I Can't Breathe_George Floyd_PINS Artist©2020

Ever since I was young, I thought police were there to serve & protect us. In most part I’d like to think that’s true. However, living in London over the years as an Asian man has shown me the darker sides of law enforcement which exist, mainly from those in positions of authority and those who abuse their power. The recent news of George Floyd hit me in a mad way. Yes it’s yet another unlawful killing by police on yet another black man, but it was the image of the Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin casually with his hand in his pocket pressing down on George Floyd’s neck with his knee which got me. This image whizzed me back to 2005 when a group of 3 white undercover officers stopped me whilst I was jogging, asked where I was going (me having no clue who they were / what they were on) and before I knew it I was on the ground, side face down, head being pressed firmly down in the ground by the officers foot, and being kicked and held with such force it literally wiped me out. Before I knew it, I was at the police station, bloodied face, head bleeding, a mess basically. I remember the police being more concerned about filling out their paperwork than getting me to a hospital for my injuries. Apparently there was an incident in the nearby subway and they thought I was the culprit, ‘apparently’, who was running away from the scene…to which they extended the fact I was resisting arrest and that’s why they had to use brute force to ‘control’ me. There was 3 of them. All bigger than me, with that ‘look’ (those who know, know) The whole incident left me distressed for quite a while and my trust for the police has been diminishing ever since. It was only after that incident with me, I realised more and more people of colour around me, were going through or knew someone who had been through similar experiences but never spoke much about it or pressed charges further. It’s the maddest feeling being in that position. This was before social media, so getting the word out / raising awareness seemed more limited back then as oppose to nowadays.

On a final note…Some share a post and think ‘I did my bit’. Some wear a shirt and think ‘I did my bit’. The key thing thing is, what are you actually gonna do after that? Like really, what? Online hype is one thing, but getting offline and really doing something on a grass roots level is something – support each other, show love, protest and educate your kids from early about equality ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿


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