Derek Chauvin Has Been Convicted

I watched the Chauvin trial and it was obvious to me that the was guilty. I was worried that, for whatever reason, it wouldn’t be obvious to the jury but, earlier today, they found him guilty on all three counts.

He’ll probably appeal. They’ll say that the jury voted to convince Chauvin because they worried of being retaliated against if they didn’t. I’m sure that some members of the jury were concerned about that and that’s not a good thing. At the same time, the evidence overwhelmingly showed that Chauvin was guilty.

He’s due to be sentenced in June. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

It Gets Worse

I, along with thousands of others, just watched surveliance footage of George Floyd in the moments before he was killed by a police officer kneeling on his throat.  As much as I hate linking to TMZ, I’m going to because it’s an important story.

The footage shows two police officers — neither one of whom is the same officer who put his knee on Floyd’s throat — approaching Floyd’s car.  (The police had been called because Floyd apparently paid for a meal with a counterfeit ten dollar bill and not because he was writing a bad check, as was initially reported.)  Two women get out of the car.  Because of the positioning of the car and the camera, it’s difficult to see what happens when Floyd gets out of the car but it does appear that there was a slight scuffle when he first got out.  However, it doesn’t look like like it was a huge fight (if anything, it looks like the reaction of a man who is shocked that he’s being arrested) and Floyd is quickly hand-cuffed and appears to be cooperating, even if he is understandably upset.  When more police officers arrives, Floyd is taken across the street.  The surveillance footage does not show what happened in the moments that led to Floyd being down on the ground with that cop’s knee on his throat.

Watching the video, I don’t see someone violently resisting.  I see someone who is upset because he’s being arrested, as I think anyone would be.  I would especially be upset if I was being arrested for having a counterfeit bill.  Money gets passed around and that includes bill that may be counterfeit.

None of that matters, though.  Even if Floyd did struggle or knowingly committed a crime, that’s not a reason for keeping your knee on the throat of a man who has been subdued.  They could prove that Floyd was the biggest counterfeiter in Minnesota and it still wouldn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t be dead right now.  In the video of Floyd’s death, the cop in question taunts Floyd by asking him if he still thinks he’s a tough guy.  Floyd’s death was all about power.  The cop wanted to show off his power and as a result George Floyd is now dead.

Charges need to be filed soon.

George Floyd Should Be Alive Today

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.