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posted by martyb on Tuesday June 02 2020, @07:30PM   Printer-friendly

African-American George Floyd's death has led to marches, demonstrations, acts of violence, and looting across the USA and in other parts of the world. Emotions are running high. We will not attempt to accuse or defend anyone here. Just attempt to lay out the information we have and offer it up for the community to discuss. Many comments about this incident have been posted to unrelated stories on this site. This is, therefore, an attempt to provide one place on SoylentNews where people are encouraged to discuss it. So as to not derail other stories on the site, I kindly ask you focus those comments here.

Wikipedia has a page about this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_George_Floyd (permanent link to the page as it appeared at the time of writing):

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, was killed in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a white American Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd became unresponsive.[3][4][5][6][7] Officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane participated in Floyd's arrest, with Kueng holding Floyd's back, Lane holding his legs, and Thao looking on and preventing intervention by an onlooker as he stood nearby.[8]:6:24[9][10]

The arrest was made after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market.[11] Police said Floyd physically resisted arrest.[12][13] Some media organizations commented that a security camera from a nearby business did not show Floyd resisting.[14][15] The criminal complaint filed later said that based on body camera footage, Floyd repeatedly said he couldn't breathe while standing outside the police car, resisted getting in the car and intentionally fell down.[16][17][18][19] Several bystanders recorded the event on their smartphones, with one video showing Floyd repeating "Please", "I can't breathe", "Mama", and "Don't kill me" being widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media.[20] While knee-to-neck restraints are allowed in Minnesota under certain circumstances, Chauvin's usage of the technique has been widely criticized by law enforcement experts as excessive.[21][22][23] All four officers were fired the day after the incident.[24]

[...] Charges: Third-degree murder (Chauvin) Second-degree manslaughter (Chauvin)

This has been extensively covered by the media. Some outlets attempt to put their own interpretations on their coverage with their selection of video footage and with their commentary. It is difficult to find a simple video of the incident. Here is one that has coverage from the time of initial encounter of the police the officers with George Floyd up through his being taken away by ambulance. The video is a composite of shots from a restaurant's surveillance camera (Dragon Wok), Officer body cam, and bystander cell phones. YouTube footage: Full George Floyd Available Footage (21:12). If anyone has more complete footage of the arrest, please mention it clearly (with a link) in the comments.

Lastly, this is a hard time for everybody. Pandemic. Lock-down. Unemployment. Fears. Please be mindful of others' circumstances when commenting. We are a community sprung from a time of challenge. Let us continue to be here for one-another during this difficult time. SoylentNews is People.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 02 2020, @08:25PM (30 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @08:25PM (#1002326)

    That's not entirely true. Minneapolis isn't Atlanta. White people get arrested too, and if the cop thinks you're a threat- need to be subdued, he's going to do the subduing for his own safety whether the perp is white, black, yellow, etc. Now, are cops more afraid of black perps and more likely to do some pro-active subduing? Sure, statistics don't lie, and skin color prejudice does drive fear, but fear is what's at the root of this more than anybody's skin color.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by sjames on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:09PM (28 children)

    by sjames (2882) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:09PM (#1002362) Journal

    The guy was laying on his belly with his wrists bound behind him. One cop holding his ankles, one kneeling on his neck. He wasn't going anywhere. He would also not be going anywhere had the cop shifted his weight down to the lower back where suffocation wouldn't be a risk.

    When you continue "subduing" someone who is already subdued, it's a beat down.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:12PM (27 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:12PM (#1002366)

      He wasn't going anywhere.

      You're still factoring in rational thought on the part of the arrested.

      People will try to break away and run until they physically cannot anymore, doesn't matter how hopeless the larger situation is - if they can get away in the moment, there are many who will try.

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      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:20PM (19 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:20PM (#1002373)

        You're still factoring in rational thought on the part of the arrested.

        People will try to break away and run until they physically cannot anymore, doesn't matter how hopeless the larger situation is - if they can get away in the moment, there are many who will try.

        That may well be true. However, that wasn't what was happening here.

        Floyd wasn't resisting, and the officers charged with his safety (since he was in custody, they were responsible for his safety) continued to block his airway long after he was unconscious/unresponsive.

