Cape Town – The Economic Freedom Fighters are saddened by the ruthless murder of George Floyd by racist police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the party said on Saturday.
“The murder of Floyd represents a deep tradition of racially inspired violence against African Americans by law enforcement in the US dating as far back as the Jim Crow era.”
On May 25 Floyd was murdered by Minnesota police which was captured on video. Floyd is seen pleading for air as one officer restricts him with a knee placed firmly on his neck for several minutes. Floyd pleaded with officers and is heard saying, “I can’t breathe”, while his pleas are ignored.
Protesters across the country have since held demonstrations, some of which have turned violent.
“The effective lynching of George Floyd presents a perverted culture of anti-black racism that is perpetuated by law enforcement in the US, ” the EFF said.
“Floyd joins the likes of Sandra Bland, Michael Brown and the 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a long list of black people who have been victims of unwarranted and racially inspired police killings. Although African-American males constitute only 2% of the population in the US, an unarmed African American male is four times more likely to be shot than an unarmed white male.”
The party added that the criminalisation of the black male in the US, who constitutes a racial minority, has a long history and is entrenched in the legislative, judicial and cultural fabric of the country.
It said that it welcomed the arrest of Derek Chauvin, the officer who pinned Floyd to the ground. Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The EFF has condemned President Donald Trump’s public declaration of hate and violence.
“Donald Trump sits at the helm of this broken society and represents a modern-day slavemaster who would instruct the killing of any political dissent within his plantation. Trump targets those who demand justice for Floyd labelling them as thugs and deploying the army to shoot as a means of returning things to order, ” it said in the statement.
The party called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately convene a meeting with representatives of the US in SA and call for the recalling of the deployment of the military in Minneapolis against protesters.
“The US must call on Trump to cease 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.”
The party also called on the African Union to instruct all member states to engage US embassies in their countries to ask for restraint in handling protesters.
“Africa must take a firm stance in defending black people in the diaspora from racially inspired violence which is carried out by a government which normalises the killing of black people.”