Minneapolis | More and more appalling images, more and more people being killed by police officers, and a murder trial drawing to a close – in the United States the confidence of the people in law enforcement may never be been at such a low level.
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The recent accumulation of videos showing police abuse has thus ignited the debate on the role of the police across the country.
“I am a black man, and I know from my own experience that police officers are not professional, and the way they are run is not correct,” says Darnell Squire, 46, who sells t -shirts and baseball caps on the street of a suburb of Minneapolis.
It is in this large metropolis in the north of the United States that the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former white police officer accused of the murder of George Floyd last year, is currently taking place.
“They are not there to protect the inhabitants, or to make people feel safe, no matter what they say … It has been clear to me since I was a child,” says Squire.
“I don’t trust the government’s promises that things will change, and I don’t trust the system or the courts,” he adds.
At the trial of Derek Chauvin, the indictment and pleading are expected early next week, before the jury deliberates and leaves his camera with a verdict.
As images of the policeman kneeling on George Floyd’s neck swirled ad nauseam in the Minneapolis courtroom, the rise of new instances of police-caused deaths across the United States has stirred up anger and brought down thousands. of people in the streets.
In Brooklyn Center, in the very suburb of Minneapolis, Daunte Wright, a young black man, died after a policewoman shot him, claiming to have mistaken his pistol for his Taser. Her death was documented by the policewoman’s camera-pedestrian footage.
In Chicago, police released shocking footage of a policeman shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo on Thursday. The teenager was killed in a dark alley last month after a police officer suspected him of dropping a pistol just before the tragedy.
“A long fight”
“I’ll feel the same, even if Chauvin is convicted – it’s a long fight,” said Selena McKnight, a 46-year-old activist in Minneapolis who regularly participates in protests against police misconduct.
“The trial (of Derek Chauvin) is only one case, and this battle is not over until justice is served everywhere,” she adds.
Some point to the contrast between the cases of Floyd, Wright, and so many others, and those of police officers having to deal with aggressive white men.
On Wednesday in another city near Minneapolis, a police officer was attacked with a hammer and dragged at high speed by a car driven by a 61-year-old white man, accused of attacking store workers who asked him to carry a mask against Covid-19.
No shots were fired, and the man was subsequently arrested.
“Did anyone shoot him?” No of course not. It shows you everything you need to know about police bias, ”according to Selena McKnight.
“You might think all of those video footage can make a difference, but it just shows what we know has been going on for a long time,” she adds.
As the verdict nears in Derek Chauvin’s trial, the United States braces for potentially violent protests in the event of an acquittal.
Deserted downtown Minneapolis has seen a proliferation of wooden signs to protect businesses, as National Guard troops patrol in armored vehicles.
“I’m afraid of the police, not of COVID-19,” said Tesfaye Habte, a Minneapolis resident born in Ethiopia, who believes the situation has worsened in recent years.
“America is democracy, the Constitution, and free speech, but the police are very aggressive and inhumane. I am following this trial closely, and I am worried, ”he says.