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Alex_Krycek

The Killing of George Floyd: The Last Straw?

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Posted (edited)

America has seen yet another merciless killing of an unarmed person of color at the hands of police.  This time though, it seems different.  In the past, even with video tape, things happened quickly.  An officer overreacted and shot an unarmed person.  Sometimes the situation was ambiguous, sometimes not.  

But there was always a sense in previous police killings that somehow the officer had slipped up; gotten it wrong.  Call it a lack of training, tunnel vision, PTSD - whatever term describes a person who under situations of extreme stress cannot act in good judgement and makes a fatal error, costing an innocent person their life.

But George Floyd's killing wasn't ambiguous.  It wasn't a quick mistake.  It wasn't in any way a temporary lapse in judgement due to environmental confusion or overwhelm.  This was an officer who pressed his knee, purposefully and carefully, into the neck of a man who had already been subdued and was lying on his stomach, handcuffed, on the ground.  Protected by three fellow officers, Derek Chauvin painstakingly extinguished George Floyd's life over the course of seven long minutes, ignoring his pleas for help and deteriorating condition and the admonitions of bystanders to "let him breathe".  

As trivial as it may seem, it was the speed of the killing which sets this incident apart.  Here was an officer, who through his willful and calculated actions told onlookers: "I will end this man's life in broad daylight, and you can do nothing to stop me."  It was the slow deliberateness which makes this incident stand out, the remarkable brazenness and precision, that could leave no doubt that this officer had zero respect for George Floyd's life, and, zero fear for any kind of reprisal or punishment to himself or his colleagues.   When the act was done, the paramedics came and George Floyd was dumped onto a stretcher like a bag of garbage.  

There have been so many of these incidents and people forget them.   I think George Floyd is going to be the one that never leaves the public consciousness.  Those seven long minutes cannot be forgotten.  

What is your take on police brutality in America?  Is it relegated to only certain sections of the country, or is it more systemic?  How can this issue be solved?

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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With any luck the officer will get convicted of premeditated murder,

One thing I would add...
In most other parts of the world, the police are trained to de-escalate the situation, and deal with it with minimal, or no force.
In the US, because of that damned second amendment right to bear arms, the police are trained to take all offenders, no matter the crime, down with extreme prejudice. I remember a NY state trooper drawing a gun on me at 4:00am, 35 years ago, coming home on the highway from a bar.

America's love affair with firearms seems to be related to a lot of problems in American society.

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The last straw? For some, perhaps. But I am reminded of the tweet from Dan Hodges regarding Sandy Hook

“In retrospect,” wrote Hodges, “Sandy Hook marked the end of the U.S. gun-control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

 
I think the same sentiment applies here. Previous incidents, almost too numerous to mention, should have been the last straw — and weren't. Too many have decided this is tolerable, or ignorable.
 
IOW, I wouldn't hold my breath hoping that this one incident swings the pendulum very far. People who have tolerated this kind of violence over time aren't going to be swayed. They are more incensed by Colin Kaepernick taking a knee. Pointing out the racial injustice hurts them more than the injustice.
 
What I think is more likely is that reform comes if we vote the people who have supported or tolerated this kind of behavior out of office, but they will be voted out for other reasons as well. If that happens, this will be part of it, but nowhere close to the whole of it. 
 
edit to add: one difference here is Trump stepping in, owing to the protests. His anti-Midas touch might amplify things.

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There have been so many "last" straws, I have lost count. Just a few months earlier, a black jogger was murdered by gun-toting folks but that was not all, while he was jogging he accrued at least two 911 calls, one of them calling because a black guy was running down the street. I am not sure whether this incident will be remembered as extraordinary either. There have been so many mind blowing incidences. Remember John Crawford III? He was killed in a walmart after handling a BB gun in the toy aisle while on the phone. You know, in a store where they also sell real weapons in an open carry state. Police came in after an idiot made a 911 call about a black man brandishing a gun. He was killed before he could he could even react. No charges were laid. Philando Castille is another prominent incident. I submit that these incidences will imprint folks very differently.

Even if it ends up non-violent, there have been a string of 911 calls on black folks who did nothing out of the ordinary.  Sure, this case seems to be more gruesome than some of the others. And perhaps more importantly, it has been captured on video but many folks do see it as part of larger system of disenfranchisement. The police is not felt as protective agency, at best it is seen adversarial. A common interaction can turn lethal, with higher frequency for some folks (yes, not exclusively, but if embedded in historic experience it sure is heavily slanted). The measures of securing wealth have been systematically moved out of reach. Political powers have been and are continued to be minimized. And to add insult to injury, folks in power deny the experience of minorities, especially of black folks.

