George Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck - prompting outrage in the US

Eva Simpson: Another senseless death involving police takes its toll on black America


Yesterday I tried to explain to my teenage son what happened to George Floyd – the unarmed black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

When I told him how George died and about the video that has inevitably gone viral following his death, he said: “But I’ve seen that one mum.

"It’s an old video, where the policeman chokes a man who can’t breathe even though he’s screaming that he can’t breathe.”

I shook my head and had to tell him that the video he was referring to was of ANOTHER black man, Eric Garner, killed by a white police officer while he shouted he couldn’t breathe.

George Floyd died on Monday.

“You mean this has happened again?” he asked incredulously. “And what happens to the police who killed them?”

Oh them, I explained. Well, all that happens is they lose their jobs. That’s it. There was nothing either of us could say after that.

That’s the reality of police brutality in America. It happens time and time again and nothing is ever done about it.

Those responsible rarely go to prison. There is never any justice for the victims’ families. Yes there are protests, groups such as #blacklivesmatter are formed. But nothing ever changes.

And that is why, for many black Americans, including my family who live in Texas, the overwhelming emotion they feel is just tiredness and exhaustion.

They’re tired of seeing black people killed for no other reason than the colour of their skin.

They’re tired of the toll it takes on the mental wellbeing of black Americans.

And they’re tired of seeing the uniformed killers get away scot-free because of the colour of their skin.

Film star Will Smith has said: “Racism isn’t getting worse in America, it’s just being filmed.”

Yes, but that isn’t stopping black people being killed at the hands of people who are paid to serve and protect them.

I pray this becomes a watershed moment for America.

I pray the officer is charged with murder and that he goes to prison for a very long time and that the healing process can begin.

But I fear, like all of the previous deaths, that prayer is likely to go unanswered.