George Floyd; Any Lesson For Ghana?

George Floyd George Floyd

George Floyd was a 46 years old African American bouncer at an eatery, who had just lost his job due to Covid-19, was killed on May 25, 2020.

He was killed by racist policemen who were white in Minneapolis in the United States of America.

It started like a prank that was supposed to go away when the police on patrol duty around the neighborhood responded to a call about a Blackman, who had allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

Seventeen minutes later, the healthy man was pronounced dead under the knee of one of the racist policemen by name Derek Chauvin.

The incident triggered a flurry of response not only in the United States of America, but across the world with the hashtag "Black Lives Matter".

The call for Justice led to the immediate dismissal of all the police officers, who were implicated in the incidence directly or indirectly.

The case was taken over by the Justice Department and on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, almost one year after his death; justice was duly served when Chauvin, 45, was found guilty of second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Three other officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder.

We are persuaded to comment on this matter because of the lessons therein, as far as the administration of criminal justice in Ghana is concerned.

In response to their civic duty, most of the pieces of evidence used in deciding the case were provided by bystanders who felt obliged as required by law to record the dastardly episode using such electronic devices as hand phones.

Secondly, as happens in Ghana, the police department did not try to protect its officers in the face of overwhelming evidence. They went beyond their call of duty and have to answer for it.

Thirdly, at the end of the investigation, prosecution was swift. There was no attempt to whitewash criminality. The murderer was so classified and he is looking at 45 years behind bars.

Lastly and most importantly, there was no politicization of what happened in Minneapolis. Americans came out in their numbers, regardless of race, colour or status to condemn the injustice that was done to a man.

Another lesson, we wish to point out is that, in most cases, for justice to be served, the people, too, has a role to play. We are also not oblivious of the fact that, the bystanders who witnessed the dastardly act, and documented it, without fear or favour used same for justice to be served, because they know they will be protected under the law.

Police officers, have in the past molested, killed innocent and unarmed citizens, including journalists. The cases at best remained interminably under investigation.