George Floyd, a 47-year-old black man, died while in police custody in South Minneapolis on Monday night, May 25th. His death has sparked outrage everywhere. Protests devolving into destructive riots have taken place near the location of Mr. Floyd’s death. Celebrities, normal people, political figures, news outlets, and more have covered and opined on the story.
Police were called in to investigate a possible check forgery at a location in Minneapolis. Upon arrival, they encountered George Floyd in a vehicle. It’s not quite clear if he was driving or just sitting in the car. Either way, the arrest of Mr. Floyd was initiated at this point. According to police and witnesses, he did resist arrest. George was eventually handcuffed and securely restrained on the ground.
At this moment is when the now (unfortunately) viral video starts.
Who Is Responsible?
Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, restrained George Floyd using a knee to the back of his neck. Two other officers restrained the portion of Floyd’s body below his head and neck with their arms. Another officer, Tou Thao, stood by and secured the scene.
Chauvin’s knee remained on Floyd’s neck for up to ten minutes as he writhed in agony. Floyd said that he cannot breathe a few times. Bystanders pleaded with the officer about Floyd’s condition. He was obviously losing consciousness. At one point, Floyd lost control of his bowels and his nose started to bleed.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced that all four of the officers had been fired. This was different than the typical “administrative leave” or any other post-death-of-suspect assignment. The officers were fired outright, and the Police Chief stated that this is the appropriate action.
What Happens Next Is Unfortunately Predictable
Civil unrest, of course, did happen. Protests turned into riots. Liquor stores were looted and police cars were damaged. Firing the officers in the case most likely mitigated some of the chaos, but obviously did not totally prevent it.
As far as any charges of murder, manslaughter, or anything else against Derek Chauvin, that’s not clear. A few questions must be asked and answered. First, was the knee move that Chauvin did part of police protocol? That’s possible, although it was obviously executed improperly. If it was protocol, then the officer may face less severe charges than if it was not.
Does Officer Chauvin have a history of negative interactions with the public, beyond what a normal officer would have? Is there a bevy of complaints against him? All of the aforementioned, and more, will either hurt or help him during the trial phase.
There will be ongoing outrage from this story. Celebrities will hop on their online platforms and engage in rabble-rousing. As will the general public. Destructive protests are already in full swing and will continue into the foreseeable future. At least until after the election when the outrage mob decides to go away. There won’t be much to say about the true cause of misery, death, and destruction in the black community.