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Jun-01-2020 12:43printcomments

On George Floyd's Senseless In-Custody Death

Violence dilutes the peaceful protesters’ message about racism and police brutality

Protest in downtown Salem, Oregon. (Sat May 30 2020)
Photo by Justice Robinette

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - I too am saddened and outraged at George Floyd’s senseless in-custody death by a Minneapolis policeman, which has ignited protests and riots in Minnesota, across the U.S. and even abroad.

A protest is a peaceful public display of displeasure or disapproval, usually carried out by marching, chanting and/or holding signs with messages on them while a riot is a violent public disturbance.

Too often protests are infiltrated by a small group of individuals who turn peaceful protests into riots during which they destroy public and private property, loot stores, and where injuries often occur.

These infiltrators are not demonstrating their First Amendment rights — they are committing acts of terror. Unfortunately, the media tends to show the violence while the peaceful protesters’ message about racism and police brutality may be diluted or even lost. Protests “yes,” riots “no.”

Minneapolis has a persistent and rising Covid-19 infection rate as do other parts of the country.

Now the city must deal with an unjustified police killing, riot damage and a pandemic, which is disproportionately affecting the Black community.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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