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03rd Jun 2020

American policeman speaks out against aggressive cops

Josh Kaplan

“We must hold ourselves accountable”

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has provoked outrage around the world. Floyd was killed after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes.

The four officers present were fired after the death, and the officer who kneeled on his neck, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

Protests and riots greeted the news and sight of his death, and the aggression shown by American police officers to those protesting has done little to help heel the broken relationship between law enforcement and the African American community.

One of the main grievances has been that many police, in the eyes of protesters, don’t appear to feel that there was anything wrong with what their colleague did. They, like us, should be disgusted, not closing ranks around one of their own, is the argument.

But many police in the US are disgusted by what happened. We spoke to Ryan Tillman, a California police officer who runs an organisation called Breaking Barriers United, whose sole purpose is to bridge the gap between the police and the public.

He believes police in America need to hold themselves accountable, even when it’s not the popular thing to do.