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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, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:02AM (19 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @12:02AM (#1002506)

    There are all kinds of training surrounding safe restraint, etc. but - in the field, if you do something and it works... I wouldn't be surprised if the knee to the neck is something this cop has done in the past, possibly many times, telling himself that it's safe because yeah

    The Minneapolis police handbooks specifically ban the technique that he was using, because there's a substantial risk of killing the suspect. The cop in question had every reason to know what he was doing - if not the training manual, the guy telling him he couldn't breathe and the onlookers telling him that the suspect couldn't breathe.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @02:58AM (#1002559)

    The Minneapolis police handbooks specifically ban the technique that he was using, because there's a substantial risk of killing the suspect. The cop in question had every reason to know what he was doing - if not the training manual, the guy telling him he couldn't breathe and the onlookers telling him that the suspect couldn't breathe.

    I imagine that the blood coming from Floyd's nose, Floyd becoming unresponsive/unconscious, and repeated pleas from onlookers that not only couldn't he breathe, but that he was, in fact, no longer breathing, were pretty good indicators that something was horribly wrong as well.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:14AM (17 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:14AM (#1002571)

    Some people are better suited to the job than others - a lot of adrenaline involved, a lot of relief when you get (no disrespect intended to the deceased) on top of a situation. Does he deserve to go down for manslaughter, absolutely. Claiming this was pre-meditated, or even intentional murder is taking it past the point of reality IMO. Sloppy cops, screwed up, shouldn't be on the street, definitely should be routine procedure to handle this as a punishable offense.

    1998-ish, cop in my neighborhood shot a junkie in the back, 3am. Investigated by 30 squad cars from 3 different jurisdictions for 8+ hours (happened in the City of Miami, "suspect" dropped in the front yard of a Miami Dade SWAT officer, shot fired by his neighbor a City of North Miami Cop). Junkie was bad news, pain in the ass boyfriend of a woman across the street, going to end up hurting people sooner or later, but certainly didn't deserve to die. Shooter cop got 30 days off with pay and a stern warning to not do stuff like that anymore before being returned to duty - it's wrong - it was wrong then - it's wrong now - and it happens every day somewhere in the country. If you want to compare the 3 protesters killed so far to the number of people wrongfully killed by cops in a given normal week - it's on the same order of magnitude, or less.

    Sadly, all the newspaper editorials, peaceful protests, appeals to politicians, lawsuits, etc. filed over the decades haven't moved the needle much since Rodney King. Maybe this is what it takes? Or maybe this will make it worse for a while but ultimately drive political reform of the police. Hard to know, always changing - the future is. /y

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:36AM (15 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:36AM (#1002584)

      . Does he deserve to go down for manslaughter, absolutely. Claiming this was pre-meditated, or even intentional murder is taking it past the point of reality IMO. Sloppy cops, screwed up, shouldn't be on the street, definitely should be routine procedure to handle this as a punishable offense.

      No. Just no.

      This was completely different than a shooting.

      That piece of shit choked Floyd for nearly ten minutes. He heard Floyd's cries for help. He saw the blood coming out of Floyd's nose.

      He was in close contact with Floyd as he slipped into unconsciousness -- which was obvious to people standing ten feet away.

      He kept his knee on Floyd's neck long after Floyd was unconscious.

      That cop had every opportunity *not* to kill George Floyd. And as he watched Floyd die, he continued to exert deadly force.

      When you shoot someone, that's (or at least can be) a split second decision. The cop who *murdered* George Floyd squeezed the life out of him over almost ten minutes.

      There was no imminent threat to the officer. He could see exactly what he was doing and the effect it had on Floyd.

      And as he saw Floyd coming closer and closer to permanent injury/death, he consciously chose to continue to kill him.

      You have repeatedly ignored the facts of this case. At first, I thought you were just misinformed. But I'm beginning to suspect that you're deliberately attempting to minimize the responsibility of that murderous scum. I wonder why?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:51AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @08:51AM (#1002654)

        you're deliberately attempting to minimize the responsibility of that murderous scum. I wonder why?

