I share your strength of feeling and disgust at this brutal crime
On Monday 25 May 2020, this heinous crime was committed by police officers from the Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota which led to the tragic death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man wrongfully accused of using a counterfeit note at a store, who ended up being murdered by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin. It is imperative that the full force of the law is brought against this officer and his associates who now face serious charges.
While I abhor racial discrimination in all its forms, this is a time for the people of this world to stand in unity and recognise that black lives matter.
In support of the Black Lives Matter campaign, I have signed two Early Day Motions (EDM) this week in Parliament. The first EDM, EDM #525, notes that this House supports the Black Lives Matter campaign.
The second EDM, EDM #549, notes that this House condemns the violent rhetoric used by US President Donald Trump in response to protests over the killing of George Floyd and racial injustice; urges the Government to express this strength of feeling in the strongest terms publicly and to their US counterparts; and calls on the Government to review exports to the US of equipment including tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields immediately, amid reports that these are being used against civil rights protesters.
During a sermon in Selma, Alabama, on 8 March 1965, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said that “a man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true” - a thought that is more commonly paraphrased today as: ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’
We must take steps now to further educate the world about black lives. There is zero tolerance for racial profiling in our justice system and we must continue to ensure that any form of restraint or use of force by our police officers is always proportionate to the crime.