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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, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:07PM (25 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:07PM (#1002360)

    I can't believe some people actually believe this.

    Watch this [youtube.com] video and then come back to your comment. That is the body cam footage in the police murder of Daniel Shaver [wikipedia.org]. Nearly all of these incidents involves drugs (amphetamines/PCP/etc), resisting arrest, and so on. This one didn't. It was a drunk unarmed tourist in a hotel in Vegas laying prone on the ground when he was murdered. And not only was there no justice served but the officer who murdered him was granted medical retirement and a lifelong pension at age 26. He claimed he had PTSD after killing Daniel and the resultant media coverage.

    Of course you've probably never heard about this case and there were certainly no riots or anything like that. Why? Because he was white.

    There are lots of bad cops, and there probably always will be. One might ask why are American police so brutal and I think that's a good question, but one that also has a simple answer. A police officer sees a vehicle speeding. He pulls it over. Walks up to the window. The guy rolls the window down, puts 4 bullets in the officer, and drives away. The places where you see police brutality are the same places where you see large chunks of extremely dangerous criminals. The criminals harden the police and then the police end up turning into monsters. 'Back in the day' there was far worse racism in the US, yet police brutality was relatively speaking almost nonexistent. But that's also because the sort of violence we see today was also mostly nonexistent. And similarly you also see the same sort of police brutality in other nations with violent criminals even when they happen to be the same color.

    After these riots expect to see exactly what happened after the LA riots: more police militarization and force. It's a reminder that the police forces today are really quite vulnerable. We only have about 300 police per 100,000 civilians. When significant numbers of folks start engaging in criminality, the police really can't do a whole heck of a lot.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:34PM (22 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:34PM (#1002383)

    You were on a roll, right up to:

    'Back in the day' there was far worse racism in the US, yet police brutality was relatively speaking almost nonexistent. But that's also because the sort of violence we see today was also mostly nonexistent.

    Yes, racism was far worse in the past, I've watched the South East US make tremendous forward progress in racial equality over the last 45 years.

    However: police brutality was relatively speaking almost never reported, not less common - if anything it was more common in the past before body cams, cell phone videos, YouTube sharing, etc. The sort of violence we see today was much MUCH worse back in the "Great" days of lead in the gasoline and God knows what all other drivers of brutal behavior were out there. 1987, coworker shows up to work Monday morning in an ankle cast - what happened? "Was just walkin' down by the planetarium with 4 friends Friday night, and there was these 7 black guys, we didn't have a chance." Just another Friday night, apparently - no police reports, just 12 people beating the shit out of each other on the spur of the moment.

    Go back to the 1920s and you've got (lots of) towns like Gainesville [wikipedia.org] where the KKK wasn't slowed by the law, because the Sheriff, Mayor, and entire police force were members.

    I was sent to LA for business in 1992, put in the University Hilton in South Central - things were quiet by the time I got there, but I was plenty spooked by the burnt out neighborhood I had to drive through. I was in Miami for the 1980 riots (we drove out that night, saw smoke and glow from the fires), and had family there in 1976. Even in 1991 in "Black Grove" people would throw stuff at my car as I drove through commuting from work, one even yelled "Honky" (pretty sure he was shit-faced drunk.)

    The current nationwide riots are scary because they're not isolated the way so many local issues were in the past, but not surprising at all given the recent quarantine and evolution of social media into "one world, one community" - hell, they're even rioting in Canada. All told, even though the police brutality footage looks bad, and every bit of that is unacceptable behavior for the situation, it's not quite Kent State.

    We're making progress - if we had to have this kind of setback, I'm glad it happened after 3 years of T(he)rump, instead of 7 years of Obama. I might even convince myself that Obama's (advisory team's) leadership would have defused this situation before it ever got to where it is today.

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:00AM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:00AM (#1002504)

      All told, even though the police brutality footage looks bad, and every bit of that is unacceptable behavior for the situation, it's not quite Kent State.

      So far 3 people are dead, and many more are injured. So while it's not *quite* Kent State (which killed 4), it's pretty damn close. Just because those killings are spread out over a wide geographic area and over several days rather than 7 seconds doesn't make it not as bad.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:00AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:00AM (#1002561)

        Just because those killings are spread out over a wide geographic area and over several days rather than 7 seconds doesn't make it not as bad.

