I laid in bed that Saturday night and wondered what his morning was like – May 25 – the day a white cop killed him – kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 agonizing seconds. Did he have breakfast, what was it, who made it, what time did he wake up that faithful morning? Then the tears started flowing past my ears onto the pillow and I could not stop crying.
I never met him in life but for the past 12 days the manner of his excruciating death seeped into the consciousness of my mind and into the world’s soul. Calling out for his deceased mother while begging for his life – telling his murderers he could not breathe. The cop inflicting the most pain responded to his pleas with brutal callousness – hands in pocket, seemingly oblivious to the desperate cries from onlookers and a 17 year old’s cell phone, capturing his heinous crime.
He continued kneeling on his neck as if he were putting out a cigarette butt while the other cops looked on and assisted in restraining the defenseless George Floyd. Laying on his stomach the final moments of his life slipping away spent pinned against the back wheels of a vehicle in broad daylight, imploring his killers to free him to simply remove the knee from his neck.
My tears flowed wildly and freely – yet another black person’s life was lost because of a white cop in America. How many more, how many more black bodies should die, will die at the hands of a white cop. The list in my mind read like a horror story – Edmund Perry, Eleanor Bumpers, Sean Bell, Akai Gurley, Ramarley Graham, Timothy Stansbury, Amadou Diallo, Rekia Boyd, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Philandro Castile, Michael Brown, Breanna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Saheed Vassell, Botham Jean and on and on.
Earlier that Saturday I watched tv – rooting on the rioters – no justice, no peace I thought and crying at the endless vigils and worldwide marches in his memory.
I laid in bed and said a prayer for him. I said a prayer for all of them and for all of us. Then I remembered what my prep school teacher would often say to her pupils daily ‘is this the day you changed the world?’ – As I laid there in a pool of tears that Saturday night I said out aloud to him ‘I betcha didn’t think today would be the day your death IS changing the world’.
Written By: Debbie Eschoe