United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams is offering a sobering reflection on George Floyd’s death.
During an interview with Politico’s “Pulse Check” podcast, Adams weighed in on Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department as he shared multiple examples of systemic racism.
“That could be me, pulled over for speeding five miles over the speed limit. That could be me with a busted tail light,” Adams said, adding, “That could be me who is just seen as a black man and not as the surgeon general of the United States — especially if I’m not wearing a uniform.”
Adams admitted how easily his own circumstances could change when not in uniform as he noted the distinct difference in how he’s viewed in casual clothing.
He continued, “But I’m casually dressed in my hoodie and tennis shoes and athletic apparel — and that could be me on the side of a road with a knee in my neck.”
Adams went on to express why he believes many people are angered and frustrated by Floyd’s death. He believes many black Americans saw themselves while watching the final moments of Floyd’s life.
“I think really it’s why you have so many people angry and frustrated, because they saw that. They saw that,” Adams said. “And they didn’t see George Floyd alone. They saw themselves. They saw their faces there with that knee on their necks.”
Many proactive measures are now being taken into consideration to combat the nationwide problems stemming from police brutality and systemic racism. However, one first responder’s recent encounter with police mirrors the concerns Adams voiced.
Last Friday, the Providence Police Department in Rhode Island came under fire after drawing their weapons on Terrell Paci, a black Providence firefighter in uniform sitting in a vehicle outside of the fire station. Even after identifying himself, police officers were not deterred.
The fire department released a statement on Paci’s behalf saying, “This situation makes clear that even in uniform – a young black man is not immune from the impact of systemic, institutional racism.”
During an interview with local news, Paci tearfully recalled the incident and how he told the officers, “I’m one of you.”
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