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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, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:33AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 03 2020, @04:33AM (#1002606)

    Wow. I don't know if you're being intentional or not, but arguing over semantics is really glossing over the bigger issue. Whether the dude died of asphyxiation or heart attack or just the smelly bunghole of the cop - fact is watching the video there plenty of opportunities for the cops to restrain the guy without the necessary risks of that particular position they ultimately decided to employ.

    Its similar to the shit ass cops we have here in Australia where they shoot someone pulling out a small knife after a long standoff where they could have brought in lots of other less lethal options to subdue the prep, like tasers, water sprays, canines, gas and crowd control equipments, etc.

    The use of unnecessary force by authorities is the issue here, there's likely others like racial prejudices in the US but I'm not American nor live there so can't comment. Long gone are the days where the authorities give people benefit of the doubt and are you friendly neighborhood watchmen. Now its violence first, questions later and the people have to "respect" their authority like cattle. Its not just in the US.

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  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:28PM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Wednesday June 03 2020, @06:28PM (#1002881) Journal

    It may be the shared customs and traditions have lead to the present state of affairs. Both Australia and the US inherited a lot from Britain. The whole idea of a police force is as an adversarial group whose first duty is to stop crime, and catch criminals. It may be the wrong approach. People are complicated, and not so easily divided into criminals and honest citizens. By using the strictest reading of the law, practically every adult is a criminal, at the least guilty of one of speeding, littering, trespassing, piracy (of data), playing music too loudly, disturbing the peace, etc. Can you swear that you have never in your life so much as accidentally dropped and lost a candy wrapper somewhere outside, perhaps at a park? Lot of police take that attitude, that everyone is a criminal. They are helped into that attitude merely by being organized and tasked with fighting crime.

    They are prone to self-interested moves such as advocating for the criminalization of behavior that may be different and weird, but not harmful to others. Anslinger was the head of the federal agency tasked with enforcing the prohibition of alcohol, when Prohibition was repealed in the US. What did Anslinger do about it? He was thought an honest, upstanding person. But he saw that the agency that he headed might not be needed anymore, and he acted to save his and his underlings jobs by smearing marijuana as a dangerous drug. It worked. The War on Drugs has been an abysmal failure, but it gave those drug enforcers work to do.

    In contrast, traditional societies such as the Aboriginies and Native Americans I guess don't have a professional police force.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04 2020, @04:17PM (#1003273)

      Non-agrarian traditional societies were generally communal in structure, with marriage and blood ties occasionally bringing groups together for common cause, but more often than not they fought among each other. Often these groups would be taken over by neighboring feudal civilizations that had strong central leadership that could field armies (think of all those civilizations that just disappear from history, totally assimilated - the Celts, many of the North and South American native groups (how much integration actually happened relative to disease/genocide is a big question too).