When the peaceful protesters were attacked with batons, tear gas and rubber bullets the day after the killing of George Floyd, the stage was set for the nationwide protests to follow. And while property destruction and looting may make some people feel uncomfortable, or scared, it is in no way comparable to the way innocent African Americans feel every day just going about their lives.
I know that if I get stopped by a police officer that I am pretty sure I will get to walk or drive away in a few minutes, and probably with a warning, at most. People of colour, even in Canada, don't have that luxury. The number of times people of colour get arrested violently is excessive. That violence is often far worse than the suspected crime, and far too often results in a dead body, and no accountability from the police officers who perpetrated the violence, nor the people in charge of those officers being held responsible.
The three events that got brought to light in the week leading up to these protests are far too common: innocent people being reported as threatening for just existing; innocent people being gunned down by vigilantes for just existing; innocent people getting murdered by bad cops on camera.
It has to end. It has to end NOW. We have an obligation as decent citizens to stand with our fellow humans and shout "STOP!"
George Assaf, Port Moody