George Floyd’s Death
George Floyd‘s Death: Why are police officers in the United States rarely punished for killing civilians?
An estimated 1,200 people are killed by police in the United States each year, but 99 percent of them are never prosecuted.
Protests and public pressure following the assassination of George Floyd in Minnesota have led to a criminal case against the officers involved in his murder.
A homicide charge has been filed against a police officer who strangled George Floyd on May 25, allegedly killing Floyd.
Three other officers who were present at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting the crime. The four will appear in court on May 8.
Protesters hope that George Floyd‘s death could lead to a major change in the US system, meaning that police officers who kill someone in the line of duty may now be punished. Because the Minnesota incident is very different from the previous ones.
In the United States, police officers who kill someone in the line of duty are not punished, let alone convicted of murder, because they have legal immunity.
Mapping Police Violence, a research institute, has documented 7,666 homicides by police between 2013 and 2019, accounting for 92% of all such incidents.
Of these, only 99 officers were charged, accounting for 1.3% of the officers involved in the killings. And only 25 of them were sentenced.
Clark Neely, vice president of criminal justice at the Cato Institute, a Washington-based think tank, told the BBC: There is a lawsuit.
He says the prosecution has to work with the police, rely on the police for the evidence needed to solve the case and prosecute. And the police can kill anyone without breaking the law in such killings.
Relatives of those killed in such incidents eventually have a way to sue the police for damages in civil courts, but according to Neil, most court doors are closed to them. Because the principle of ‘eligibility for immunity’ applies to such cases.
This principle protects government employees from prosecution of such allegations unless the officers violate the rights that become the legitimate rights of the victim.
Clark Neal says it is almost impossible to sue any government official.
Violence ‘open holiday’
Amy Corbett was caught in a similar incident in 2014 when someone illegally broke into her backyard. Armed police stormed his home and told the six children to lie down at gunpoint.
According to court documents, when Amy’s pet dog, Bruce, arrived, the police officer fired two shots at him without warning, but his dog was not a threat to police officers.
Although the bullets did not hit the dog, one of them hit Amy’s ten-year-old son, Dakota, who was lying just one meter away. The boy survived, but his leg was badly injured and he suffered severe psychological distress.
Rejected Amy’s request
The court rejected Amy’s request to prosecute the police officer who shot her. The court held that there was no clear right to be protected from accidental use of force during the arrest.
A similar case was that of Malaika Brooks, who, despite being eight months pregnant, was shot three times with a teaser gun in front of her 11-year-old son, dragged out of a car and thrown upside down. Was handcuffed.
Malaika was stopped by police for driving at a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour in an area with a speed limit of 32 miles per hour, but she signed a receipt for the speeding incident as a confession. Refused to
Malaika also filed a lawsuit, but the court rejected it, saying “there are no formal rules for the use of teaser guns.” Ten years after the trial, he reached an extrajudicial settlement with the police for 45,000.
“It’s amazing how the court allows the police to use force,” said Clark Neal. As I say, such decisions protect law enforcement from all forms of accountability.
Justice for George Floyd
Neil says this principle of immunity will make it harder for George Floyd’s heirs to get justice.
“If they do not find an instance in which a court has ruled that the death of a person by pressing the top seven spines of a spine for nine minutes will result in his death, then it is legally a non-use of force.” It is a legal act, and then the principle of exemption will apply here. That means you can’t file a lawsuit because there is no precedent for this type of lawsuit.
One person is arrested every three seconds in the United States. According to the FBI, 13 million people were arrested in 2018 in the United States.
The officers says a large number of those arrested are not even charged with torture. George Floyd was allegedly trying to use a counterfeit currency note.
“First of all, the police should not have the power to commit such crimes,” says UD Offer.
“We don’t have to spend billions of dollars on the police. The money should be spent on communities that have historically been targeted by the police.
Although everyone agrees on the need to improve the quality of recruitment in the police, both Ofer and Neil believe that the (current) system of police accountability is only ‘superficial’.
Despite the threat of an epidemic in Cove 19, protests do not seem to be slowing down, with social and political activists seeking to mobilize their energies for a change.
“We see a very fundamental problem with police violence and racism in the United States,” Ofer said. And despite our best efforts, we have not been able to overcome them. We will not succeed in prosecuting one and a half officers at the individual level.