Almost two years after George Floyd’s murder and police killings in the US continue to rise, chiefs stand accused

Early one morning in February, a police SWAT team kicked in the door to the apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Amir Locke was staying.

He was sleeping and body camera footage from one officer on the raid shows him wrapped in a blanket while reaching for his legally-owned gun. The police opened fire and less than 10 seconds after forcing their way into his home, the 22-year-old was dead.

Last week prosecutors announced no officers would be charged after the shooting, which took place just a few miles from where George Floyd was murdered by another Minneapolis police officer in 2020. His death ignited Black Lives Matter protests around the world, igniting widespread demands for US police reform in what many consider the most significant racial demonstrations in the US since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

All of those factors led to the increase in the numbers of police killings in 2021, said Howard Henderson, founding director of the Centre for Justice Research at Texas Southern University in Houston.

He said that if you understood the historical relationship between police and ethnic minorities you would have been under “no illusion” that change was coming. Henderson said: “What you have is an institution which is critical to the foundation of this country which is able to withstand any sort of pressure from the outside. “There is a disconnect between public sentiment and institutional social control mechanisms. The criminal justice system doesn’t bend to what society wants it to. It bends to the ability it has to control the masses of people.”
Henderson said: “Transparency and accountability have to be the name of the game. There absolutely must be accountability measures for police officers who step outside the line of duty and cause unnecessary harm to citizens.”

Click HERE to read the full article in The Sunday Post