Today, I’m thinking about George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis as the result of a cop keeping his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes and essentially suffocating the man until he was dead. Floyd was filmed saying that he couldn’t breathe before he died. Even after Floyd fell silent, the cop kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. It didn’t appear to occur to any of the cops in the video to investigate why Floyd was no longer speaking.
Floyd was being arrested for a non-violent crime, Forgery. Apparently, police were called because it was believed that Floyd was writing a bad check. Bodycam footage of what happened during the arrest has not been released yet so we don’t know the exact details of what happened before Floyd ended up on the ground with the cop’s knee on the back of his neck but it doesn’t really matter. Even if Floyd resisted arrest or tried to flee, he was subdued, handcuffed, and on the ground by the time he started to say that he couldn’t breathe.
Why was Floyd left on the ground? Why, after he was handcuffed, was he not put in the back of a police cruiser? Why was he left on the ground with a cop’s knee on the back of his neck? Judging from the video, the cops appear to be very calm while Floyd is dying. They don’t appear to be in fear for their lives or recovering from any sort of chase or struggle. They appear to be very nonchalantly going about their business while Floyd dies below them.
It’s disturbing to see and it’s the latest example of police brutality. The job of the police is to keep everyone safe, including the people that they are arresting. The job of the police is not to act as society’s avenger or to “teach lessons” to criminals. Until we get serious about changing law enforcement culture, shit like this is going to keep happening.
2 thoughts on “George Floyd Should Be Alive Today”
Quick correction for the record because I live a block away from where Floyd was murdered and that store, Cup Foods, is our corner convenience store — Floyd had passed the cashier a counterfeit 20. Oh, and Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department cops trashed his memorial on Saturday night and arrested all the entirely-peaceful vigil keepers who were there, after letting white supremacist biker gangs buzz and harass our neighborhood all night, constantly trying to break the perimeter of the Floyd memorial. Members of the “Bloods” street gang came down and defended every corner up and down 38th, keeping the peace. The cops showed up later and destroyed it. Civil war in MPD between reform-minded chief Arradondo and police union president/”Cops For Trump” leader/”City Heat” racist bike gang member Lt. Bob Kroll is at the heart of much of this disturbance. Chauvin was one of Kroll’s guys.