The issue of police brutality is a burning hot topic in the world right now with the death of George Floyd allegedly at the hands of police officers in the United States of America.
His death has sparked protests, violent riots and lootings all across the country even generating strong reactions from other parts of the world.
The death of Floyd is the latest case of police brutality in America involving African-Americans as victims. With centuries of racism, and civil rights abuse, police brutality is a volatile topic among African-Americans who perceive law enforcement officers as agents of oppression.
The protests we see now is a culmination of decades of injustice and suppressed anger.
The roots of police brutality stems from racism, an ugly part of America’s past. While America has made huge strides to deal with racism, there is still a fat underbelly that makes racism thrive in the US.
While millions of people are calling for justice in the George Floyd case, there is a sense of dread that this will happen again and again in America. Today it is George Floyd, tomorrow it is another person else.
The issue of police brutality is also a big problem in Nigeria. Recently, a teenage girl by the name of Ezekwe Tina was allegedly murdered by a police officer.
Her death is just another example of trigger happy policemen killing innocent citizens.
Over the last couple of years, there has been a viral online movement by the name of #EndSARS to stop the illegal activities of policemen such as extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings.
The online agitation led to the Vice-President reshuffling of the notorious police division but little progress has been made.
Police brutality in Nigeria comes from decades of human rights abuse during years of military dictatorship that has now been embedded in the DNA of the armed forces and the police.
Something has to give. The agitations and protests show that things cannot remain the same again.
There have been a lot of solutions proffered to deal with police brutality in both countries.
In the coming days, we would see how far these solutions are practical but till then the protests continue. In your opinion, will Police brutality ever stop in Nigeria and America?