Anniversary of George Floyd's Death
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Two photographs. Two Black Men. Two different states, two different results. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the infamous photo taken of a Minneapolis police officer with his foot on the neck of George Floyd who subsequently died. His death sparked demonstrations all over the nation including Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Unbeknown to many of the people who were demonstrating in places like Annapolis, Deale, Crofton, Glen Burnie, Pasadena, Severna Park, Shady Side and Severn, there was a similar incident in their county. The second photo that accompanies this Facebook post is of an Anne Arundel County police officer who in February 2019 alleges has his knee on the neck of Daniel Jarrells, a Black man. These infamous photos and the many bodycams that have been released were the catalyst for the Maryland General Assembly to pass sweeping police reform legislation this year. Kudos to Speaker Adrienne Jones ,Delegate Shaneka Henson, Delegate Mike Rogers, Delegate Sandy Bartlett , Delegate Heather Bagnall, Delegate Dana Jones, Delegate Darryl Barnes , Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk State Senator Pam Beidle, Senator Sarah Elfreth , and others who led on this issue. Now, a year later, the police with his knee on the neck of the late George Floyd has been convicted of murder and is serving time. What has happened to the Anne Arundel County police officer Daniel Reynolds? Last year, he was sued by Daniel Jarrells. The Anne Arundel County Police Department currently do not have bodycams. If it had not been for bystanders who captured the arrest of Jarrells, we might have never known what occurred. In fact, it was a bystander who captured on her cellphone the image of a white police officer with his foot on the neck of the late George Floyd that shocked the world. When the photo of Anne Arundel County Police officer Reynolds was released, Nicholas Bernard, one of the lawyers representing Jarrells said " It's a shocking video. It is brutal. It is violent". Attorney Bernard further stated, " Seeing a police officer behave that way is completely unacceptable...absolutely unconscionable." The Ann Arundel County State's Attorney Office dropped the charges against Jarrells after the photo was released and a police witness could not make it to court according to press accounts. The Reynolds lawsuit has not been adjudicated and the Police Trial Board on this incident was postponed last month and hasn't been rescheduled. Remember the Anne Arundel County incident occurred in February 2019 and it has now been more than two years and still no resolution. The Floyd case occurred a year ago. A trial has been held and justice dispense. Some people believe that if you don't say anything, it will quietly go away. I am here to assure you that will not be the case. When Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal Awad was hired the community was promised transparency and accountability by County Executive Steuart Pittman. We intend to hold the police department to that pledge. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the George Floyd case. Last week, we saw first-hand a modern day lynching of Ronald Greene by Louisiana State Troopers. Many critics like those of us who demand police be held accountable say that we have a "chip on our shoulders". Our response to that criticism is best refuted by quoting Malcolm X, who said: "That's not a chip on my shoulder. That's your foot on my neck". In the case of George Floyd and Daniel Jarrells, the whole world saw a knee on their neck and we will not be satisfied until in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream".