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From the Editor's Desk: Protest under assault

Nypd
Nypd (Image credit: Pierre G / @pgarapon on Twitter)

I have this vivid memory from the early days of 2020 that won't subside.

It was January 6, before CES officially began, and I was at the Cosmopolitan hotel looking at Fossil's new smartwatch offerings. The demo was finished and I was standing on this expansive balcony overlooking the city, a fake Eiffel Tower looming to my right. I was claiming a minute just for me, while inside my coworkers were chatting away contently. It was one of those really nice moments that you have to intercede on your own behalf to remember, to crystallize it so that, whatever happens in the future, you can draw upon it for reinforcement.

I've been drawing on it a lot lately, as the world seemingly crumbles around me. I'm safe and healthy and in no immediate danger, and for that I'm incredibly thankful. And I'm also angry. The slow burn of this year, the shelter-in-place of it all, spilled out into the streets in recent days, first as a trickle and then, over the past couple nights, as a deluge.

Now there's another image I can't get out of my head. It's of an NYPD cruiser careening into a group of protestors as they attempt to set up a blockade. People fly in every direction, and most hit the ground hard. In the context of the last few days, it's a small act of aggression, but it's one in an accumulation and escalation of violence that needs to be quickly condemned and then examined for its sheer malevolence. Police have the power, and they are abusing it.

Black people in the U.S. deserve to feel safe wherever they go. They deserve to feel free in places they live and in places they don't. They deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt, just as white people often are, when it comes to public discourse and action taken. They deserve not to be killed by police.

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The protests taking place around the U.S. are a response to the inaction black people feel by governments at every level. The rioting and looting a processing of those pent-up feelings. If you're not a black person in the U.S., your job is to listen and try to understand, not judge people for acting as a force for change. If you feel that George Floyd, and so many other innocent black citizens over the past few years, didn't deserve to die, your job is to be an agent for change in your own way, by donating to good causes — in the short-term, bail funds and longer-term, the campaigns of those running in elections at every level looking to subject the current policing system to severe scrutiny.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue. The abuse of power at any government level shouldn't be tolerable, and what's happened — and captured on video again and again and again — over the past few nights is sickening. It's horrifying. And it has to stop.

Black lives matter.

