Former United States President Barack Obama issued a statement on George Floyd’s killing via Twitter.
Obama cited conversations with friends in recent days, including one with an African American business owner who said Floyd’s killing “hurt” to watch.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man died on Monday after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for several minutes as Floyd moaned and yelled: “I can’t breathe.” A video of the incident shows Floyd pleading with police and eventually appearing motionless as the policeman’s knee remained on his neck.
While it’s “natural” for people to want things to return to normal, Obama said, “we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’.”
“This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in America. It can’t be ‘normal.’ If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better,” Obama said.
Obama said it will mainly fall on officials in Minnesota to ensure Floyd’s death is fully investigated “and that justice is ultimately done.”
“But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a ‘new normal’ in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts,” Obama continued.