        Watch the video. It's horrifying. It takes a long time to asphyxiate someone and long before they die/are permanently injured, it's very clear what's going on. Those police officers saw what was happening and continued to assault an unconscious/unresponsive man bleeding from his nose until he was dead.

        That's not restraining someone. That's intentional murder.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:40PM (18 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:40PM (#1002388)

          I don't doubt it's horrifying, cops screw up all the time. This is their job, day in and day out. Most of them don't think for a second about the medical well-being of their detained.

          I hope they're charged, I hope they're convicted - if the past is anything to go by, a light sentence will result in more, and more severe, riots.

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          • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:57PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:57PM (#1002406) Journal

            See: Rodney King trial from 1991 beating and riots that followed. We ain't learned nothin' scents.

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          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:57PM (14 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:57PM (#1002407)

            I don't doubt it's horrifying, cops screw up all the time. This is their job, day in and day out. Most of them don't think for a second about the medical well-being of their detained.

            You miss the point. The cops didn't, as you say, "screw up." They *intentionally murdered* a human being in their custody.

            Which is absolutely obvious from the video footage.

            I know it's horrifying and I don't blame you if you'd prefer not to watch the murder of a handcuffed man by four armed thugs.

            But you seem to be under the misapprehension that this was some kind of tragic accident. It was not. The actions of the police involved show clear intent to seriously harm/kill Mr. Floyd.

            So, even it it is distasteful, I encourage you to watch the video -- which will disabuse you of any idea that this was anything other than the intentional murder of an unarmed, handcuffed and restrained human who could only eat pavement and plead for his life -- well, at least until he lost consciousness.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:34PM (13 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:34PM (#1002444)

              I seriously doubt the cops intended to kill him. Even without the riots, the paperwork is a major PITA.

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              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:51PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:51PM (#1002471)

                I seriously doubt the cops intended to kill him. Even without the riots, the paperwork is a major PITA.

                Well, your doubts don't match the facts. Watch the video. It's right there.

                And it's clear that everyone there knew what was happening (in fact, several bystanders said so explicitly), and the cop kept blocking Floyd's airway long after he lost consciousness.

                I've encouraged you several times to watch the video to see for yourself. You apparently wish to ignore the facts in favor of your own prejudices and preconceived notions.

                Watch the fucking video. Those cops made the conscious choice to seriously injure/kill Mr. Floyd. Full stop.

                Any doubts you might have will be fully dispelled by *watching the video* [youtube.com].

                • (Score: 1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:12AM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:12AM (#1002601)

                  OK first off good job rebutting.

                  But take a step back. JoeMerchant is saying "these cops wouldn't have murdered, because of paperwork." As if doing paperwork outweighs a life. He won't watch the video. If he did he'd secretly rejoice. He doesn't value the right to life of other adult humans. He is possibly psychopathic, or possibly amoral, or so on. But there's no point engaging him. Flag his bad ideas for others but don't expect an honest willingness to learn and grow. Don't leave him alone with your child or wallet either.

                  • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:36PM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:36PM (#1002806) Journal

                    JoeMerchant is saying "these cops wouldn't have murdered, because of paperwork." As if doing paperwork outweighs a life.

                    We're speaking about the moral viewpoint of the cop who killed George Floyd not JoeMerchant. He would have acted differently, if he placed a high regard for Floyd's life relative to paperwork.

                    Also notice what was actually posted:

                    [JoeMerchant:]I seriously doubt the cops intended to kill him.

                    versus

                    [AC:] Those cops made the conscious choice to seriously injure/kill Mr. Floyd.

                    There's not much actual disagreement here because we have the obvious option that cops intended to seriously injure not kill Floyd. (It's still murder BTW.) That would also fit with the fact that the cops were in front of witnesses, at least one of whom was videoing the actions. The consequences for blatant misconduct and assault apparently are mild in Minnesota, while the consequences for murder not so much.

              • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:45AM (6 children)

                by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:45AM (#1002588) Journal

                I too have lived a sheltered life, and had difficulty believing certain things about the police. They did intend to hurt him, and pass it off as deserved. It wasn't an accident. Also, it wasn't an outlier. Cops give free rein to their bigotry and do extrajudicial punishing all the time to members of outsider groups. Been doing it for decades.

