter a terrorist organization. Seen this way Derek Chauvin acted in self-defence. So, does it come as a surprise that Kroll wears a motorcycle jacket sporting “White Power”? All of it perfectly normal.

Like the fact that the Minneapolis police union sells “Union Cops for Trump” T-shirts.

–      This year 429 people have been shot by police; among them unproportionally many Afro-Americans (88), whose risk of being shot by police is almost three times higher than the one of whites. In Los Angeles it is six times higher. (Interesting information on this can be found e.g. on https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/)

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