        Something inherently difficult for people to wrap their heads around: there's a lot of damn people in this world. 4 dead in 7 seconds at one college war rally is a hell of a lot more violent than 3 dead spread over days of nationwide rioting. Hell, 3 of the protesters have likely died of natural causes by now given the numbers and timespan. The map here [nytimes.com] shows 120 protest sites, as of 2 days ago.

        You can get on social media and get a dizzying array of video of people acting badly on both sides, provided with little context and presented for maximum effect by whoever is choosing to share and repost it. What you can't do is travel back to Alabama (or a half dozen similar states) in the 1960s and see all the beatings, killings, and non-prosecuted offences that went on during the civil rights protests back then.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:37AM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:37AM (#1002667) Homepage Journal

      hell, they're even rioting in Canada

      And the riots here in Montreal seem to follow the same pattern. Peaceful demonstrators, but afterward, when it gets dark, the vandals come out.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:07PM (18 children)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:07PM (#1002742) Journal

      We're making progress - if we had to have this kind of setback, I'm glad it happened after 3 years of T(he)rump, instead of 7 years of Obama. I might even convince myself that Obama's (advisory team's) leadership would have defused this situation before it ever got to where it is today.

      Obama launched a coordinated nation-wide crackdown with military force against Occupy Wall Street. That protest was protracted, and 100% peaceful. Why was he not crucified by the media? Where were the cries of, "Oh NOES, it's the end of democracy!!!"?

      Oh, and BTW, what happened to the condemnations of protests because of coronavirus that they hurled at the people protesting in Virginia against restrictions of the Second Amendment? Why has that suddenly vanished from the Narrative? Coronavirus is still a thing, but suddenly it's OK to protest in the middle of a pandemic because the talking heads agree with the reasons for the protest?

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:16PM (5 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:16PM (#1002747)

        Why was he not crucified by the media? Where were the cries of, "Oh NOES, it's the end of democracy!!!"?

        I believe it was covered extensively in the media. While I disapproved of the crackdown, it was clearly effective at keeping the economy rolling and preserving the status quo.

        I think one of the major differences with Occupy Wall Street was that the protest was allowed to run until both the protesters and the public were weary of it, instead of the "sudden, swift and sure crackdown" which is just Authoritarian delusion in terms of what people actually respond to.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:14PM (4 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:14PM (#1002785) Journal

          I believe it was covered extensively in the media. While I disapproved of the crackdown, it was clearly effective at keeping the economy rolling and preserving the status quo.

          It was not extensively covered. It was covered in passing for the two days it happened, and universally in approving terms. They didn't even get upset when the cops killed a guy by shooting him point blank with a tear gas canister.

          I think one of the major differences with Occupy Wall Street was that the protest was allowed to run until both the protesters and the public were weary of it, instead of the "sudden, swift and sure crackdown" which is just Authoritarian delusion in terms of what people actually respond to.

          If Occupy Wall Street had been burning buildings, breaking into the banks and stealing everything, and beating people to death with 2x4s Obama would have acted immediately. They weren't. 100% peaceful.

          There is no time limit to the first amendment. There is no caveat that says you can express your opinion "until the public is weary of it." Obama had no right to do what he did, but everybody gave him a pass because he was cool (tm).

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:24PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:24PM (#1002794)

            There is no time limit to the first amendment. There is no caveat that says you can express your opinion "until the public is weary of it."

            That's the law. Every single U.S. citizen breaks multiple laws every day.

            The caveat is: what are people actually going to do? what's really going to happen? and, which laws should we call for enforcement of vs. which laws should be ignored to obtain an outcome that everybody is happier with. If somebody feels a law has been ignored that they think shouldn't have been, that's what the courts are for - file suit and demand enforcement.

            Occupy Wall Street has faded in memory quite a bit, but as I recall - it was turning into a situation where the protesters were going to be facing health challenges due to the weather / exposure, etc. The whole thing ran for longer than COVID-19 has been going so far. The gas canister episode certainly could have been handled better, probably by both sides, but these things happen when people dig in and disagree. Hopefully the current round of protests will bring some measure of reform to how excessive force is both defined and enforced in domestic police activity.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:04PM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:04PM (#1002823) Journal

            There is no time limit to the first amendment. There is no caveat that says you can express your opinion "until the public is weary of it." Obama had no right to do what he did, but everybody gave him a pass because he was cool (tm).

