Police officer who killed George Floyd charged with murder, manslaughter

Derek Chauvin, the officer seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he died died, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter

This had to happen. Riots are almost as inexcusable as the callous way George Floyd was killed, but they were an inevitable reaction.

The cellphone footage showed Floyd repeatedly moaning and gasping while he pleaded to Chauvin, kneeling on his neck, “Please, I can’t breathe.” After several minutes, Floyd gradually grows quiet and ceases to move.

Several minutes of casual callous killing.

Officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck in video facing murder, manslaughter charge, officials announce

Officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck in video facing murder, manslaughter charge, officials announce

Reuters: Former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder of George Floyd

The white Minneapolis policeman who pinned an unarmed black man with a knee to the throat before the man died was arrested and charged with murder, a prosecutor said on Friday, after three nights of violent protests rocked the Midwestern city.

Derek Chauvin, the officer seen on a bystander’s cellphone video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck on Monday before the 46-year-old man died, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told a news briefing.

“He is in custody and has been charged with murder,” Freeman said of Chauvin. “We have evidence, we have the citizen’s camera’s video, the horrible, horrific, terrible thing we have all seen over and over again, we have the officer’s body-worn camera, we have statements from some witnesses.”

The cellphone footage showed Floyd repeatedly moaning and gasping while he pleaded to Chauvin, kneeling on his neck, “Please, I can’t breathe.” After several minutes, Floyd gradually grows quiet and ceases to move.

Chauvin and three fellow officers at the scene were fired on Tuesday from the Minneapolis Police Department. The city identified the other officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.

Freeman said the investigation into Chauvin – who, if convicted, faces up to 25 years in prison on the murder charge – was ongoing and that he anticipated charges against the other officers. He said it was appropriate to charge “the most dangerous perpetrator” first.

Tucker Carlson (Fox News): Our leadership class is fanning racial flames. They’re doing nothing to calm the situation

If you were watching any of the coverage from Minneapolis about what happened Wednesday night, you know perfectly well that what’s happening on the streets there. No matter what it may look like, is actually a quest for justice.

It’s long overdue search for answers by legitimately frustrated protesters who, if we are going to be honest about it, have been oppressed for so long they can no longer stand idle. What you’re seeing in Minneapolis is democracy in its purest form.

Effectively, it’s a political rally.

“Now, wait a second,” you may be thinking. “That didn’t look like a political rally. Those people look like looters. They were smashing cash registers with hammers to steal other people’s money.”

Well, yes, technically they were doing that. And yes, as a factual matter, they were smashing the cash registers because they had already stolen everything else in the store. So no, it doesn’t look like conventional political activism.

But before you judge them, keep in mind, it could have been far worse. It’s not like they were doing something immoral, like protesting Gretchen Whitmer‘s coronavirus lockdowns in Michigan. That would have been a different story.

Defiant armed protests against life protection measures were encouraged by President Trump.

Joy Reid, MSNBC host: Black people’s right to protest is secondary to white people’s right to be an armed protest with long guns, terrifying-looking war weapons.

Chris Hayes, MSNBC host: This is how the protest of George Floyd’s death ended up. Police in riot gear, flooding the streets with teargas and shooting rubber bullets into the crowd.

Another example of how this pandemic has been a kind of black light, exposing all the inequalities in American life.

Eddie Glaude, Jr.. chairman of African-American Studies at Princeton University and MSNBC contributor: It says if some people are accorded the rights of citizenship and other folks are just expected to be obedient.

Reid: Europeans came to this country to get away from being subjects of the kings in Europe. But what they did was they created for themselves sort of a kingdom — every man a king, but the subjects are black people.

These armed white men who can get armed up and walk into a state capitol [in Michigan], and that’s okay and the police are benign. They don’t even act afraid.

But let black people show up and protest the death of an innocent black man, and suddenly, you know what, we need tear gas. We’ve got to go full force.

