The outrage over George Floyd’s death is justifiable and necessary. Evil persists when good men witness injustice and say nothing.
The protests that have taken place across the nation in response to this murder demonstrate that a virtuous thirst for justice is alive and well in the United States. The violent riots that have broken out, however, only perpetuate the evil that they claim to be against.
Over the past several days, many people have been brutally harmed or killed during the madness of the upheavals that are shaking cities throughout the country. Peaceful protests have devolved into acts of savagery as some citizens believe that fire must be fought with fire, evil repaid with more evil. The victims have been black, white, and Latino. Many have been protesters themselves.
Protesters and Bystanders Have Been Wounded or Killed
In Louisville, seven people were shot during a peaceful protest calling for justice for Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police on March 13. The shots came from within the crowd. Mayor Greg Fischer voiced his support for the protest, but he condemned the violence saying, “I feel the community’s frustration, the anger, the fear, but tonight’s violence and destruction is not the way to solve it. Gunfire and vandalism do not advance our cause and it cannot be tolerated.” Taylor’s family echoed this, urging protesters to continue fighting for the truth but without belligerence.
In Davenport, Iowa, a 22-year-old woman was shot and killed after leaving a protest. Dozens of people gathered outside of a Davenport mall and proceeded to spread out across the city, looting and firing guns. The young woman, Italia Marie Kelly, was simply caught in the middle of it.
Another innocent life was taken in Indianapolis. Chris Beaty, a former defensive lineman for Indiana University, was shot amid the violence that took hold of the city on Saturday evening. Several Indiana coaches and athletes expressed their sadness over the loss of a great man and a passionate supporter of Indiana athletics.
Other deaths have occurred in LA, where a Latino man was shot and killed, and in Minneapolis, where officers found a man’s body near a burned car. The wreckage of these riots extends far beyond buildings and vehicles; lives are being claimed left and right, as order succumbs to mobs intent on destroying.
Police Officer Fatalities
Police officers have been an obvious target throughout the demonstrations. On Friday, two officers were shot in Oakland, California, while guarding a federal building. One of them, Patrick Underwood, died from his injuries. Responding to the tragedy, Patrick’s cousin, Kisha Evans, wrote on Facebook: “I don’t get why black people are killing black people.”
A few days later, a driver rammed his car into a crowd of cops in Buffalo, New York. Such instances have occurred elsewhere throughout the country. In St. Louis, four officers were shot during the nighttime mayhem that followed peaceful protests.
On Monday, a retired police captain named David Dorn was mercilessly shot by rioters while responding to a pawnshop alarm in St. Louis. Video has surfaced of his murder, causing outrage over the violence of the riots. He was a father of five, grandfather of 10. He had devoted his life to serving others and helping young people find their path.
Business Owners Are Suffering
Business owners have also suffered greatly in the wake of these protests. Stores have been smashed all throughout New York City. Looters have poured through the streets of LA. Target and Walmart have closed stores in various locations throughout the country.
Some business owners have been harmed while attempting to defend their stores. In Rochester, New York, a husband and wife were battered with 2x4s. In Dallas, a man was beaten, stomped, and stoned. A shocking video shows him lying bloody and unconscious in the street. Stripping innocent people of their livelihoods and threatening their lives is not—and never will be—justice.
Evil cannot be undone by evil. Death cannot be undone by more death. The riots are not securing justice for George Floyd or a better future for our country. They are simply destroying for the sake of destruction, perpetuating hate, and claiming even more innocent lives. It’s time to stop the violence, to stop the killing, and to restore the sanctity of human life.