By Tirion Davies | Editor-in-Chief
May 25 2021 will mark a year since the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while under police custody in Minneapolis in the United States.
In the period following Floyd’s death, a national, and then global discourse began surrounding the treatment people of colour receive from the police. Protesting quickly began in Minneapolis, before travelling around the world, where Cardiff even held some peaceful protests last summer.
Since the death of George Floyd, officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with murdering Floyd, with the trial ongoing. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers in the US caused a global uproar, sparking a wide-scale change in the way we discuss race.
Although Derek Chauvin’s trial remains ongoing and some Black Lives Matter protests continued throughout the remainder of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, much of the anger began to subside. The discourse continued, but not on quite the same global platform as with the summer of 2020. That was until the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo were announced.
Daunte Wright, an unarmed 20-year-old was shot dead by police on April 11 after a traffic stop. The officer mistakenly shot Wright with their gun, after mistaking the weapon for their taser. Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis where Wright was killed, lies just 15 miles away from where George Floyd was killed in May 2020. The officer, Kim Potter, has since been charged with second-degree manslaughter following the incident.
Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old unarmed Mexican American, was shot by police in Little Village, Chicago on March 29. His identity and age were revealed this month, along with body camera video footage of the incident, showing Toledo standing in front of the officer with his hands up. Toledo was with Ruben Romano, 21, who had been charged with several felonies, though video footage indicates that Toledo stopped when he was asked by officers, and turned towards them with his hands raised before he was shot.
Protests quickly erupted across several cities, including Minnesota, following the news of Wright and Toledo’s deaths. The protests across the US this month have been mainly peaceful. According to new data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (Acled), nearly all (93%) of Black Lives Matter protests have been peaceful across the world.
Many have shown their exasperation at further deaths of people of colour at the hands of police officers in light of the deaths of Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright. After a summer of protesting the deaths of people of colour who have died in police custody, and after a global discourse about the way people of colour are often treated by police, it is shocking to see that incidents continue to happen.
Police in the US kills roughly 1,100 people each year, as reported by the Guardian, with a small proportion of those cases resulting in criminal prosecution for officers involved. According to research by Bowling Green State University, obtained by the Guardian, between 2005 and 2019 104 police officers were arrested for murder or manslaughter, though only 35 were convicted of a crime.
There is, however, some good that has come from the summer protests. Officers involved in these incidents are now more likely to be charged and face reprimanding. Derek Chauvin’s trial is approaching its fourth week, and Kim Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. It is a shame it has taken summer of protesting and media intrigue for changes to be made.
However, for many, change is still needed, and urgently.
Erbyn Mai 25 2021, bydd flwyddyn wedi bod ers marwolaeth George Floyd, dyn du bu’n cael ei lofruddio gan yr heddlu yn Minneapolis yn America.
Wedi marwolaeth George Floyd, dechreuodd trafodaeth dros America, ac yna’n rhyngwladol, am driniaeth yr heddlu o bobl o hiliau gwahanol. Yn gyflym, dechreuodd protestio ar draws Minneapolis, cyn i’r protestio teithio ar draws y byd, a hyd yn oed yn glanio yng Nghaerdydd, lle ceir nifer o brotestiadau heddychlon.
Ers marwolaeth George Floyd, mae’r dyn heddlu Derek Chauvin wedi’i arestio ac erbyn hyn yn wynebu achos o lofruddiaeth. Roedd marwolaethau Ahmaud Arbery a Breonna Taylor yn ogystal wedi achosi trafodaeth ryngwladol, a newid i’r ffordd ein bod yn drafod hil.
Parhaodd y drafodaeth am driniaeth yr heddlu o bobl o hiliau wahanol hyd ddechrau’r flwyddyn hon, ond nid i’r un maint â dros yr Haf. Roedd hynny tan farwolaethau Daunte Wright ac Adam Toledo eleni.
Bu farw Daunte Wright, dyn 20-oed o ganlyniad o gael ei saethu ar Ebrill 11. Gwnaeth yr heddwas saethu Wright ar ddamwain, yn meddwl mai defnyddio tazer oedd hi. Mae’r heddwas Kim Potter erbyn hyn wedi’i arestio ac yn aros am achos llys am lofruddiaeth.
Yr oedd Adam Toledo yn 13 pan fu farw ym mis Mawrth, wedi iddo gael ei saethu gan yr heddlu. Yn wreiddiol, nad oedd gwybodaeth am Adam ar gael, ond erbyn mis Ebrill, daeth ei wybodaeth, a fideo o’r hyn digwyddodd iddo i’r amlwg. Yn y fideo, yr oedd Adam Toledo wedi stopio’r hyn oedd yn ei wneud wedi i’r heddlu gofyn iddo, ac fe wnaeth troi’n araf i wynebu’r heddlu. Erbyn iddo droi, yn dal ei dwylo uwchben ei ben, cafodd ei saethu.
Dechreuodd protestio yn fuan wedi’r marwolaethau ledled yr Unol Daleithau. Mae’r protestiadau ar draws y wlad wedi bod yn heddychlon am y mwyafrif, gyda 93% o brotestiadau Black Lives Matter yn cael ei ddatgan yn heddychlon.
Mae nifer wedi nodi eu bod yn teimlo anhapusrwydd i’r ffaith bod fwy o farwolaethau pobl o hiliau wahanol wedi digwydd o ganlyniad i’r heddlu. Ar ôl Haf o brotestiadau, mae’n siom anferthol gweld bod Daunte Wright ac Adam Toledo wedi’u lladd gan yr heddlu ac bod pethau fel hyn yn barhau i ddigwydd.
Mae yna, yn ffodus, elfen o newyddion dda o brotestio’r Haf, wrth bod heddlu nawr fwy tebygol o gael eu harestio am lofruddio. Mae Derek Chauvin yng nghanol achos llys, ac mae Kim Potter yn disgwyl achos llys yn fuan. Mae’n siom bod rhaid protestio a derbyn diddordeb y cyfryngau i newid dechrau digwydd.
Yn anffodus, mae dal angen ar fwy o newid i lawer.