            What First Amendment right was violated? The First Amendment doesn't grant you the right to camp in public spaces indefinitely. What happened with OWS was selective enforcement of law. As long as the protests further Obama's interests, they were allowed to continue. When that ceased to be the case, they were disbanded.

            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:04PM (1 child)

              by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:04PM (#1003216) Journal

              The First Amendment doesn't grant you the right to camp in public spaces indefinitely.

              The First Amendment does not say, "Sure, go ahead and assemble and protest in an afternoon, then go away so we can ignore you." If we follow your logic then Rosa Parks had no right to defy segregation by sitting in the wrong part of the bus. It's preposterous. Occupy Wall Street had a list of demands that were ignored, so they persisted. They were not staying there out of homelessness.

              I agree with you about how cynical Obama was about it.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:41PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:41PM (#1003401) Journal

                The First Amendment does not say, "Sure, go ahead and assemble and protest in an afternoon, then go away so we can ignore you."

                Who is "we"? And last I checked, a right to protest doesn't mean a right to not be ignored.

      • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:27PM (11 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:27PM (#1002753) Homepage Journal

        Why has that suddenly vanished from the Narrative? Coronavirus is still a thing, but suddenly it's OK to protest in the middle of a pandemic because the talking heads agree with the reasons for the protest?

        It's not OK, but for the majority that feel the protests are important, I think they believe it's for the greater good. We could argue over how many might die additionally from COVID versus at the hands of cops, but consider that if the chance is taken to reform the system for the better, the positive effects could last for centuries. It's also about liberty which some people believe is worth dying for, or at least risking one's life.

        A good number of the protesters are wearing masks, so a fairer objection would be to say that they all should be wearing them--subject to availability, of course.

        --
        If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:08PM (10 children)

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:08PM (#1002782) Journal

          In other words, they get to protest in defiance of coronavirus lockdowns because their opinions and goals are that important, but other people don't get to protest because their opinions and goals are not important.

          Me, I think the lockdowns are tolitarian bullshit and everyone should exercise their first amendment rights by flipping the government the bird and protesting anyway.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:29PM (8 children)

            by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:29PM (#1002798) Homepage Journal

            In other words, they get to protest in defiance of coronavirus lockdowns because their opinions and goals are that important, but other people don't get to protest because their opinions and goals are not important.

            I liked my wording better. It's about what people consider is for the greater good. IMNSHO the Second Amendment itself is not for the greater good, because I believe unrestricted gun ownership (and consequent use) takes away more liberty than it creates.

            Me, I think the lockdowns are tolitarian bullshit and everyone should exercise their first amendment rights by flipping the government the bird and protesting anyway.

            I don't really share that view, but then I would have hoped that everyone that could would isolate themselves voluntarily to cut down the spread of this disease.

            --
            If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:10PM (7 children)

              by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:10PM (#1003222) Journal

              I liked my wording better. It's about what people consider is for the greater good. IMNSHO the Second Amendment itself is not for the greater good, because I believe unrestricted gun ownership (and consequent use) takes away more liberty than it creates.

              The point is, they thought it was vitally important for the greater good. It is not up to you to decide that it's not. You don't get to decide whose opinions are valid, and which are not. Every man has the right to speak his mind. You might think his opinion is stupid or laughable or appalling, but you don't get to stop him. That also means he doesn't get to stop you from saying what you want.

              Too many schools have stopped teaching civics. After this nonsense, the whole country needs a double dose.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 3, Touché) by acid andy on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:24PM (1 child)

                by acid andy (1683) on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:24PM (#1003233) Homepage Journal

                I can decide whatever I like. If I was acting on those decisions in a way that impinged on the rights of others, you'd have a point. Otherwise it's basically thoughtcrime.

                You wrote:

                what happened to the condemnations of protests because of coronavirus that they hurled at the people protesting in Virginia

                and:

                Every man has the right to speak his mind.

                Please explain if the act of hurling condemnations is covered by the right every man has to speak his mind? If not, why not?

                --
                If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
                • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:56PM

                  by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:56PM (#1003256) Journal

                  Please explain if the act of hurling condemnations is covered by the right every man has to speak his mind? If not, why not?

