• Kevin Wicks

Rioters are damaging their communities and cause

On May 25th, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man was arrested by Minneapolis police, after a deli employee called 911, accusing Floyd of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first officers had arrived, George Floyd was unconscious, pinned beneath three police officers, with no signs of life. Floyd later died. Shortly thereafter, a video emerged, showing one of the officers with a knee on Floyd’s neck as he screamed for help and that he could not breathe. The video has since gone viral and renewed anger over other recent police brutality cases involving African-Americans. The officer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck has since been arrested and faces third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.

Protests over the death of Floyd in Minneapolis quickly spread around the United States and were largely peaceful. However, the protests have been overshadowed by scenes of rage-fueled violence and destruction. The brutal scenes that have emerged from the rioting are a rather odd response as there is little disagreement that Floyd’s death was criminal and immoral. Yet rioting still spread. There is no sensible purpose behind people burning buildings, igniting vehicles, spray painting, smashing windows, looting, and stealing from the hard-working, no matter what color they are. City blocks have been completely vandalized.

While some may argue that the rioting expresses their anger and frustration, it is extremely foolish, unjustified, and counterproductive. Regardless of what motivates the protesters to riot, they never have good outcomes. Small businesses are demolished beyond repair, neighborhoods are ruined, and relations with law enforcement worsen. Even worse, law enforcement is now villainized for using tear gas, a measure for the officers to protect themselves and innocent citizens, as well as preventing major harm for the uncontrollable protesters. Furthermore, thugs have found the perfect excuse to write off stealing from others.

“killin cops is not the answer. VIOLENCE WILL ONLY BRING MORE VIOLENCE" - Odell Beckham Jr.

However, not only are the rioters doing damage to their communities, but they are doing significant harm to the cause of protesting against police brutality and the murder of an innocent man. The rioters have no coherent message or given objective, and only spread fear, misery, and anger. The crowds originally protested the brutality, but when the riots started, the crowds displayed the same brutality as the police that murdered George Floyd by damaging and destroying innocent lives. “Killin cops is not the answer” and “VIOLENCE WILL ONLY BRING MORE VIOLENCE” were the words of Odell Beckham Jr., an American football wide, with which I couldn't agree more. The violence only creates more dissent and separation of the races that make up this great country. To clarify, I believe that the police officers, who were brutal and inhumane towards George Floyd and the many other innocent African Americans who have suffered police violence, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, we must remember that there will always be injustice, but that it can be fixed by “we the people” demonstrating for sympathy. However, rioters destroying a small bar bought with a firefighter’s life savings does not solve the problem of police violence.