        I guess Joe M is a cop himself. You know, semper fi and all that. Without the actual honor code.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:36PM (13 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @01:36PM (#1002715)

        Why do so many people write this way online? JoeM was stating some facts, like them or not, believe them or not. I don't see how you can conflate the facts with JoeM's person, and then attack him, based on your asinine assumptions and illogic. Argue the facts and ideas, but you're not bolstering your argument by ad hominem. You're looking like a desperate fool. That you're AC kind of makes my point.

        Years ago I was privy to some inside (actual) facts about the Exxon Valdez disaster. I happened to know one of the attorneys in the case who is a relative of some very close friends. We chatted a bit about the case, and he told me that what you hear in the news media is so very far off from reality. The case was actively in court so he was measuring his words, but he told me enough detail, and these were actual facts from the investigation, that it changed my life. Never again have I gotten all riled up because of what I hear/read in the news. Ever hear the quote: "never let the truth get in the way of a good story"??? When you read / hear news, caveat emptor, okay? News comes with no Warranty of Fitness For A Particular Purpose. If _everyone_ alive would learn that wisdom, the world would be much more pleasant place, and we could all put more time, money, and energy into solving real problems like disease, hunger, pollution, energy, etc.

        The news media just wants to sell news. They're all in competition and clamor for $ and "top stories" and "breaking news". My TV stations keep interrupting shows (that I'm not watching anyway) with "BREAKING NEWS" and it's just some govt. idiot blathering.

        Look, there's no question that the cop killed Floyd and will go to prison. As far as how long, as I commented elsewhere, proving cop's state of mind and intent will be very difficult. Study law a bit. Everyone has a right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in court.

        The Floyd case is just a tipping-point. I personally believe that cops and all in govt. need to be held to a higher standard of conduct. However, as my lawyer brother explained years ago when he was in law school, generally govt. has to protect itself. Interesting philosophically, if you think about it. If govt. doesn't protect itself, it will crumble into anarchy.

        Ironically, imho, allowing cops to kill people and get away with it is causing anarchy.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:32PM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:32PM (#1002756)

          Never again have I gotten all riled up because of what I hear/read in the news.

          But I didn't hear/read it in the news. I watched the surveillance and bystander video and came to my own conclusions. Everything I said is verifiable and correct.

          But don't believe *me* either. Watch the video.

          Or are you claiming that the video has been altered or manipulated?

          I said:

          You have repeatedly ignored the facts of this case. At first, I thought you were just misinformed. But I'm beginning to suspect that you're deliberately attempting to minimize the responsibility of that murderous scum. I wonder why?

          How is that an ad hominem attack? Or any sort of attack for that matter?

          Or is it just that if I disagree, then it's an attack?

          Are you going to accuse me of "attacking" you now?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:39PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:39PM (#1002759)
            Welcome to SN where only Ethanol Fueled, TMB, VLM, and Runaway are allowed to spew vitriol without lectures from long time users.

            Quite interesting the slant I keep seeing from the staff and more prolific posters.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:48PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:48PM (#1002764)

              Welcome to SN where only Ethanol Fueled, TMB, VLM, and Runaway are allowed to spew vitriol without lectures from long time users.

              Quite interesting the slant I keep seeing from the staff and more prolific posters.

              And what, exactly was the "vitriol" I spewed? Go ahead. Amuse me.

              Even better, what might that slant be? That ought to be good. Do tell.

              As for lecturing from "long time users", the one in question specializes in getting butthurt when someone disagrees with them. The funniest part is that in getting all butthurt, he does all the things he claims his target is doing. it's rather sad, actually.

              But hey, it takes all kinds and I try not to judge.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:55PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @03:55PM (#1002771)

              Welcome to SN where only Ethanol Fueled, TMB, VLM, and Runaway are allowed to spew vitriol without lectures from long time users.

              I heartily disagree. With the exception of Eth (who we mostly just mod down unless he's posting sober -- which is scarier, but usually a bit more coherent), each and every one of those users gets "lectured" by long term users pretty much every day.

              Hell, that may be SN's most popular sport. And when Azuma or Ari get going, they really let 'em have it!