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

56 Comments
  • Jesus stop the sjw piece. This is an Android site. Police have to keep order from these thugs
  • The police ARE the thugs. It's not difficult to see, when you take your hood off.
  • No, criminals are thugs. Rioting is not protesting. Funny how those of us that don't commit crimes don't have any problems with the police.
  • Murder is a crime last I checked.
  • So you're lumping all police together for the actions of one? Think long and hard about whether or not that position is defensible. Because if one black person commits murder, then all blacks are....
  • Yeah, cause this has only ever happened once. JHC.
  • And blacks killing blacks has only happened once? 🤣
    Keep reaching.
  • Blacks killing blacks is still murder. Trained police officers commiting blatant murder is a discrace. You laughing at murder makes you sick.
  • What about criminals that carry badges? I don't commit crimes or have a problem with honest police, but some officers are scum.
  • And some rioters are scum.
  • No doubt. But I do have to admit I hold an officer of the law to a higher standard than a rioter. Police cars being driven into a crowd is just something we shouldn't see.
  • Watched it again. Stop pushing a narrative that isn't there. This was actually a good tactic of pushing the crowds back by using the barrier. The crowd was was throwing various items at the police car before he moved the crowd back.
  • Apple stores, ABC stores, and Best Buy stores being looted and burned are just something we shouldn't see. That actually happened. The police car was merely used as a barrier to push people back. No one was hurt. Except the officers taking Molotov cocktails to the head, because nothing says "I care about black lives" like trying to kill innocent police officers and destroying other people's property.
  • ABC has shops? What do they sell? I thought they were a television network.
  • Have I seen you in 2011 in Tottenham?
  • One of the most asinine things I've ever heard. What crime did Abery commit? Oh, that's right: jogging while black. GTFO.
  • This is because black people are treated differently to white people you thicko and the protests are a reflection of the pent up frustration of this, black people have had enough of it and rightly so. We should be treated as equals and George Floyd's murder was the umpteenth time an innocent black person has been killed by police and it has to stop.
  • It was for sure murder and he will pay for it. Don't see this bad cop getting off lightly. Also I doubt anybody here cares about protest, in fact most support that. And just by the numbers. People shot and killed by police (by race) the last few years (I know Floyd wasn't shot but what I found with a quick search). 2017
    457 White - 223 Black
    2018
    399 White - 209 Black
    2019
    370 White - 235 Black
    2020
    42 White - 31 Black.
  • Another deplorable scumbag like the white supremacist in chief. Go crawl in a hole somewhere. Your kind are part of the problem.
  • Police are in edge, people don't understand that.
    Don't think political topics are a good idea to post on here..
  • Why are you posting this here? Stay on topic.
  • Thank you for saying something. BTW, if you watch that video of the cruisers in Brooklyn again, I think you'll see that two cruisers run over protesters, not just one.
  • I subscribe to AndroidCentral for news and discussions on Android, not politics. I can get that pretty much everywhere else, if I want.
  • I agree! Android news and discussions.
  • I agree. I've been using AC as my main Android source for years but now I'm looking for a new one. This site keeps getting worse.
    There's plenty of problems in the world but unless it's relevant to Android, it's not your job to write about it.
  • Good article Daniel. It needs to be talked about everywhere, until there is change. No more sticking ones head in the sand.
  • Agree with all of this
  • "The rioting and looting a processing of those pent-up feelings." Sure sure. Keep telling yourself that.
    ~Peace✌🏾
  • Been coming to this site for years, but no more. I can find non-communist tech reporters elsewhere.
  • I applaud the article in this site. The current unrest, the people and communities who fear for their safety and lives every day, need to be noticed by everyone! The needed changes will not come about if the majority of the public pretend they don't exist.
    For a broader social change, to make generational and cultural shifts, those people who don't face discrimination and profiling daily have to begin to stand with those who do.
    It is so easy to stay in our own little worlds, to ignore the true issues underlying the movements. Widespread acknowledgement is needed. I don't believe that looting, vandalism, and violence are the best avenues to have people listen. But everything else that has been done hadn't grabbed an audience. If you don't like the message, that's your perogative. Seeing more and more sites, publications, and media outlets brining awareness and understanding is what is needed.
  • And looting, vandalism, and violence have been effective avenues for change? Then why has there been no change?
    In fact, WHAT needs to change? How many AC readers reading this comment believe people should be killed simply because of the color of their skin? Crickets. Because the "racial war" is all in your head. Blacks kill more blacks than any cop ever has, and blacks have never given a damn about THAT problem.
  • You should stop posting.
  • I don't think so, fascist.
  • Don't post anymore comments, you racist fascist.
  • Never thought I would agree with you so strongly lol.
  • A segment of the black community are uneducated thugs. Just like a segment of white people commit mass shootings. Conveniently, you don't mention that..
  • That's the good people. The Patriots! /S
  • Umm... It's not a political issue. It's not a race issue. I haven't read a single comment, or talked to a single person, who thinks George's death was righteous. Everybody is in agreement that the cop who killed him should pay the penalty for that death (if he caused it; we still don't really even know).
    So how is a violent mob intent on theft and destruction an agent for change? They're criminals...period. If you are hanging out with criminals, expect bad things to happen.
    And this comment, "If you're not a black person in the U.S., your job is to listen and try to understand, not judge people for acting as a force for change," is itself SO racist, I'm pulling my hair out at the hypocrisy. I'm not judging "black people." I'm judging a bunch of f'ing thugs (MANY OF WHOM ARE WHITE) who are destroying our cities.
  • Agreed! The cop who knelt on the guy needs to be charged to fullest extent of the law. The riots are criminals and also need to be punished
  • I think Mr Bader's sentiments are probably in the right place, unfortunately, yet again, his poorly chosen words & ill serving surmonising/patronising tone are probably in the wrong place. At least that's how it came across to me.
  • I appreciate the article. Everyone is entitled to their opinions! As a black man, we are beyond frustrated! We get treated like like we are not human beings. Mike Vick gets 2 years for killing dogs but cops kill Black People all the time & get off. We just want to be treated equally. Why is that so hard for people to understand! We March, we told we can't March, we kneel we can't knell, we are not thugs. How are we looked at as thugs when this country was stolen by violence. Black people was/are hung, hosed, shot at, kneeled on, chased on the highway, on & on! Thank you Daniel once again for this article!
