A guy named George Floyd went into a store and bought stuff with a counterfeit $20 bill. The cashier spotted the counterfeit and went out to ask George to return the stuff he bought –
Not a chain store, apparently, or at least not especially bridled by corporate. Corporate hates when staff confront customers in any way. The liability, you see.
– anyway, George seemed a bit out of it, so the cashier called 911 and reported that a guy had just passed a fake twenty and was still in the area.
Here’s the 911 transcript. The cashier didn’t pull an Amy Cooper and claim that George had “threatened his life” or was in any way dangerous. In fact, she called the store owner shortly afterward, crying and asking for advice on how to respond to what happened next…
The cops came. Initial police reports stated that George “physically resisted” in some unspecified way. That’s theoretically possible, but since the available evidence shows the cop ordering George to get up and get in the car while kneeling on his neck and making that impossible, we can safely assume that the police reports are full of shit.
…that is, we could safely assume that even before the other videos came out, showing us that aside from acting a little stumble-drunk, George Floyd didn’t do anything even vaguely resembling “physical resistance.”
That kneeling on his neck went on for long enough to kill him, and just to make sure, the cop kept kneeling on his neck until paramedics arrived.
At one point during all this, one of the other cops on the scene apparently told a bystander, “He’s talking, he’s fine.”
Officer, I’d like to introduce you to Giles Corey…
Do Minnesota schools mention the Salem witch trials? Apparently they do, or at least I found evidence that some of them do in a matter of seconds. Cops as a group aren’t known for their learning, though, so maybe we could give this cop the benefit of the doubt… but we won’t, because we’ve heard too many excuses about too many cases of police violence. We especially won’t be giving the benefit of the doubt to Minneapolis cops, who I’ve written about one of the other times they killed someone for no good reason and who have been caught lying once in this story already. (Wikipedia has a fuller overview of the Minneapolis PD’s trustworthiness.)
And speaking of trustworthiness, the medical examiner who tried to shift some/most of the blame for George’s death to “his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system“… words fail me.
People are, naturally, pissed off.
They were pissed after Derek Chauvin (the one with the knee on George Floyd’s neck) and the other three cops on the scene were fired, because the obvious assumption is that they’ll be hired by another department or sit around collecting checks for the next several decades. And they remained pissed after Chauvin was charged with murder, because the obvious assumption is that he’ll get off – recent cases show that a cop has to fuck up spectacularly and kill a blatantly innocemt person WHILE OFF DUTY to get actual jail time. (Peter Liang, who only met two of those criteria, got probation.)
And that’s why my Twitter timeline last night was half-full of fire, smashed windows, and arguments over the justifiability of burning stuff and smashing windows in this circumstance.