As George Floyd’s memorial is taking place in his hometown of Houston, Texas, his death in the hands of ex-Minneapolis police officers has caused a shift in the landscape of race struggle in America.
In addition to the bipartisan consensus that seems to be emerging, changes in the opinion polls and signs that even some Republicans like the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, the lone African-American Senate Republican Tim Scot, and an Ohio senate Republican Jim Jordan are now opened to police reform, either with a new proposal of their own or support some element of the bill proposed by the Democrats. In any case, the death of George Floyd has made looking away or silence an unsustainable position.
The former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an ally of Trump and the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott are also now sounding out a call for Police Reform. Although Scott walker call for police reform was in reaction to a more radical call to “defund the police”.
PART OF THE PROPOSED BILL BY THE DEMOCRATS
1. A ban on chokeholds
2. Creation of a National Police Misconduct Registry “to prevent problem officers from changing jurisdictions to avoid accountability
3. Mandatory racial bias training and teach officers about their “duty to intervene.
4. Restrictions on the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement
5. Federal uniformed police offers to wear body cameras.
“A broad majority of Americans say the peaceful protests happening all across the country after police violence against African Americans are justified (84% say so), and roughly a quarter (27%) say violent protests in response to police harming or killing African Americans are justified. Both figures are higher than they were when similar protests rose in the fall of 2016. Then, 67% saw peaceful protests as justified while 14% felt violent protests were.”
“Two-thirds of Americans call racism a big problem in America today, up from 49% who said so in a 2015 CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation survey. The increase in this share has come most sharply among blacks (88% call it a big problem now vs. 66% in 2015), but there have been large increases among Latinos (from 64% to 79%) and whites (from 43% to 60%) as well”.
Trump natural instinct is to galvanize his base, a divisive tactics he has used to a great effect, but evidence shows momentum is not on his side and support for him among independence is draining, as majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of race relation (63%), while they also believe his handling of the protest has been more harmful than helpful (65%)
Generally, public opinion often change before official policies or law changes, the people are very often ahead of the government, the shift in the mood and admittance of the reality that black people face a sustained racism as reflected by the diversity of colours among the protesters, this is an indication of the seismic change at grassroot that will eventually force a change at the top.