          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:11PM (3 children)

            by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:11PM (#1002829)

            I'm sorry, I stand corrected. That video shows EVERYTHING there is to know about the situation.

            Look, I've said and written many times that I agree- the video shows the cop completely disregarding Floyd's well-being and very life itself. It's OBVIOUS, right?

            You're ranting at me as if I'm in defense of the cop. I've said for 30+ years that cops are out of control in the US.

            Cop must go to prison. The question is, for how long? And much more importantly, what's causing this? What was the backstory in this case, including the culture in the police world? Maybe they watch too many cop shows? Maybe too much bravado? I'm just as angry as all the protesters (not looters / arsonists) about police brutality and that nothing seems to be changing.

            This is why I hate AC and would disable it if I was admin. There's at least 1 of you, and I suspect it's YOU, who has no LOGIC in their head. You take a piece of something and extrapolate it to the whole thing. Not enough of a psychologist to diagnose you, but ego is part of it.

            This is a waste of time.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:12AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:12AM (#1003045)

              You're ranting at me as if I'm in defense of the cop. I've said for 30+ years that cops are out of control in the US.

              I said:

              But I didn't hear/read it in the news. I watched the surveillance and bystander video and came to my own conclusions. Everything I said is verifiable and correct.

              But don't believe *me* either. Watch the video.

              Or are you claiming that the video has been altered or manipulated?

              That's a 'rant'? Please.

              On the other hand, *you* said:

              Why do so many people write this way online? JoeM was stating some facts, like them or not, believe them or not. I don't see how you can conflate the facts with JoeM's person, and then attack him, based on your asinine assumptions and illogic. Argue the facts and ideas, but you're not bolstering your argument by ad hominem. You're looking like a desperate fool. That you're AC kind of makes my point.

              Compare the two:

              I didn't call you any names. I gave you specific details about where my information came from and encouraged you to use that information to draw your own conclusions, as I did. Not one word that I wrote was derogatory of you or anyone else.

              *You* called *me* asinine, a "desperate fool" and falsely claimed that I'm engaging in ad hominem aytacks.

              The above isn't an attack either. I merely placed our respective statements next to each other and made some observations.
              If you disagree with those observations, I'd love to hear your argument.

              What's more Joe Merchant said:

              Claiming this was pre-meditated, or even intentional murder is taking it past the point of reality IMO. Sloppy cops, screwed up, shouldn't be on the street, definitely should be routine procedure to handle this as a punishable offense.

              The first statement isn't a fact -- It's an opinion -- which doesn't match the facts. I *never* said this was premeditated. In fact, I said *several times* in several different posts that premeditation was completely unlikely. I did say it was intentional.. That's absolutely clear from the video. Although I suppose some might disagree. But either way, that's opinion, not fact.

              The second statement is also opinion. Again, people may disagree, but it's not a fact. A fact is something verifiable, like your blood type, your birthday, etc. As is the third.

              So. You call opinion facts.

              You then say I'm engaging in ad hominem attacks. Please, do define an 'ad hominem' attack for us and provide the specific text of my comment that fits the bill. Good luck with that.

              You then claim I'm ranting at you? Hmm...let's see now:
              Rant (n):

              To speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave:

              Please do help us understand how explaining how I obtained information and drew my own conclusions, then suggesting that you not even trust what I'm saying and see for yourself, is "ranting."

              I didn't call *anyone* names. I didn't make defamatory remarks. I didn't even use strong language.

              Look a the definition of 'rant' above. Your comments to me are much more like that definition than *anything* I said.

              For reasons that will be obvious from this [youtu.be], I'm going to call you Pinback from now on.

              Have a good night, Pinback. I sincerely hope you and your family are safe and healthy. Am I allowed to say that? Or is that a 'rant' or an 'attack'?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:18PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:18PM (#1003227)

              This is why I hate AC and would disable it if I was admin.

              No Sergeant Pinback [youtu.be]. You hate AC posts because you can't mod-bomb ACs when you get butthurt because someone disagrees with you.

              Maybe if you ask NCommander real nicely, he'll sell you the site. You could totally make this site exactly what you want it to be then.

