The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has weighed in on the heightened racial tensions in the United States, which were sparked by yet another killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of police.
George Floyd, a Minneapolis man, died in police custody after being arrested on 25 May 2020. A video in which it has gone viral, shows police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he said, “I can’t breathe.”
Chauvin, along with three other officers, have been taken into custody in the wake of Floyd’s death, which has sparked violent clashes between protestors and police.
In a statement, the EFF welcome the arrests of the now officers and also takes aim at President Donald Trump who threatened more violence, should the unrest continue.
“We welcome the arrest of Derek Chauvin…Racial violence in the US is a legitimate and accepted practice and the arrest only comes after the brave efforts of activists who rendered ungovernable in their demands for justice. It was prolonged inaction that inspired the rage of thousands of protesters in Minneapolis and across the country”, said party spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.
The red berets have further called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to convene a meeting with representatives from the US Embassy in the country for the recalling of the military in Minneapolis against protesters.
“The US Embassy must call on Trump to seize his senseless actions should the US wish to maintain relations with South Africa, a nation which prides itself on a history of resistance against racial prejudice”, Pambo further added.
The latest killing has re-awakened the Black Lives Matter movement, which has long been at the forefront of police brutality exerted towards black men in America.
Similarly to Floyd, Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in New York back in 2014. Police believed Garner, 43, was illegally selling cigarettes. Eerily, he too uttered, “I can’t breathe”, as his last words. The incident was also caught on camera.
NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer accused of causing Garner’s death received what many saw as a slap on the wrist – he was fired from his job but has instituted legal action in an attempt to be put back in the force.