A year after, has anything changed?

In this series of op eds, students reflect on how the past year has affected them.


Chedwens Souffrant, Guest Writer

I saw this post on TikTok where @ivanantoniochacon said,” if you are ever in danger don’t call the cops, figure it out yourself because the cops would probably kill you because they wouldn’t know who called for help.”

I don’t understand why we haven’t passed this phase. We need a rest. We need to scream to be understood, but why do they take our screams as weapons? Our former First Lady, Michelle Obama, said this power message “Their brokenness is how they see us, a reflection of this brokenness. And you can’t fix that. All you can do is work.” We shall always keep our heads high even when darkness tries to drag us down.

How would you feel to hear that a police officer murdered someone in broad daylight? You would ask, what did he do? What offense did he commit? You would think it was for a big reason, like robbery or murder, right. Let’s start by telling you the reason was a small matter that ended in the death of a Black man. This event was important to the Black community. Started as a simple call about counterfeit money used to buy cigarettes and lead to homicide.

Derek Chauvin stopped George Floyd because of counterfeit money they mistakenly assumed he used to buy cigarettes. He stopped George and asked him to get out of the car. He was confused because he knew the money was real. Then the cops presumably dragged him out of the car and pushed him to the ground, where the cops continued to put pressure on his body and officer Chauvin placed his knees on his neck. George was screaming “don’t kill me” and “mama” because he knew he was in danger and he would probably not survive. After 9 minutes, George went into cardiac failure and unconsciousness. When the ambulance came, they pronounced his death on site.

After the homicide, during the first week, everybody was enraged with the outcome, especially the Black community. It was a big injustice for our community and country. The day after, we had the biggest protest around the world. It started as a peaceful protest until more cops came to block and endanger everybody by using tear gas, rubber bullets, and even physical force on everybody that crossed their paths. This caused everybody to have more anger toward the cops and started breaking buildings and burning the American flags to show how broken America is. They demolished the police station that was responsible for the problem.

The streets were filled with people morning and night, protesting everywhere. Everybody was coming together, protesting on bridges, cars, sidewalks, and the middle of the streets. Everything was a big mess when Trump decided to bring in the army to help the cops, which led to more violence. It lasted for a couple of weeks.

I discovered that being Black is a blessing and a curse. I realized that you never know when it might be your time to go due to police brutality against Black people. These days, cops pull you over just for being Black. It’s always “shoot first and ask questions later.” After George’s death, more and more Blacks were killed due to police brutality. This taught me how corrupt and unreliable some police are. I learned that we should be more careful with the ones who took the oath to protect us. This isn’t the first time racist people kill Blacks and it won’t be the last. Our color isn’t an invitation for murder. This is something generations before us had to deal with.  Now I know if we don’t change something, this is going to become us reliving history again and again.

Chedwens Souffrant is a student of Ms. Lonnecker.