George Floyd murder and subsequent US riots: Arnold Schwarzenegger says the America he loves need to do better
Facebook - Arnold Schwarzenegger and AFP

Veteran actor and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that while he still believes America is the greatest nation in the world, it is far from perfect.

In a heartfelt piece in The Atlantic, Schwarzenegger said, “I still believe that we are the greatest country in the world, but we are at our best when we look in the mirror, face our demons, and cast them away to become a little bit better every day.

The actor who is an immigrant from Austria, moved to the United States in 1968. Noticing the irony of 1968 and 2020, he compared the civil rights movement led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr and NASA’s Apollo flight that sent three astronauts to the moon. In 2020, a Space X rocket took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida during the same time racial riots took place in the United States. “The protesters we see in the streets don’t hate America. They are asking us to be better. They are asking on behalf of our fellow Americans who no longer have a voice: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others,” he wrote.

The US has witnessed nationwide riots after Floyd's murder
The US has witnessed nationwide riots after Floyd's murder

Many cities ranging from New York to Dallas have witnessed riots, altercations and protests against the police force. Schwarzenegger, however, feels that this isn’t an attack on police officers. “It is a criticism of a broken system. My father was a police officer. I have always rooted for police officers. But you can be a fan of something and still see the wrong within it. And it is clear that something is very wrong,” he wrote.

Floyd died in Minneapolis on Monday after a white police officer pinned him to the ground. Video footage showed the officer kneeling on Floyd's neck as he gasped for breath. His death has triggered nationwide protests.

Officer Derek Chauvin has been fired, and on Friday was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, the authorities said.

Born in North Carolina, Floyd was raised in Houston and stood out as a star athlete at Jack Yates High School in the southeastern part of the city. He moved to Minneapolis in 2014, but most of his family, including his two daughters, are still in Houston.

Houston Police Department chief Art Acevedo is seeking to honour Floyd by giving his funeral a police escort.

"Give us that honour," Acevedo said during a rally on Sunday.

The department will use a high level of security to transport Floyd's body, comparable to when an officer dies in line of duty, the chief said, adding that he will provide more details at a rally reportedly scheduled for Tuesday, June 2 where protesters will march to City Hall.

Scenes from one of the many protests
Scenes from one of the many protests

Funeral arrangements are still being planned, said officials at the Fort Bend Memorial Planning Center in Rosharon. It posted a flyer on Facebook with a picture of Floyd, stating funeral arrangements are forthcoming.

Details of a funeral have not been released.

Floyd's family and attorneys have yet to confirm funeral arrangements. The family has asked for peace in honour of Floyd whose body is coming home tomorrow.

Protests against Floyd's death have taken place across the country and one protest, which went on for nearly 11 hours, involved hundreds of people gathered in downtown Houston to demand justice for Floyd.

With Agency Inputs

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