'Cannot tolerate sin of racism', says Pope Francis while addressing the murder of George Floyd

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 03, 2020, 02.59 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

In this file photo taken on October 7, 2019 Pope Francis ponders during the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region in the Vatican Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Pope said that “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism”

Pope Francis recently condemned the killing of George Floyd, an African American man in the US city of Minneapolis.

The Pope said that “we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism”, while referring to the murder which has triggered protests across all US states, including major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Worldwide protests also followed in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Protesters chanting “I can’t breathe” with signs saying “Black Lives Matter” have flooded the streets. A lot of violence has also been reported, with police officers being shot at, and looting of stores caught in the storm.

Also read: Mother of George Floyd's daughter demands justice; Minneapolis police faces probe

Pope Francis also addressed the violence in cities and called it “self-destructive and self-defeating”. "Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost," Francis added.

The Pope additionally asserted that he was praying for Floyd and many others have lost their lives to the “sin of racism”.

Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit 20 Dollar bill to buy cigarettes. When the police arrived, an officer Chauvin who has now been charged with murder, pinned him to the ground with his knee stationed on his neck, which led to his death.

People raise their hands and shout slogans as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
People raise their hands and shout slogans as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota | AFP
 

It was only when bystanders insisted on checking his pulse, that the policeman let go, after which Floyd was escorted away in an ambulance. An hour later, he was pronounced dead.

The protests have been calling for an end to police brutality against people of colour, many researchers have pointed how African American have more risk of being assaulted by the police.

Also read: US protests defy curfews as Trump faces backlash for violent crackdown

Data compiled by “Mapping Police Violence” of all police killings in 2019 across the US reveals that black Americans are three times more likely to be killed during their interaction with the police than white Americans.

Thousands of people have arrested across Americans cities so far. US President on Tuesday was spotted posing with a bible in the White House. Media outlets reported that to attain free passage of the president, scores of protesters were violently cleared out from the area.