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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: 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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