Shay Hawkins: George Floyd’s unheard voice – honor him by taking these steps for justice
The death of George Floyd, his plea for help, for air, and for his mother will be etched in the consciousness of an entire generation of Americans.
As the viral footage of George Floyd’s death surfaced, it seemed, for a brief moment in time, America’s indignation was united over the unjust death of another black man.
Tragically, as anger boiled into action, our nation witnessed peaceful protests grow into violent riots that were hijacked by anarchists and have cost our nation more innocent lives, billions in damages, and wounds of divisions that will not be easily healed.
But beyond the smoke and ash, lies hope, and it is in this trying time we as Americans must unite to seek justice and find actionable solutions that no longer pit race against race, or prejudice against prejudice, but seek to uphold the principles of our great nation.
To start, Congress can pass the Walter Scott Act, a bill Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., previously introduced to honor a black South Carolina man shot in the back during a daytime traffic stop for a non-functioning brake light.
This bill would require states that receive federal funds for law enforcement to document when an officer is involved in a use of force situation that results in a civilian casualty.
Additionally, in a recent conversation with President Trump, Scott urged the president to establish a Federal Race and Justice Commission to address the root causes of, and find solutions to, unjustified police violence against black and brown folks.
Such a commission would include voices from law enforcement (almost all of which are committed to protecting all citizens), the black and brown communities, civil rights groups, state and local government, and the faith community. President Trump’s involvement here is critical. He is respected by law enforcement and was the key to securing law enforcement support for the First Step Act.
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