                  Sure. The difference is, Gov. Northam of Virginia tried to ban the protests. That's the government trying to strip Virginians of their First Amendment rights. He can condemn them all he wants to, but he went beyond words to actions. What it means for those who condemned those protests and not these last is that they're stinking hypocrites.

                  The Virginians have the right to protest Northam's violations of their 2A rights. Michiganders have the right to protest Gov. Whitmer's lockdowns. People upset about George Floyd's death have the right to protest that.

                  --
                  Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:47PM (4 children)

                by acid andy (1683) on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:47PM (#1003250) Homepage Journal

                You might think his opinion is stupid or laughable or appalling, but you don't get to stop him.

                Agreed but I thought the implication was that it would be authorities enforcing a lockdown that might stop a protest, rather than a citizen expressing their disapproval of said protest.

                I respect your view that the COVID-19 lockdown shouldn't exist but personally disagree with it.

                --
                If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
                • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:02PM (3 children)

                  by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:02PM (#1003261) Journal

                  I respect your view that the COVID-19 lockdown shouldn't exist but personally disagree with it.

                  And that's the crux right there. The tension between disagreements is the lifeblood of democracy. Most people suppose unanimity is what democracy means, that that is the goal, but that scares the crap out of me. The worst crimes in history have been committed by people who were 100% sure they needed to commit them.

                  Unfortunately the confusion about sending the national guard into these cities has arisen because the media and many politicians have willfully misconstrued that action as an attempt to quell protests. It is not. Protests are fine, but looting, arson, assault, and the other flavors of mob violence are not. The first must be protected, the latter must be stopped with the National Guard (if the police cannot).

                  --
                  Washington DC delenda est.
                  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:13PM (2 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:13PM (#1003272)

                    Unfortunately the confusion about sending the national guard into these cities has arisen because the media and many politicians have willfully misconstrued that action as an attempt to quell protests. It is not. Protests are fine, but looting, arson, assault, and the other flavors of mob violence are not. The first must be protected, the latter must be stopped with the National Guard (if the police cannot).

                    Even though DeBlasio is certainly not the sharpest knife in the drawer and the heavy-handed tactics of the NYPD require serious investigation and prosecution for abuses, I happen to agree with him about not bringing in the National Guard.

                    Why? Because, as he said, they don't know our neighborhoods, they don't have de-escalation training (despite the issues with the NYPD, things could have gotten much, much worse), and the idea of soldiers with fully automatic weapons trained to *kill* their adversaries roaming the streets is a recipe for disaster.

                    Feel free to disagree, but let's put a couple dozen of those guys on *your* block for a couple weeks and see how you like it. Definitely don't break curfew or they might just shoot you dead.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:42PM (1 child)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @10:42PM (#1003405)
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:48PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:48PM (#1003974)

                        Whether it be Lorne Greene or Edward James Olmos, I had to endure that horrible crap once -- I'm certainly not going to do so again.

                        If you have something useful to say, then say it. I'm not going to watch garbage just because you're inarticulate.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:10PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:10PM (#1002899)

            I give my city mayor the bird for this stupid ass curfew. At least under the COVID-19 lockdown I was legally allowed to take my dog outside for a run when the sun sets and the weather is bearable.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:14AM (#1002617)

    Police is 16th on this list of 25 dangerous jobs. The contractor who wired up your new garbage disposer, the mechanics who keep the buses in your town running, even coaches are more likely to be injured / die on the job than cops. That police work is much more dangerous than other vocations is a lie that cops perpetuate to try to justify high wages and very generous retirement packages. It is also used to justify them being armed to the teeth, and retroactively excuse their violent over reactions than lead to 3 deaths by police per day in the US.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/01/24/most-dangerous-jobs-25-most-risky-jobs-in-america/41040903/ [usatoday.com]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @10:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @10:03AM (#1003653)

    for days now, and it was a somewhat big deal for a week or two back when it happened. The cop got punished but of course people forgot about it afterwards and he got slipped back on so they could put him on disability since they secretly approved of his behavior.

    The same has been true in dozens if not hundreds of cases. The only exceptions are when officers step across the thin blue line to call out members of the law enforcement community for misconduct, and quickly find out how corrupt their precinct or department really is. Go read Chris Dorner's manifesto. he laid this all out years ago and most of the conduct he called out then is what we're seeing on video today.