May 19, 2024
Toward Justice — and Order — in Minneapolis
A Minneapolis police station was invaded and burned by an outraged mob.
A Minneapolis police station was invaded and burned by an outraged mob.

George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died shortly after being physically restrained by four Minneapolis police officers on Monday. His arrest on suspicion of a non-violent crime (passing a counterfeit $20 bill) was caught on a cellphone video and at least two store surveillance videos. From the videos that are public so far, it seems clear that the police used excessive force that killed him. He looked lifeless when released from the hold. Medics could not find a pulse. He was dead on arrival at the hospital.

The cellphone video is hard to watch: An officer kneels on Floyd’s neck, while two others hold him down. He moans “Please, I can’t breathe. . . . My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. . . . (I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.” The police suspected Floyd of being intoxicated and say they found him uncooperative, and he was an enormous man who had once done time for armed robbery, but there appears no sign that he was violent or dangerous. The surveillance videos do not even appear to show him resisting. Kneeling on a man’s neck is an extreme and dangerous step, well out of bounds for ordinary police procedures. The kneeling officer appears to have a long track record of complaints.

The citizens of Minneapolis are right to demand an investigation and potential prosecution. As bad as the videos look, however, we have a constitutional process for examining such cases for a reason. Videos, especially those that pick up partway into an incident, can be misleading. The facts may justify criminal prosecution, yet call for some judgment on the appropriate charges and whether to charge all four officers identically.

There is no sign that the authorities are dragging their feet. The day after Floyd’s death, all four officers were fired, and the FBI launched an investigation. The mayor and the chief of police denounced what happened. If the facts are as bad as they appear in the videos, the officers — or at least the lead officer — would seem to have little defense.

Yet, while the wheels of justice are moving swiftly, that has not prevented opportunists from erupting into riots, looting, and arson. Sacking a Target for televisions and burning down local businesses is no way to get justice for anyone. It is, instead, likely to add to the misery of people living on the margins and already hard-hit by the shutdown of the economy. It is also not recommended social distancing. No excuses should be made, or accepted, for theft and destruction. The police and the National Guard can and should restore order, which is itself a precondition of justice.

See Also:

(1) Minneapolis Third Precinct police station set on fire after rioters break in

(2) [VIDEO] Minneapolis Police Precinct on Fire, Police Abandon Area, as Riots Over Death of George Floyd Escalate

(3) Violent Rioters Breach Ohio Statehouse, Breaking Windows and Entering Building to Protest Death of George Floyd

(4) Footage emerges from Minneapolis of a mob attacking a wheelchair-bound woman

(5) Rush Limbaugh Makes Point About the Media’s Treatment of the ‘Protesters’ in Minneapolis

Update 2:55am, May 30th, 2020:

(6) Minneapolis cop who knelt on handcuffed black man George Floyd charged with 3rd degree murder, manslaughter

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BrianC
BrianC
May 30, 2020 5:32 pm

I was living in a suburb of LA during the Rodney King riots and remember military troop carriers with rifle armed national guardsmen patrolling the streets and business owners camped out on their rooftops with shotguns in case they needed to prevent their livelihood from being looted or burned to the ground. At least, back then, the news referred to them as rioters and not peaceful protesters. I have a nephew that works as a police officer in downtown LA and I worry about his safety right now.
That said, having watched the video, there is absolutely no excuse for what the awful disgrace of a scumbag did. I am 100% confident that if it wasn’t recorded he would be back at work abusing the authority that was entrusted to him. Just as awful are the police that stood by and watched this occur. Because of this and many other incidences from your local cops to the heads of the FBI/CIA, many police throughout North America can now look forward to the next 50 years of trying to regain any semblance of trust or respect.

BTDT
BTDT
May 30, 2020 2:33 pm

During a press conference on Saturday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) stated that the “best estimate” is that 80% of the people rioting in the state are not from Minnesota.

George Floyd’s death is not the reason for these riots. It is the excuse. This is not an race issue. These protestors will be directed to anywhere in America they can execute their battle plan. This is not a race against race issue. This is an ideological issue. It is good against evil. Tyranny against freedom. It is by a huge percentage a political issue. These rioters are 80% imports. They are an invading army. They are highly mobile. They are well funded. Their goal is to destroy property and given the time and leeway, life. Lots of lives. It is by no other description domestic terrorism. It should be labelled as such and responded to as such.

IF only the FBI could (had been for years in anticipation of this) have pretended that these domestic terrorists were instead patriotic American 4 Star Generals. Events around the country over the past 6-8 years clearly forecast today’s guaranteed situation somewhere sometime. WTF did the FBI do? Obviously SFA. If only the FBI could have/had focused a fraction of the time and effort it expended falsely framing General Flynn into infiltrating these radical groups. The anti-American conspirators (George Soros) organizing and funding along with the ring leaders would all be in jail by now. If only the FBI had focused that ‘frame General Flynn’ into pro-America. If only the former Obama FBI and DOJ had been able to find within itself the energy, the desire, the determination to honour the oath they swore to uphold, the patriotism of country that Americans used to believe (but no more) was a given. These success of these riots IMO falls directly on the incompetent shoulders of failed, utterly failed shoulders of perpetually smirking Christopher Wray.

BTDT
BTDT
May 30, 2020 1:11 pm

I wrote Trey Gowdy off months ago. He’s not much different than Lindsey Graham. With his education, training and experience in the justice system for him to come out and prematurely label this as flat out murder is to me shocking. Where did innocent until proven guilty (in a court of law) go, Trey? When did vigilantism supersede the American legal system, Trey? Video or no video, America has, or was supposed to have progressed beyond the nearest tree and a length of rope mentality. No shocker really, the autopsy is reported to concluded that cause of death was not asphyxiation. This officer used excessive force, no argument. Police brutality, no argument. Did he deserve to be fired? Absolutely. Prosecuted? Well, how about we wait until the investigation is concluded for crying out loud. A fact based investigation not emotion based as outwardly seems to be the case with the murder charge before the autopsy results.

From the get go, at least to me it seems evident in the video the officer was not applying pressure to the deceased ‘windpipe’ or carotid arteries. His “I can’t breath” was not at least what can be seen from the video could have been because of the placement of the officers knee. Period. If his airway was choked off then would he be able to speak? Again and again. Think about that. But don’ take my word for that. If you don’t already know then look up where the ‘windpipe’ and carotid arteries are located in the neck.

But there could be more video and if so where is it? But from what we have been shown thus far there is no doubt what the officer was doing hurt like hell. No surprise here at least that the cause of death appears to be a combo of pre-conditions. Heart disease and possibly (legal or illegal) narcotics. The bottom line is that this officer’s actions as horrific as they are depicted in the video were either the cause of death or a contributing factor or they weren’t. Now it appears they may not even rise to the level of manslaughter unless it can proven the knee on the neck was a ‘mitigating factor’. If it comes down to that the evidence does then refusing to accept that outcome is the difference between a civilized law abiding country and a 3rd world shithole. You know, the kind of country the Democrats and most of the media are cheering on the rioters as they drive America into becoming.

Trey Gowdy’s new role as judge, jury and executioner used to be beneath him. Emphasis on ‘used to be’.