On that loyal 25th day of May 2020, if anybody had told George Floyd that the African-American it would be his last, I presume that the African American blood in him could have sparked up some rebuke religiously or spiritually like; ‘May the gods forbid’,’ I rebuke that in Jesus name’,” It is not my portion’ and so on. That’s the African soul and it doesn’t know bounds even if you’re about the white man’s territory.
On that day, the overzealous white-skinned Police Officer, Derek Chauvin possibly awakened thirsty for blood. To conquer the frequent phrase of a trigger happy police, he chose to sniff life out of a fellow man using choke — holding him down by the throat with his knee. I observed in pain wondering exactly what he was thinking to subject Floyd to such a grisly act leading to his death. His faint voice ‘I can’t breathe’ should have melted Chauvin’s heart but it seemed he had non at the moment. It was grieving to watch that movie on social platforms and cable networks.
This spurred a rampage from the complete Minneapolis that grabbed the interest of the world. My heart is heavy not simply for Chauvin’s actions that denied a healthy-looking brother of his right to life. But I grief more for my home country, where a lot of them have happened and justice is swept under the carpet.
Rather than yield favourable results or alter, it led to what sounds like a hijack to dent the evolution resulting in a shipwreck.
Hundreds of greater still tens of thousands of Chauvin’s exist in our Police Force and they carry out life-threatening actions resulting in loss of lives which are unaccounted for. Where the offenders are booked, the legal system has not been able to convict many of such and they’re still in the drive wielding around with firearms purchased with taxpayers’ money. One of the cheering elements of Chauvin’s story was how he was fished out instantly and became a public figure for the negative or wrong reason.
It started out of his trial lasting only 15 days, with 44 witnesses into the case. The summit of it all was that that Judge Cahill did not wait for long but only about 11 hours to reach a verdict and obtained Chauvin convicted of three charges.
This happens where the institutions are properly ordered and run independently. Obviously, the American Judicial system may not be 100% in its modus operandi, but this candy ruling has put their judicial system on a high pedestal on an issue that attracted a worldwide audience.
It has shown to us that justice prevails where the judiciary is independent. Justice of the magnitude is a herculean task in a system knotted in coercion, corruption, manipulation of judges, intentional delay of case documents where trials could be hauled for half a decade or more, decayed and dilapidated court, poor salaries for judicial personnel that has led to an indefinite strike by Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) because April 06, 2021. This kind of system will hardly provide justice and it will only continue to soften the expectation of the masses such that they would rather allow the matter off the grid compared to waste time seeking legal proceedings. This is typical of us as a people and it’s prevalent in our judicial system.
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Does one wonder how a lot of these trigger-happy police officers are shamed nationwide? Often, we only hear that the Force has apprehended the officers in question and could be tried. From that point, we are stored in the dark and that is it. Where they are declared to be disregarded, cases of them still in service abound and they walk openly while the victim’s family stays in anguish. Who hasn’t heard men of the police force in Nigeria boast how they have killed, and nothing happened? In confidence, they make statements such as;’ I move to kill you and nothing go happen’; ‘e de do me create I mild (shoot) individual’;’ I move to kill you throw way (away)’ and many unthinkable statements to threaten the armless and innocent citizens they took an oath to guide and protect. These officers have become reckless with words by the power of the guns they carry.
Not to forget the area of the eyewitness, the function of Darnella Frazier was well recognized with her video recording of this episode, which she uploaded her FB wall which triggered the global protest of police brutality and racism. As a people, we have heroes and heroines who cover Chauvin-like scenes, but they are soon discovered and dealt with. I have been required to go to Ibadan in August 2020 at the simplicity of the lockdown and interstate travel. A neighbour had been unlawfully detained for 72 hours because the Police sighted him with his cell phone while his car approached the checkpoint. His offence was that the authorities saw him holding his phone at one of the (illegal) checkpoints. His phone was seized and shattered dwelling him without a telephone a reach his family.
This is what happens in our society where the uniform men abhor civilians holding their telephones inside their assumptions or sight.
The fear of being caught has inhibited the sort of evidence required to nail a mean Nigerian police officer that exhibits’Chauvinism’ on civilians. This must be addressed by possible legislation which empowers the citizens to be allowed to utilize their camera-enabled mobile devices to capture any scene of a crime or interest scenes by law enforcement agents. For years now, an ordinary road user around the nation’s highways cannot or dare not receive or make a telephone or be seen with his or her telephone handy while approaching a roadblock or checkpoint by the uniform guys be it NPF or NA. It is a crime that will amount to impounding the car, routine search of all passengers, and invading their privacies at will. This is supposed to be assessed and stopped.
Space wouldn’t permit me in this piece to list some names of sufferers of Police brutality and nobody has heard anything regarding the guilty officers. We will need to make deliberate attempts to emulate what is right rather than in books. The #BlackLivesMatter effort was a significant trend on social networking platforms. We also need to champion more home-related issues of police brutality. If we keep silent, we all could become victims and our blood pressure on the roads with one to hold liable.
Beyond protesting and agitating against the excesses of the authorities, we also need to start drumming for the judiciary to be prompt in providing judgments of Chauvin’s related instances or issues in our country. It is not enough to get the officers apprehended or dismissed, the entire court process from trial to conviction ought to be publicized at every point as we saw in the case of Chauvin. The world needed a routine update on the case, and it arrived through the desire of most.
Their faces should tendency across media stations to an extent that they would beg the earth to open and swallow them even before they’re convicted.
If it becomes a clinic, it is going to go a long way to reform the police and judicial associations. Uniformed employees will begin to believe twice before fulfilling their urge to spend the life of another, whom they never created. It will reduce the climbing passing profile of our young ones from the hands of police brutality. It’ll restore confidence to trust in the drive and adopt employees as a compatriot.