George Floyd is a name now known around the world, after the repellent footage of him struggling to breathe as an arresting officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck went viral. Many of those protesting in cities across America see in Floyd the human face of a narrative in which white policemen kill unarmed black men.
Alas, there has been no public outrage over the equally undeserved death of another African-American male, Dave Patrick Underwood. Underwood was an officer in the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service who was gunned down Friday as he stood guard outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Oakland, California. A second federal officer was shot with him but was not killed.
The FBI says Underwood was killed by an unidentified person shooting from a car. The interim Oakland police chief says this was most likely an attack deliberately targeting uniformed officers. Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who speaks of the protests that followed Floyd’s death as an example of people “rightfully outraged at how systemic racism is allowed to persist,” said of Underwood’s murder that “no one should rush to conflate this heinous act with the protests.”
It’s disappointing that amid the violence and tragedy the murder of an African-American federal officer has been mostly lost in the chaos. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t serve the preferred narrative about race in America. But Dave Patrick Underwood gave his life protecting a U.S. courthouse so that even those like the monsters who shot him can enjoy due process. Every American who hopes for peace and justice honors this good man’s name.
— The Wall Street Journal