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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: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:51PM (14 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 02 2020, @09:51PM (#1002400) Journal

    I don't think it is so much about POUTS POTUS.

    I think it is about institutionalized racism in [some] police departments. Acceptance of it by partners, other officers, supervisors and maybe the police chief or mayor. Unwillingness to address it.

    How long ago was the Rodney King beating? March 3, 1991. And the trial? And aftermath of riots?

    Did we learn anything? Did we fix anything?

    Then other cases. For years. Stop and frisk. And more. Baltimore. Chicago.

    Not so long ago August 10, 2014. Ferguson Missouri. Did we learn anything? Did we fix anything? More recently black men being shot in the back. Another black man shot because he reached in his car to produce ID when the cop asked for ID.

    The only thing that has changed is cell phone cameras everywhere. Now more than ever police treat citizens like the enemy. It it telling that police use the term "civilians" like they are an occupation army. They don't say citizens like the 1966 Batman. Holy Dark Emitting Diodes Batman!

    Similarly, remember the Columbine Colorado school shooting? They said "never again" would this happen. How many school shooting or shooters since then? Have we actually done anything about it?

    --
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Immerman on Tuesday June 02 2020, @11:06PM (3 children)

    by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday June 02 2020, @11:06PM (#1002481)

    Honestly, even aside from the institutionalized racism, my complaint is that cops can, and regularly do, literally get away with murder. And other crimes even more frequently. Black people suffer the worst of it, but whites aren't exactly safe either.

    We need to bring accountability to all those who abuse their power under color of law, regardless of the color of the victim. All the anti-racist policy and training in the world isn't going to do a damned bit of good so long as there's institutionalized immunity for cops.

    Hold cops accountable for their gross abuses in general, and tackling racist abuses will be a matter of making sure abusing minorities doesn't get "overlooked", rather than a mostly futile effort to get cops help accountable in particular situations.

    • (Score: 2) by qzm on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:54AM (2 children)

      by qzm (3260) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:54AM (#1002591)

      You mean like charging with with murder perhaps?

      Do you feel the same about charging those murdering people trying to protect their livelyhoods right now?
      How about those inciting looting and violence? Do you not feel personal property should be protected by said police?

      You know, two wrongs and all.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:17AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:17AM (#1002602)

        Where did gp say anything about not holding *everyone* accountable?

        He, correctly, pointed out that certain folks (the police) who have *not* been held accountable for their actions in the past, should be.

        Anything else is just your imagination.

      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:24AM

        by Immerman (3985) on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:24AM (#1003062)

        Charging is good. Uncommon, but good.

        Conviction and sentencing that matches the severity of their crime is better. And woefully rare.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:07PM (8 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:07PM (#1002706) Journal

    Police kill more white people than black people [statista.com]. Many are not aware of that, because the media doesn't report it, and politicians don't mention it. Why don't they? I have watched many clips online of rioters beating white people senseless or to death because they're white. The media hasn't reported that. Why not? The increasingly strident and open institutional racism against white people is alarming; the categorical condemnation of all white people as racist or malign sits in a pantheon of bigotry next to those who hate Jews because they're Jews, Muslims because they're Muslims, and so on.

    Police violence against civilians, all of us, has been a problem for years. George W. Bush thought it would be a good idea to transfer military weapons and equipment to police departments across America. They then have been using that against civilians. They have been using it disproportionately against poor communities because they can get away with it; they would never get away with those tactics in Westchester, NY (ultra-wealthy area north of New York City).

    There is an additional complication in that police unions and the "Thin Blue Line"/Omerta make it difficult to weed bad apples out of the force. The cop in question in the George Floyd murder had been written up over and over.

    Lastly, the President and Congress really don't have the ability to do much about it under our federal system. They don't hire and fire police, municipalities do. And these incidents keep happening in big cities that are invariably controlled by Democrats, the ones who constantly claim that they're the good guys when it comes to matters of racism. Minneapolis is a Blue Town in a Blue State. New York City is a Blue Town in a Blue State. So, either that tells us that they're the racists, because they are directly responsible for those police departments, or it indicates that racism is not what's going on.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by TheRaven on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:04PM (3 children)

      by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:04PM (#1002720) Journal

      Many are not aware of that, because the media doesn't report it

      The media does report it, frequently, but they normalise their data. Let's look at last year's data from that chart. A total of 802 people with recorded ethnicity were killed by the police:

      • Black people killed by police: 235 (29%)
      • White people killed by police: 370 (46%)
      • Hispanic people killed by police: 158 (20%)
      • Other people killed by police: 39.

      Now, let's compare those numbers to the total population of the USA:

      • Black: 12.7%
      • White: 73%
      • Hispanic: 17.6%

      So, black people make up 12.7% of the population, but 29% of the people who are killed by police. If you are black, you are more than twice as likely to be killed by police.

      Comparing the absolute numbers and ignoring the distribution tells me that you are either really bad at statistics or you're intentionally misusing statistics for racist reasons. Which is it?

