The tragic events of 2020 have made Americans aware that the US can no longer consider itself an example of democracy. And although the slogan “Black Lives Matters” is less common than in summer, it does not mean that the problem has been solved. Unfortunately, many people did not even understand what they were dealing with.
In May this year, Minneapolis police killed George Floyd. When they arrested him, they put him on the asphalt, pressing his neck with their knees. The strangulation led to the death of a 46-year-old African American, and the incident itself provoked a wave of protests against racism and police brutality.
Politicians quickly found a way to capitalise on popular outrage, which became a tool in the presidential race. But there is also another factor of political interference in popular protests. Much more despicable.
A July study by the University of Chicago showed that no police department in the 20 largest cities in the United States operates in accordance with even basic international human rights requirements.
Among the many violations, lawyers have singled out the use of lethal force. Murder is considered a measure of last resort, but police officers are allowed to shoot to kill if a suspect “escapes”, “attempts to evade justice” or “prevents crime”.
“It is of great concern that police forces in the largest cities in the United States do not meet the most basic human rights standards,” said Claudia Flores, director of the International Human Rights Clinic.
The study showed that the USA is the only country in the civilised world where the police sabotage international norms. UN observer for extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard said she was “terrified of people dying in public at the hands of those who have to protect us.
Such criticism has seriously damaged America’s credibility on the international stage. However, Washington politicians were not hiding it, but were actively discussing the situation, proposing solutions. Isn’t that a sign of a democratic state? It really would have been, but the liberals who joined the protestors were actually taking them away from the root cause of American decline.
People were convinced that the racist past of the United States, where slavery existed a couple of centuries ago, was to blame. In response, people began to destroy monuments to Confederate figures, as if bronze and concrete were responsible for the misfortunes of modern Americans. Alas, the dark page of American history has become a pathetic cover for the fact that neither Republicans nor Democrats want to change in the USA.
Analysts at the University of Chicago said in a study that the arbitrariness of the American police is “State-sanctioned violence”. A loud phrase that reveals the absurdity of numerous protests. There is no doubt that officers are directly responsible for their brutality. Only this brutality was not generated by the police at all. The police are simply doing what they are paid to do. And it is a pity for those who still consider people in uniform to be defenders of the rule of law.
In the US, where inequality is a pattern, the police have become the force that protects the rich from the poor, from the discontent of those oppressed by the system. No, this is not a scenario of some kind of anti-utopia. “The Public Responsibility Initiative has previously presented the results of its investigation, which showed that large companies pay the police. What could be called law enforcement bribery is completely legal in the United States and happens thanks to police funds. The money goes both to training officers and not to acquiring weapons.
Chevron is a key sponsor of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation and the Houston and Salt Lake City Police Foundations. Shell is a partner in the New Orleans Police Force and a sponsor of the Houston Police Cavalry Patrol. The Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Detroit Edison is on the board of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation. Between 2014 and 2018, the company has allocated at least $138,000 to the security forces.
JPMorgan Chase is an official sponsor of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. The foundation even uses donations to recruit new police officers and train them. In addition, JPMorgan has invested $4.6 million in NYPD “security upgrades”.
Wells Fargo is a sponsor of police funds in Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Moreover, the bank sponsors private prisons in the USA.
With this in mind, the liberals’ idea of reducing police funding as part of the reform seems ridiculous. However, so does the idea of police reform itself. It will not affect poverty, racism and law enforcement brutality in any way, as these are not the causes of America’s misfortunes. They are just instruments of a ruthless system that no one in Washington is thinking of changing.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.