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Tags Current Affairs

George Floyd death issue in US

Date: 31 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Georgia’s Governor declared a state of emergency to activate the state’s National Guard to “provide security and restore safety” amid violence in Atlanta. Protests had erupted in several cities across the US following the death of George Floyd, a 45-year-old African American man, while being restrained by a white Minneapolis police officer.

 

Background

The death has triggered violent unrest in Minneapolis, leading to a state of peacetime emergency being declared in Minnesota State as well as the activation of its National Guard. 

 

Details

  • Floyd, African American man, died in Minneapolis while he was being restrained by the police. Video footage of the incident, which was broadcast by the media and went viral on social media platforms, showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he gasped for breath.

  • The incident once again brought to the fore concerns over the law enforcement’s bias against the African American minority, with Floyd’s death being cited as the most recent incident of racially-driven police brutality.

  • Other high profile deaths include the 2016 shooting of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man shot seven times at close range during a traffic stop, also in Minnesota.

  • A Washington Post database showed that African Americans were 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white people.

 

National Guard

  • Comprising the Army National Guard and Air National Guard, it is a reserve component of the US Army and provides trained units to states, territories and the District of Columbia to protect life and property.

  • The force supports combat missions, domestic emergencies, humanitarian efforts and homeland security operations among others.

  • To join the force without prior service, one must be a US citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 17 and 35 and have a high school diploma, among other requirements.

  • The forces can be mobilised by the President whenever more units are needed to maintain national security.

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