  • Good on you for posting this. I know you will get backlash for being political on an “Android” site - but good on you for taking a stand.
  • "The rioting and looting a processing of those pent-up feelings." So, it's OK? The cop should be tried and if convicted, sentenced to life in jail or death. The looting and rioting are not needed. Not all cops are bad and neither is everyone else in the world. It's the few that need to be dealt with. I can get this story everywhere else. I come here to get a break from it. Now it's like FB.
  • To the author of the article! Where's the outrage over blacks not feeling safe from fellow blacks in these big cities right now????! These terrorist's looting and burning are doing more damage to blacks than cops!!! Selective moral outrage, typical liberal hypocrites.
  • Typical narrow scope argument. Did you know half of the people looting are young white men?
  • These are NOT protests. These are RIOTS. Why? Because scum on both sides have taken it upon themselves to co-opt the pain of the black community as a green light to push their own agendas and grind their own axes. That, in itself, is the HEIGHT of racism. I've seen many a POC ON VIDEO telling these animals that they're not helping matters; that this isn't their space to push their own agendas under the guise of "justice" for Mr. Floyd. These POS's are causing destruction and havoc by burning down businesses and homes (some of which are no doubt owned by POC) in towns, and they will slither out of these towns, leaving the people to pick up the pieces. Meanwhile, NOTHING will change as a result. All this is doing is giving the "powers that be" on BOTH sides what they want-- to see us all divided-- whether it be by race, class, religion and whatever else. It just sends the message that we're animals that need to be controlled. How is any of this insanity bringing justice for Mr. Floyd, who is just the latest in a recent string of senseless deaths of POC? Shame on EVERYONE. We're all disgusting.
  • I participated in a peaceful protest earlier today. Am I scum also? You guys and your narrow scope, fake concern narratives from your couch.
  • "You guys"? What group are you foolishly assuming I belong to? I didn't say there weren't people protesting peacefully. Obviously some are. But the majority of the country is in chaos -- thanks to, yes, scum-- that have co-opted this tragedy for their own selfish reasons that have nothing to do with "justice" for George Floyd.
  • There comes a point, when nobody listens or cares, a tipping point. A revolution, if you will. Trump said he would drain the swamp, and it's working. All the racists, all the corrupt politicians, and all the crappy cops are being shown in broad daylight. Including in this thread. No more hiding.
  • Yes you guys. Don't play coy. You know exactly what I meant. And yes, the rioters are criminals. But you intentionally didn't make that distinction until I called you out. Goodness dude, we all weren't born yesterday.
  • You didn't answer my question. Typical. FYI, I'm not a Trump supporter, and am a registered Democrat. These last four years have taught me not to trust EITHER side. As such, the "you guys" comment is typical of YOU GUYS to assume that just because someone says something you don't agree with, you fly off the handle. Plus, I'm a native NY'er, so I've known about Trump longer than you probably have. My point still stands. All the coverage we've been fed by the establishment media has been showing rioting ANTIFA scum and others, most probably white nationalist a-holes, while POC have been pleading with them to stop, because they're not helping matters and in fact making things WORSE; especially those thugs dressed in all black, hiding their faces like the cowards they are. They're fearful of being blamed for the destruction that *they* are causing. So, no, you didn't call out anything. Thanks.
  • It is not ok to burn down your own city, it is not ok to burn down a small business owners lively hood, it is not ok to burn down low income housing units. If you think this is just protesting then you are almost as bad as the piece of **** who killed George Floyd.
  • I can guarantee if it was your family member, you would feel differently. This isn't about one horrific murder by cop, it's about it never stopping. It's about a corrupt government full of grifters. It's about bloody time.
  • Android Central is going to receive a lot of flak for this post. There will be the usual "stick to tech" platitudes from the very same people who then go on to comment on different topics, as if the human mind is unable to accommodate more than one thought at a time. Many people will pretend as if issues of race, politics, religion and maybe even sports are not inclusive circles that overlap in the Venn diagram of our lives. Without this life and the different aspects of it, there would be no tech. The writers on this site have to see the same issues of race and politics and health that we see when we turn on the news or login on Twitter (yes, the same Twitter that has recently overlapped in that Venn diagram mentioned earlier). They have to work from home too, as a result of government and health policies and the consequences thereof. To insinuate that this is a "tech site" and so everyone should pretend like all other sectors of life that are intricately or remotely woven into our very being should be ignored on here is being hypocritically narrow-minded. If this is the case, feel free to talk to your colleagues only about office work or to your neighbors about the property line. So, thank you Android Central editors for maintaining your stance in reporting what you feel is relevant to you and various sections of your readership regardless of how small or the backlash of "boycotts". There is a reason these posts are called EDITORIAL OPINIONS. This is a site written by humans for open-minded and close-minded humans alike. Hopefully, Android Central will only be for tech when machines start writing for machines.
  • > Hopefully, Android Central will only be for tech when machines start writing for machines. And the staff writers are on the street rioting...
  • OK, I totally think the cop that killed the poor man deserves life in prison, death penalty is a cowardly way out, a cop in prison for life, that should lead to a good punishment. Also I agree the other officers that stood around and did nothing deserve the same fate. My 3 nephews are police officers and they all 3 agree the other officers should have immediately called a supervisor to the scene , and pulled the guy with his knee on the poor man's neck off him, handcuffed the officer if he didn't obey his fellow officers until a supervisor arrived. That being said, I totally respect free speech and anyone's right to protest. But I'm sorry stealing TVs, burning down Targets and individuals businesses, and buy the way these "protesters" who are protesting against treatment of blacks in America are destroying black owned businesses so how much do these clowns really care about their own people.... I guess not as much as a free TV. Protest like a human being, but if you are going to burn stores, steal stuff, throw molotov cocktails at police officers, burn police stations, ect... Then you belong behind bars.... Just like the cops you want to see put in prison. I don't have a problem with anyone's race, but whatever you are, white, black, asian, purple,,, act like a human being, protest peacefully, or your no better than the people you are protesting about.