Former President Barack Obama responded Friday to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, writing in a statement that disparate treatment “for millions of Americans . . . shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America.”
Obama released the statement on Twitter after the second night of protests in Minneapolis in which protesters torched a police precinct and other buildings in the Midwestern city.
“We have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal just system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park,” Obama wrote.
“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” he added.
Obama added it will fall on local leaders and police officials to help society “do better.”
“It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done,” he wrote.
“But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a ‘new normal’ in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts,” he added.
Floyd died earlier this week after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his neck to the street with his knee.
Floyd had been stopped by police after a report that someone had paid with a phony $20 bill at a local store.
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