                Videoing police at work, starting with Rodney King, has finally exposed all the abuse in ways that the cops can't deny, revealing them as liars who will plant weapons and just plain make things up. They tried to stop citizens from being allowed to make video recordings of them in public, and lost big on that one, so big that now the body cam has become standard equipment. They have to be watched all the time.

                Police forces have more racist, sexist bigots than the general public. The kind of person inclined to bigotry finds police work attractive. Authoritarians love it, love the idea of being an authority figure. And if all that isn't bad enough, organizations such as the KKK actively encourage their members to become police officers. The police officer who places loyalty to groups such as the KKK above their duty as a police officer is known as a ghostskin.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:30AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:30AM (#1002605)
                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:28PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:28PM (#1002688)

                  They did intend to hurt him, and pass it off as deserved. It wasn't an accident. Also, it wasn't an outlier.

                  Agreed, on all points. Intent to kill? I do, honestly, believe that's a step beyond what happened - but, this is from the same perspective as all of the protests and riots: ignorance, incomplete information, video evidence.

                  Failure to use due care? Absolutely. Insufficient respect for life? To be sure. Intent? Only during early plea bargaining - if they try to prosecute for intent we may have a bigger riot when the jury fails to convict.

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                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:32PM (3 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:32PM (#1002690)

                  The KKK is real, and it still does things. In Gainesville, Florida 2006 they actively targeted Asian homes with red paint graffiti racial slurs in the middle of the night. That's a big step down from the beatings and killings they used to do 40-80 years earlier. There's a saying about Klan meetings today that I also believe to be true: they have more embedded undercover federal agents than they do genuine members.

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                  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:02PM (2 children)

                    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:02PM (#1002867) Journal

                    Huh, thought it was only Africans that the KKK hates. But it figures they'd target Asians too. I suppose I should've known.

                    Might be useful to make a distinction between the sort of cop who likes to swagger about in a uniform, vs undercover ones. The latter have to be a lot savvier, or they would not be able to pull off an infiltration. The former give police forces everywhere a bad name.

                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:26PM

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:26PM (#1002925)

                      Black skin, slanty eyes, Muslim, Jews, even Catholics - basically anybody not just like them. Shortly after that incident our neighborhood made national television with the idiot pastor who decided to publicize his burning of a Quran on the anniversary of 9-11. He got warmed up by sending a 7 year old parishioner to school in an "Islam is of the Devil" T-shirt - county responded to that with mandatory school uniforms in public school. So glad we left that town.

                      Anyone who gets their swagger on while wearing a uniform is carrying more than a little insecurity (and fear).

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                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:59AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:59AM (#1003652)

                      Certain white groups that don't fit their Aryan profile.

                      While they include Irish now, for many years the Irish were as hated as other groups for religious if not ethnic reasons. White supremacists will bolster there numbers with 'white enoughs' until they have purged the overtly non-whits, then begin culling their own herd, whether somewhat non-white or white but not the right white. It's the same thing as 'black pride' until you start looking at the factions based on tribalism or 'black enough' or 'too smart for dat nigga's own good'.

                      This is why people may need to band together along ethnic grounds to fight for a right, but should never TRUST the other members of said ethnic group, because just as often there is some further divide that will get you stabbed in the back. Tribalism in humans is real and the borders constantly change, no matter your race, religion, creed, or identity politics.

              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:18AM (2 children)

                by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:18AM (#1002627)
                I’m still reading the comments but I just say I’m impressed that you keep pressing on without watching the video! The bravey!
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                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:02PM (1 child)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:02PM (#1002702)

                  I'm trying to understand the mindset of the protesters and the cops that are out there bashing each other: don't try to confuse me with facts.

                  Also: the video doesn't provide context, 360 coverage. I can show you videos, not deepfakes - just selected perspectives and clips, which will convince you of all sorts of things that aren't true at all.

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                  • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:47PM

                    by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:47PM (#1002763)

                    I'll give you a 6 for the mental gymnastics and a 6.5 at the sarcasm. Maybe practice more.