Charlottesville, the same thing. The police were there to protect the people who were marching as Neo-Nazis, not to protect the black people.

But the problem is much bigger this time than mere hypocrisy. We’re very used to that. This problem is far more ominous.

Here it is in three sentences. There are 320 million of us in this country. A lot of us are very different from one another, yet we all have to live together. In fact, most of us want to live together. But suddenly our leaders are making that dangerously difficult.

But after the riots subside and Chauvin works his way through the legal system will anything significant actually change? This sort of thing has happened before, and has kept happening. US leaders either don’t want to to address this pox on then country, or don’t know how to.

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  30th May 2020

    As expected. A good result, but will justice be delivered? And if so, will a new round of protests be sparked by a lenient sentence handed down?

    ”Joy Reid, MSNBC host: Black people’s right to protest is secondary to white people’s right to be an armed protest with long guns, terrifying-looking war weapons.”

    The difference is lady, to the best of my knowledge, whites didn’t go on a looting spree using protest as a pretext to act in a blatant criminal manner.

    ”But after the riots subside and Chauvin works his way through the legal system will anything significant actually change?”

    No, in fact things will become worse. Expect similar in NZ when the money runs out. I mean, gangs already have no fear of the police, there’s a gun lobby pissed off with this present government…and of course, as always, we have wet liberals ready to stir the pot.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  30th May 2020

      Joy Reid will be very reassured by this then…using their rights exactly as white people.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  30th May 2020

      Events over there aren’t uncommon. Any idea why ‘whites didn’t go on looting sprees using protest as a pretext to act in a blatant criminal manner?’

      I found some of the historical bits in here interesting: Poisonous Legacy: Why George Floyd Could Be Choked While The Whole World Watched.
      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  30th May 2020

        They are not uncommon indeed. They are not uncommon in France either, there have been riots there on a large scale for weeks.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  30th May 2020

        I’m not interested in why whites didn’t go on a looting spree. I’m interested in why blacks did. And why black business owners had to protect themselves from fellow blacks. Some who they called n******.. Anything down Bowalley Road about that?

        Like Todd Muller… when it came time to shine…both blacks and Muller missed the boat
        Yesterday is yesterday. Best to concentrate on the present moment to do things.right.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  30th May 2020

        I think Trotter draws a long bow to tar all US cops with the racist tag right at the end, but the historical material & Court decision he cites are interesting & pertinent, imo.

        I’ve watched a few episode of PD Live Uncut on telly; this series purports to feature live real-time video of US cops in various different states out on patrol or during their daily work going out to make arrests etc.

        Many of the cops including senior cops are African American, & most of them are authoritarian but reasonable courteous, at least on video.

        The show is hosted back at a studio where two former policemen provide continuity & explanatory commentary as the editors switch back & forth following the live dramas going on.

        What comes up a lot is how the process is almost always: “First you have to be handcuffed. Then we can talk.” This seems to apply across the board for minor infringements or allegations to formal arrests for resisting arrest. It’s common for the cops to pat handcuffed people down – though not always. In some places they are clearly worried about weapons being produced.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th May 2020

    Seems the cops were more interested in macho defiance of the bystanders than the poor sucker they were using as a prop. They deserve what they are going to get but if that attitude doesn’t get rooted out it will happen over and over again.

    Reply
  3. Pink David

     /  30th May 2020

    “but they were an inevitable reaction.”

    Why are they inevitable? Police kill far more white people than black, and in this case everyone is in agreement that it is murder. The offices involved have been fired and charge with appropriate crimes.

    Why were these riots inevitable?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  30th May 2020

      Because of the Black Lives Matter movement, one which began after yet another killing of an unarmed, apparently non-resisting black man at the hands of US police, many of whom have been shown to be racist, & in some states there’s a disgraceful long history of racist police.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  30th May 2020

        Police kill significantly more whites than blacks. Racially motivated crime is primarily black against white (90%). The reason white on black violence is reported is simply because it’s quite rare.