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      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:26PM (2 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:26PM (#1002795) Journal

        Clearly you're not bothered that twice as many white people are killed by cops as are black people. Is it because you think the white people are all guilty and bad, while all the black people are all innocent and good? Are you really bad at statistics or are you intentionally misusing statistics for racist reasons?

        I'm making this point for a reason, because to support your unstated premise, that the cops are arresting (or attempting to arrest and unlawfully killing suspects) black people disproportionately because they are racist, you have to ignore the other statistics that black people commit crimes at a higher rate than white people. You are picking and choosing which statistics you trust, and which you discount. I am pretty sure you're going to immediately declare that the statistics you don't like are racist, too.

        I said what I said because I have been seeing clips of the anchors of major news networks declaring that white people are categorically racist. I have been watching them say things that would instantly get them fired if they said the same of Jews, or LGBT people, or any other group. It's bigoted, and wrong.

        The cops should not be killing any suspects no matter what color they are. Their job is to arrest them and bring them to the courts, not to summarily execute them.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:17PM

          by Freeman (732) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:17PM (#1002837) Journal

          Well, they shouldn't be using excessive force. Which is exactly what they did in the George Floyd case. They should definitely be using deadly force, in certain situations. Not when dealing with an unruly suspect, who might have used a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes. Is counterfeit currency even that big of a problem nowadays? The officers in question had a serious lapse in judgment, if they weren't actually trying to kill him.

          --
          Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:46PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:46PM (#1003247)

          Clearly you're not bothered that twice as many white people are killed by cops as are black people. Is it because you think the white people are all guilty and bad, while all the black people are all innocent and good? Are you really bad at statistics or are you intentionally misusing statistics for racist reasons?

          You're *deliberately* taking the numbers out of context. Non-hispanic whites make up ~61% of the US population. Blacks make up ~13% of the population. [wikipedia.org]

          If there's no bias among cops, whites should be ~4.5 times *more* likely to be killed by police than blacks. If ~2,450 whites were killed by cops (source: https://www.statista.com/chart/21857/people-killed-in-police-shootings-in-the-us/ [statista.com] ), you'd expect that ~550 blacks would be killed by cops.

          Except that since 2015, ~4600 people have been killed by cops in the US. OF those, ~2450 were white and ~1300 were black.

          Given the differences in population between blacks and whites, that means that blacks are more than twice as likely to be killed by cops than whites.

          Why don't you go walk over to the other side of Grand Army Plaza and try running this bullshit on those folks? Or even better, the other side of Prospect Park. They'll love you over on Eastern Parkway!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:08PM (#1002875)

      This is not an accident. Who controls the media? The history books? The financial systems of many nations of the world? This is about White slavery and genocide that started a long time ago. Bolshevik Revolution, Holodomor, WW1, WW2.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:46AM (2 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:46AM (#1003065)

      How about instead of fighting about who gets screwed worse, we pull together and agitate for cops to start getting charged (and convicted!) of assault and murder no matter what color their victims? Then *everybody* wins.

      As for the numbers - sure, more white people get killed, and black people are something like 3x more likely to get killed (and a lot more likely to be assaulted too).

      As for the federal government not being able to do anything about it - here's the best idea I've heard on how to do it practically overnight via Executive Order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M71z6K7IkjU [youtube.com]

      TD;DR version: Establish an independent civilian oversight organization that investigates complaints of cops using excessive force, and their department's response. Any time an officer gets off easy, his department loses all access to federal funding, military-hardware, etc.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:03PM (1 child)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:03PM (#1003187) Journal

        his department loses all access to federal funding, military-hardware, etc.

        Police departments should not have military hardware. That is a big part of the problem: it leads the cops to think they should be playing soldier, fighting civilians.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:16PM

          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday June 04 2020, @02:16PM (#1003193)

          I agree. But so long as we're offering it, attaching some really heavy strings is a good way to make sure it's not being abused. And after a while departments might even realize that it's kind of pointless getting the hardware if they don't get to abuse it.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:23AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @09:23AM (#1003647)

    I've been reading the reddit threads on this the past few days, as well as twitter and a lot of conservative types are asking 'Where is the sympathy for white men murdered by police.'

    Check out /r/2020PoliceBrutality and /r/PoliceBrutality Both of which make mention of murdered white men, black men, and native americans, as well as the mentally ill. What we see looking into these cases is no long term changes, most of the officers back on the force, and institutionalized incompetence on the parts of the law enforcement leadership leading to the deaths of individuals, many of which weren't considered clear and immediate threats (ie no weapons and no actually aggressive actions towards cops.) Our Military Police have a higher standard of engagement than our Civilan Law Enforcement do. OUR SOLDIERS have a higher burden of proof with foreign civilians, even among groups that might be utilizing asymmetric warefare using disguised assets. But our civilian cops are getting away with it, often with backpay and few or no effects on their advancement. Even of the ones who are permanently discharged from their positions at a particuar department, around 1/4 to 1/2 of them are later found working at another police department with a new list of complaints or official actions against them. And yet they just keep working. That should tell you something about the systemic issues in American law enforcement, as well as the responses of some members of the community who think this behavior is appropriate. Maybe if they were treated the same way by law enforcement we could see how they felt about that treatment afterwards.