George Clooney spoke out about police brutality and racism in an essay for The Daily Beast on Monday

By Alexia Fernandez
June 01, 2020 03:59 PM
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George Clooney
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George Clooney is calling out systemic racism in a new essay following a weekend of protests after the death of George Floyd.

The actor, 59, began his essay for The Daily Beast by recalling the events of 1992 when a jury acquitted four white LAPD officers of the violent beating of Rodney King, a black construction worker.

Clooney also honored Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Laquan McDonald and Floyd, people of color who were all killed by police brutality.

"We don’t know when these protests will subside. We hope and pray that no one else will be killed. But we also know that very little will change," writes Clooney.

"The anger and the frustration we see playing out once again in our streets is just a reminder of how little we’ve grown as a country from our original sin of slavery," Clooney continues. "The fact that we aren’t actually buying and selling other human beings anymore is not a badge of honor."

The Oscar winner called for "systemic change in our law enforcement and in our criminal justice system," as well as fairness in the justice system that treats all "citizens equally."

"This is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine," writes Clooney. "It seems we’ve stopped even looking for one and we just try to treat the wound on an individual basis."

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When faced with the question of what to do next following a week of protests, Clooney said it was imperative to remember "we created these issues so we can fix them."

"And there is only one way in this country to bring lasting change: Vote."

The outrage over Floyd's death began earlier last week when footage of a white officer pinning Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck went viral.

The Minneapolis police officer in the video — identified as Derek Chauvin — has since been fired and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Since Floyd's death, protests have carried on throughout U.S. cities like Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, where acts of violence occurred over the weekend by both the demonstrators and the police.