        Black Lives Matter is certainly using this for their agenda, as they did in the past with the shooting of Michael Brown. In which, once the truth managed to get out, the officer acted in self-defense and much of the so-called evidence promoted by BLM was complete fabrication.

        There is certainly a history of racist police, that does not make every incidence of this type an act of racism unless it is in people’s interests to do so.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  30th May 2020

        None of you have ever heard of Daniel Shaver. Shot dead, with an AR-15 that had “You’re fucked” engraved on it, by police while on his knees, unarmed, sobbing ‘please don’t shoot me’.

        Why have you never heard of him? Can you think of a reason you have never heard about this? Why were there no riots following this?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Daniel_Shaver

        The officer involved was found not guilty, reinstated and then received a payout for stress.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  30th May 2020

          I don’t know the answer to your question about Shaver. But the the answer to ypur question about George Floyd & the riots it’s provoked I’ve already given you. I think probably the reason you can’t understand it is low EI. You can’t look at the situation through the eyes of an African American & see their perspective.

          This lady explains why it’s not as uncommon as you suggest & what it represents to many blacks in America.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  30th May 2020

            “I don’t know the answer to your question about Shaver.”

            You really don’t understand why an incident like that is not in the news, yet the one with George Floyd is?

            Do you perhaps understand the reason the video of the minutes just before Floyd is not shown, despite almost certainly existing?

            “I think probably the reason you can’t understand it is low EI. You can’t look at the situation through the eyes of an African American & see their perspective.”

            Of course I can. I can also see how they are being feed a narrative that is simply not true. There is a reason for this. How about all the false stories around Michael Brown that news reported for weeks that were all shown to be fabricated in court? Do you understand why that is happening?

            In 2017 more than one white person was killed every day by police, very much more than black people. 458 in a year.

            Black people in the US are almost always murdered by another black person (93%). Those murders are almost never in the news.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  30th May 2020

              And I wouldn’t mind betting that most murders of white people are by white people, & they’re not in the news apart, from locally, either. The issue causing all the riots is cops killing unarmed black men.

              I just skimmed that Shaver Wikipedia article. There’s no reasonable comparison between what happened in that case & what we know so far of what happened in this Floyd case.

              In 2017 more than one white person was killed every day by police, very much more than black people. 458 in a year.

              How are you defining “white person” & what’s the per capita comparison?

              How about all the false stories around Michael Brown that news reported for weeks that were all shown to be fabricated in court? Do you understand why that is happening?

              I know nothing of this. Links please.

            • Pink David

               /  31st May 2020

              “There’s no reasonable comparison between what happened in that case & what we know so far of what happened in this Floyd case.”

              Would the death of Tony Timpa be closer for you comparison?

              “How are you defining “white person” & what’s the per capita comparison?”

              In what ever way the US statistics count them as.

              “I know nothing of this. Links please.”

              You can read it all in the wikipedia entry.

  4. Pink David

     /  30th May 2020
    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  30th May 2020

      He had to be taken to hospital. Another headline suggests he died in hospital from heart-related issues. The prosecution will no doubt argue his death was nevertheless preciptated by the treatment he received from that officer. Can imagine the riots that will break out if the cop gets off.

      Reply
        • That’s totally irrelevant unless it’s known that this was the reason for his heart attack.

          And even if it was, one doesn’t have to be a cardiologist to see the connection between his treatment and death.

          This ‘alleged criminal’ was, in fact, suspected of giving a shopkeeper a forged banknote. If he did and there’s not the slightest evidence that he knew it was one or had forged it, the cops’ reaction was totally unjustified. Even by chance he did know, it’s still grossly unjustified.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  30th May 2020

            I was talking about heart health in general..brought up by Floyd’s autospy. Blacks in particular suffer genetically from high blood pressure and heart disease, so their rate of cardiovascular disease is probably way higher than my link would suggest.

            Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  31st May 2020

    Very interesting, the Michael Brown Wiki article

    Reply

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