Wednesday 27th May 2020
I have just witnessed one of the most disturbing things caught on camera. The slow death of a person, pleading for help, occasionally screaming. At some stage he calls out for his dead mother.
He is being kneeled on the neck by a sociopath till suffocated and wets himself, while people all around plead for the man to get off. After the victim passes out the perpetrator continues, in broad daylight, in full eyes of the law as they tell him he’s unconscious, not moving, not breathing, with blood from his nose. Another assailant keeps watch, standing ground against the gathering, both being armed.
The onlookers ask him to just check for a pulse, which the men ignore, along with the fact they are being filmed the entire time, and their badge numbers recorded and still they do not budge. It is the arrogance of killing, of complete power.
How dangerous can an unarmed man be, handcuffed behind, another man on his back, another on his neck for 8 minutes and passed out, no longer moving?
After the killing, with the lifeless body hauled onto an ambulance, the police officer gets off, head held high as the crowd yell he just killed a man. He briefly talks to the ambulance workers, another police officer, then calmly gets into the squad car and drives off without another glance.
George Floyd wasn’t even formally charged. Reports of a fake banknote had sent the police down, who then claim he got belligerent, that when they arrested him they then noticed he was in need of medical aid. From the video that does appear to be true – because two police officers are sitting on him and slowly suffocating him.
He called out that he couldn’t breathe, an echo of the 2014 case of Eric Garner, another unarmed Black man arrested for illegally selling single cigarettes in NYC, and choked to death in an arm hold, who said the same words eleven times as he was suddenly slammed to the ground by several police officers. In that instance no one was ever prosecuted, not even for manslaughter, and the one officer using the illegal hold only sacked four years later.
George Floyd also asked them: ‘Please don’t kill me’. What were his thoughts as he could hear the people pleading, and it being ignored? No longer able to move, just lying there. This is what being buried alive is like, as people watch helplessly. The police and news have subsequently reported he died shortly after arrival in hospital, the video shows him dying in front of our eyes, or at the very least inculcating everything that led to his death.
*edit*^ the emergency crew transcript has since shown that when they turned up his body was pulseless and not breathing. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. In short George Floyd is killed on screen, in real time.
************WARNING ******* DISTURBING VIEWING **************
Jacob Frey, the Mayor of Minneapolis where the killing took place, was visibly moved. He mentioned: “Being Black in America should not be a death sentence.” It comes fast on the heels of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, shotgunned three times as he was jogging, and condemned to death for peeking into a house under construction -cameras record several visits that day by passersby, though all were White and thus did not incur the tresspass of the local Neighbourhood Lynchmob, armed with guns and pickups.
Protests have taken over Minneapolis, one of America’s most progressive and livable cities on par with the Nordic qualities and equalities of life. Outside the house of the officer in question, now sacked, a small crowd gathered, peaceful, with the local head of police joining them. They blocked all food deliveries being sent to the property.
A larger gathering (expanded by social distancing) met at the crossroads where George Floyd died then marched to the 3rd Precinct where the officers are stationed. Police confronted the so-far peaceful march with tear gas and foaming bullets (used to identify people after), which was replied with a barrage of plastic water bottles anyone was carrying. As dusk came harder missiles began to be thrown, police vehicles spray painted and in the streets running battles with vigilantes.
There is something very wrong with our world when an innocent man can be murdered in public, for a horror-stricken world to watch. How many times has this happened before? Before the advent of cameras and filming on our phones? That still happens when crowds are not around to see it? The fact that when police had to adopt body cameras themselves, police complaints fell by 93%, showing they not only protected the police but the public from them.
George Floyd, remember his name.