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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: (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: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @11:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 02 2020, @11:26PM (#1002485)

    No one I know is racist nor violent like this. My day to day life is peaceful and inclusive. I'm a white middle-class hetero man in Atlanta.

    But I'm insulated against this stuff precisely because I live on the "right side of town." I have the privilege of being removed from it. I get to choose if I am going to protest or stay out of it. I'm not forced to deal with the reality of prejudices.

    There are a number of my peers who clutch their pearls and fret at the screens, shocked at the outrageous acts they aren't having to endure. These people aren't technically racist and certainly aren't violent; but by merit of their silence and/or inaction they are complicit.

    That is what needs to change. We can't fix these systemic and cultural failings if we keep settling for the metaphorical devil that we know. The complacent majority is enabling the corruption in exchange for business as usual. Entitled people rise up with firearms in hand demanding that their conveniences be uninterrupted; yet when their neighbors' neighbors are openly oppressed and fucking killed the rhetoric instantly switches to "hey, let's all calm down."

    America's mission statement is diversity. Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Most of us see that as an ongoing pursuit -- an ideal to expand and refine until everyone is safe and full of opportunity.

    It's the vile, selfish, short-sighted assholes mixed into our population who poison, exploit, and corrode our good faith and hard-fought social progress. They give our country a bad name. They are the domestic threat. They thrive on the worst of humanity's vulnerabilities and pat themselves on the back when they profit from it.

    The insulated people like myself must use the power of our privilege to defend the oppressed. We cannot remain silent nor inactive. We don't need to resort to violence to overcome the rot, but we do need to exercise the peaceful powers we have to create constructive pressure.

    America is supposedly the richest country in the world. There's no reason for our resources to be allocated away from making EVERY citizen's life better instead of.... This.

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