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          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:08PM (1 child)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:08PM (#1002685) Journal

            I don't doubt it's horrifying, cops screw up all the time. This is their job, day in and day out

            Ummmm, what? Like... paying cops for the job of screwing up day in and day out?
            Even for a kink, that's a bit of extreme, dontcha think? (grin)

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            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:58PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:58PM (#1002699)

              Yeah, we've got some pretty extreme kinks in politics.

              Thinking about my time in Miami - I lived in a neighborhood literally crawling with cops, "normal" people were a little too afraid to buy in there in the '80s, I bought in in the early '90s, by the 2000s it was turning back into a genuinely nice place. Anyway... we had one house on the edge of the neighborhood that was owned by a crack dealer - seriously bad dude, basically making fun of the city by having a better lawyer than they did and openly running his operation for well over 15 years. I went to a neighborhood meeting, live broadcast on cable, with city commissioners, lawyers, etc. and this guy openly threatened his neighbors with violence on camera - think of a small-time Trump with less of a filter, looked like a big Colonel Sanders, spoke with a Jamaican accent so thick you expected him to be black with dreadlocks, drove a Barney Purple Rolls Royce. So, to the kink: not only did the city never manage to stop him dealing crack from that house he owned - even with 30+ arrests per month on the property - in 2007 he ran for Mayor of Miami Beach and managed to get nearly 500 votes - 5% of the total.

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      • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:06PM (2 children)

        by sjames (2882) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:06PM (#1002416) Journal

        Nope, I'm factoring in physics. This guy wasn't Andre the Giant, he didn't have enough strength to get away. Then he was unconscious and a 4 year old could have held him.

        In wrestling, it's called pinned (though you have to have them on their back for that. When pinned, wrestlers rarely stop struggling, but physics wins the day.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:47PM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:47PM (#1002697)

          In police work, you're not in a controlled ring with mats, rules, and referees. They tend to stay on the safe side - their safe side - of controlling the situation.

          Do they take it too far? Obviously. Do they need to change how situations like this are handled? Absolutely. Was this gratuitous violence with the intent to kill? I'd convict on gratuitous violence, but I bet there's 6/12 jurors in this country who wouldn't. Even I wouldn't convict on intent to kill - if the prosecution tries for that and fails, I'd say that's a mishandling of the case and the people who die in the ensuing riots when the verdicts come back "Not Guilty" are on the prosecution's head.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:16PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:16PM (#1002877)

            Mmmmmm, tasty boots

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:35PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @10:35PM (#1002446)

        So what if he does? He's shackled. The cops know that if he tries he'll fail. There's no threat to him attempting beyond falling on his face and hurting himself. He's not going to bite a gun out of their holster and start hurting people. That incapacitation is why procedure had them shackle him. Afterwards he was zero true threat, and their training covers this scenario, where standard procedure is basically walk after the attempted escaper calmly until they fall, then help them up and back into processing. If they don't calm down then you just increase the number of restraints until they do.

        They're trained in this. Your rationalization is incorrect. It doesn't matter what bad in the moment decisions George Floyd might have made; none of them would've resulted in anyone's harm but his own. Instead someone else killed him.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:35PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:35PM (#1002758)

          also, someone enlighten me: after getting handcuffs (and it seems ankle cuffs) why is everyone waiting around on the floor? waiting for the ordered pizza or box of donuts? i mean like .... waaaaat?
          also, one cannot cuff a suspect to a policecar?
          anyways, for me it looks like "enjoying punishment" of suspect and "superiority demonstration". evil evil all the way.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:36PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:36PM (#1003240)

            I've seen my black friend cuffed to the hood of a cop car and beaten, they took my cell phone first though. We weren't doing anything wrong - dropping off two friends after barbecuing. They were convinced he was selling me drugs though, and decided to beat him up for not "admitting" it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:52AM (#1003650)

        And put them around his legs. Or tie his shoelaces together. Either way you just stopped your criminal from getting away. Good luck getting your shoes off or untied while you're handcuffed behind your back before they can get back on top of you.

        Added bonus: they still have their dignity as long as they walk slow and you don't rush them too much, because small footsteps won't risk tripping.

  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:46AM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:46AM (#1002669) Homepage Journal

    fear is what's at the root of this more than anybody's skin color

    Don't forget hatred.