Following the horrific death of George Floyd during an arrest last month, a campaign against the authorities on a local and state level has gathered momentum, with Black Lives Matter supporters calling for cuts to police budgets to invest the money into communities of colour.
Star Wars actress Natalie admits she was initially cautious about the movement due to her having ‘white privilege’ which means she’s less likely to be subjected to police brutality. However she has now thrown her weight behind the #DefundThePolice campaign, aligning herself with the black community.
Sharing her thoughts in an Instagram post, the actress explained: ‘When I first heard #defundthepolice, I have to admit my first reaction was fear.
‘My whole life, police have made me feel safe. But that’s exactly the center of my white privilege: the police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbors feel the opposite: police make them feel terror. And for good reason.’
The 39-year-old went on to detail how police are the ‘sixth leading cause of death for black men’ in the US, and stated they ‘aren’t isolated incidents’ but rather ‘patterns and part of the system of over-policing of black Americans’.
Natalie continued: ‘Reforms have not worked. Minneapolis, where George Floyd was murdered, is one of the most progressive police forces in the country, having undergone extensive anti-bias training.’ The Oscar-winning actress then went on to express her gratitude to the Black Lives Matter movement for making the white community ‘question the status quo’.
She added: ‘And who have made us imagine, what a world could be like in which we invested in nourishing people; (in their education, healthcare, environment, shelter)— rather than putting all of our money into punishment.
‘I’ve gotten to the age in my life, where if my gut feels uncomfortable, I take the situation as wrong. But this concept initially made me uncomfortable because I was wrong. Because the system that makes me feel comfortable is wrong. #defendblacklives#defundthepolice.’
Floyd’s death has sparked BLM protests around the world in the past two weeks. Four Minnesota police officers have been arrested in connection with his death, including Derek Chauvin who has been charged with second degree murder.
All suspects are due in court later this month.