Amidst the heat of the ongoing protests against police brutality against blacks across the US, a Republican legislator has thrown a spanner into the works by saying the murder of the late George Floyd ‘doesn’t deserve protests.
Floyd was a ‘marijuana user’
Perhaps seeking recognition in a different way, Mo Brooks, the Alabama representative in the US Congress openly suggested in a tweet that George Floyd’s murder doesn’t merit protests because the deceased had a history of violence and drug abuse. In his tweet, he described the late Floyd as an armed robber, drug addict, and marijuana user.
According to Brooks, the brutal killing of George Floyd should just go unrecognized because as soon as a person partakes of drugs or commit a crime he or she ceases to be treated as a human being. A toxicology examination done on the remains of the late Floyd revealed traces of Cannabinoids and other drugs in his system at the time of his killing. However, how that justifies him being choked to death is the question nearly everyone is asking.
According to officials at the Hennepin County medical examination office, Floyd did not die of the drugs in his system. Instead, he was choked to death by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.
Brooks tweet corroborates a common tactic used against people of colour, especially African Americans killed by police. Instead of bringing the perpetrators of the heinous act to book and investigating the murder, authorities try to tarnish the victim’s character with claims of marijuana smoking, drug-taking, or something else that a group of people deems morally corrupt. To Brooks, the death of people who use marijuana or other drugs doesn’t merit protests.
Shaleen Title is a commissioner on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Reacting to Brooks tweet and speaking on her own behalf, she said:
Rep. Brooks can keep his vile, racist opinions to himself. No one is interested in his 20th-century attempt to invoke scary-sounding drugs to vilify George Floyd, or to slow down the national awakening caused by his death.
Other dignitaries who commented on the agitative tweet included Queen Adesuyi, the policy manager of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. Speaking to Marijuana Moment, she said:
Rep. Mo Brooks should be ashamed of his tweet. There is no excuse for state-sanctioned violence and murder – not a race, criminal record, or drug use. The stigmatization of these identities as ‘less than’ is what empowers police to brazenly snuff out human life under the guise of the war on drugs.