The only thing more revolting right now than the videotaped murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis is the rioting and anarchy that has followed Floyd's death. Nothing says justice like a good riot.

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Floyd's death at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers was outrageous. All four cops have been fired and will likely face criminal charges, as well they should. I would like to say that the incident was not racially motivated because I would like to think that we are better than that. But images of a white jackboot kneeling on the neck of a black man who is handcuffed and offering no resistance until the very life is squeezed out of him seem to prove otherwise.

I am sicked by what happened to George Floyd. Even as Floyd lay with his face on the pavement, a white knee pressed firmly against his black neck he addressed his oppressor as "sir." And then he called out for his "mama" before he died.

President Trump has demanded a prompt and thorough investigation into Floyd's death and justice should be swift if it is determined that the police officers were criminally responsible. The actions of a few bad police officers put targets on the backs of the scores of good police officers all across the country who do their job well every day.

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As egregious as Floyd's death was, there is no excuse for the rioting and looting that has followed in Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Anarchists who burn and rob from stores in George Floyd's name are simply thugs and opportunists. Their actions jeopardize the jobs and wellbeing of the very people they purport to defend. How shameful that justice for George Floyd has come to mean stealing sneakers from a Target store.

What is happening is being magnified by a national news media for purposes of profit and entertainment and encourages similar activity in other places. Nothing says high cable news ratings like a mob burning an AutoZone store. That is sick.

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The untimely and unfair death of George Floyd should be marked by peaceful protest and not violent mob activity. If Floyd's death is to have any meaning at all, it must serve to unite us against racism and those who carry racism in their hearts.

Justice is not rage. Justice is not violence. Justice is the peaceful pursuit of defeating injustice.

Rest in peace, George Floyd. May justice be done in your name.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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