              Although, given your history, you'd likely end up the only active user, once you've driven everyone else away.

              You go girlfriend!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @10:15AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05 2020, @10:15AM (#1003655)

              We don't need another authoritarian asshole place like that. Slashdot already jumped that shark. Anonymous Cowards are nice for a lot of fucking reasons (some of us don't like logging in, others don't want all our comments correlated by the government, etc.)

              If you think having AC turned off is a good idea, then you DON'T BELONG HERE.

              Good riddance you fucking pro-authoritarian fascist.

              Now if TMB comes out in support of disabling ACs, then we might need to have a different discussion. @TheMightyBuzzard; Care to comment?

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by deimtee on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:36PM (4 children)

          by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:36PM (#1002804) Journal

          The cop didn't look that stressed out. He just cheerfully choked a guy for nearly nine minutes. That's plenty of time to consider what he was doing. Try it, get a stopwatch and kneel on a cushion for 9 minutes. I pretty much guarantee you'll get bored and wonder what the hell you're doing long before you get to 9 minutes.

          --
          If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:15PM (3 children)

            by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:15PM (#1002833)

            Deimtee, I completely agree with you, and never wrote anything in contradiction. Your post suggests otherwise. Not sure what you're trying to say, but you might be so angry about the situation, as am I, that you're ready to pounce on anyone who you misunderstand, even when we agree with you. Don't alienate people who are on your side. I've said for more than 30 years that cops are out of control in the USA, and worse, it's been noticed, and _nothing_ substantive done about it. They seem to be getting worse and worse.

            That cop will go to prison, and probably won't live long unless they somehow build a new prison just for cops.

            • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:31PM (1 child)

              by deimtee (3272) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @07:31PM (#1002906) Journal

              I think that was meant to be a reply to the guy arguing that it was the same as a split second decision to pull a trigger. Apologies.

              --
              If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:02PM

                by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @10:02PM (#1002958)

                Thank you and you're quite forgiven, and I'm humbled to even write that. I'm slowly and finally getting on to the whole culture here, and sometimes my writing style is sharper than who I am. Fairly strong in logic, fairly weak in expressing myself. But yes, I agree, and it makes sense. There are so many sides to this situation. I hear more charges are leveled against the main cop, and the 3 others for "abetting". Sadly investigations often take weeks, months, years. Not sure why- seems like more focus could speed things along. Some investigations take so long that key witnesses die (sometimes murdered) and the criminal gets away with murder. I don't know which is more convoluted- IT or legal system...

                Thanks again!

            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:24AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @03:24AM (#1003050)

              Don't alienate people who are on your side. I've said for more than 30 years that cops are out of control in the USA, and worse, it's been noticed, and _nothing_ substantive done about it. They seem to be getting worse and worse.

              You might want to take your own advice. That's just a suggestion.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:48PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @05:48PM (#1002859)

      Claiming this was pre-meditated, or even intentional murder is taking it past the point of reality IMO.

      The cop in question was kneeling on a guy who is on the ground, handcuffed, had shown no signs of resistance at any point during the encounter, choking on his own blood. The cop's demeanor was completely calm and casual, like someone who was walking their dog. He had 3 friends standing around, ready, able, and by all appearances willing to help him in case of any opposition. That's not the image of someone whose adrenaline and fight-or-flight-or-freeze response has gotten the best of them. That's the behavior of the kind of guy who will kill a man at 4 and at 5 will be drinking at the pub talking about the latest sports game like nothing happened.

      And you can't reasonably argue it was an accident, either: What he was doing was specifically banned by his department. He had 10 minutes to stop doing what he was doing. He was being informed by both his victim and onlookers that he was killing the guy. There was zero risk to himself had he stopped. And yet he kept doing what he was doing.

      it's wrong - it was wrong then - it's wrong now - and it happens every day somewhere in the country

      Yes, and that's why there are people in the streets protesting. You just began to notice the point, congratulations. Just because it happens every day doesn't make it OK.

      And the fact is that the response from the cops has been to beat, gas, and in a few cases kill people who in most cases have broken no laws. If that doesn't prove the point the protesters are making, I'm not sure what will.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.