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A poem by Kennedy Pounds
It’s been two years.
Two years of unrest and unease.
Two years of grieving and pain.
And even though Derek Chauvin was convicted,
It still does not feel the same.
It does not feel like justice has been served.
It does not feel safe walking down the street, flinching when the sound of police sirens whizz by.
Whenever I visit George Floyd’s memorial, I am instantly transported back to the day that he was killed and reminded of who is responsible for his death.
And I feel angry.
Angry that another Black man was killed for nothing.
Like he was no one, like his life was worth nothing.
It’s been two years and I am still angry.
Every time I turn on the news, I hear about the death of a Black man, whether it was by police, or by members of his own community.
I don’t want my little brother to grow up thinking that his life is dispensable.
That his life does not matter.
But if we are constantly having to operate in a cycle of violence and trauma and death, how do you see past that?
How do you learn to value life?
Because our Black youths need to learn that we matter.
That Our lives matter.
That Black lives matter.
We should not have to fear that any interaction with a police officer could be our last.
We should never have to fear that driving down the street, or walking into a convenience store could cost us our life.
George Floyd should have never lost his life.
He should have never have had to cry out,“I can’t breathe”
“I can’t breathe”
As he pleaded to the officers
Pleaded to the very officers who swore to protect and serve
And all our community could do was watch as the officer held him down
Forcing his knee into his neck
Ignoring his last attempts at survival
Until George Floyd lay motionless
Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for 9 and ½ minutes
While the three other officers did nothing to stop him
While my community watched
With tears in our eyes, we watched
As the breath escaped our own bodies, we watched
We watched as the officers dragged his lifeless, handcuffed body onto a stretcher
We watched because if they could do that to him, they could do that to us
There was no mercy for George Floyd, no hope, no one there to save him
And when George Floyd died, so did my community’s faith in the Minneapolis Police Department
The fact of the matter is that George Floyd is not the only one
He is not the only unarmed Black man that has been murdered by the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department
It’s been two years
And while it seems like many have moved on from the buzz of George Floyd
My community will never forget
We are is still processing and trying to rebuild
The death of George Floyd lit a fire in the city of Minneapolis, setting off waves of protests around the world, against the criminalization of black and brown people by law enforcement
But enough is enough
My community is still grieving and still healing
But we are here and we will not stop fighting until our lives are valued and until justice has been served