 

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18 hours ago, Alex_Krycek said:

America has seen yet another merciless killing of an unarmed person of color at the hands of police.  This time though, it seems different.  In the past, even with video tape, things happened quickly.  An officer overreacted and shot an unarmed person.  Sometimes the situation was ambiguous, sometimes not.  

But there was always a sense in previous police killings that somehow the officer had slipped up; gotten it wrong.  Call it a lack of training, tunnel vision, PTSD - whatever term describes a person who under situations of extreme stress cannot act in good judgement and makes a fatal error, costing an innocent person their life.

But George Floyd's killing wasn't ambiguous.  It wasn't a quick mistake.  It wasn't in any way a temporary lapse in judgement due to environmental confusion or overwhelm.  This was an officer who pressed his knee, purposefully and carefully, into the neck of a man who had already been subdued and was lying on his stomach, handcuffed, on the ground.  Protected by three fellow officers, Derek Chauvin painstakingly extinguished George Floyd's life over the course of seven long minutes, ignoring his pleas for help and deteriorating condition and the admonitions of bystanders to "let him breathe".  

As trivial as it may seem, it was the speed of the killing which sets this incident apart.  Here was an officer, who through his willful and calculated actions told onlookers: "I will end this man's life in broad daylight, and you can do nothing to stop me."  It was the slow deliberateness which makes this incident stand out, the remarkable brazenness and precision, that could leave no doubt that this officer had zero respect for George Floyd's life, and, zero fear for any kind of reprisal or punishment to himself or his colleagues.   When the act was done, the paramedics came and George Floyd was dumped onto a stretcher like a bag of garbage.  

There have been so many of these incidents and people forget them.   I think George Floyd is going to be the one that never leaves the public consciousness.  Those seven long minutes cannot be forgotten.  

What is your take on police brutality in America?  Is it relegated to only certain sections of the country, or is it more systemic?  How can this issue be solved?

I think it was likely more "I will torture this man, under the guise of restraining him, because I am a malicious idiot with no concern or understanding of any consequences" 

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Maybe there was a history between D Chauvin and G Floyd.
I read last night, that the two knew each other, having worked security together, in the past.

D Trump may reconsider his Tweets now that protests/riots have spread to the capital.
Apparently the White House went in lockdown last night.

It doesn't look like the charges laid against D Chauvin have calmed the protests/riots very much.

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1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I think it was likely more "I will torture this man, under the guise of restraining him, because I am a malicious idiot with no concern or understanding of any consequences" 

I imagine because there usually aren't any.

I bet he'd act differently if he had the gifts of "Captain Hindsight".

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

Maybe there was a history between D Chauvin and G Floyd.
I read last night, that the two knew each other, having worked security together, in the past.

Yep - they worked together.  Likely there was some beef, or Chauvin had it in for him for some unknown reason, and this was his opportunity.

3 hours ago, MigL said:

It doesn't look like the charges laid against D Chauvin have calmed the protests/riots very much.

Unfortunately the protests have been infiltrated by those without peaceful intentions.  Their only intention is to cause chaos and anarchy for their own gain. 

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On 5/29/2020 at 10:22 AM, Alex_Krycek said:

America has seen yet another merciless killing of an unarmed person of color at the hands of police.  This time though, it seems different.  In the past, even with video tape, things happened quickly.  An officer overreacted and shot an unarmed person.  Sometimes the situation was ambiguous, sometimes not.  

But there was always a sense in previous police killings that somehow the officer had slipped up; gotten it wrong.  Call it a lack of training, tunnel vision, PTSD - whatever term describes a person who under situations of extreme stress cannot act in good judgement and makes a fatal error, costing an innocent person their life.

But George Floyd's killing wasn't ambiguous.  It wasn't a quick mistake.  It wasn't in any way a temporary lapse in judgement due to environmental confusion or overwhelm.  This was an officer who pressed his knee, purposefully and carefully, into the neck of a man who had already been subdued and was lying on his stomach, handcuffed, on the ground.  Protected by three fellow officers, Derek Chauvin painstakingly extinguished George Floyd's life over the course of seven long minutes, ignoring his pleas for help and deteriorating condition and the admonitions of bystanders to "let him breathe".  

As trivial as it may seem, it was the speed of the killing which sets this incident apart.  Here was an officer, who through his willful and calculated actions told onlookers: "I will end this man's life in broad daylight, and you can do nothing to stop me."  It was the slow deliberateness which makes this incident stand out, the remarkable brazenness and precision, that could leave no doubt that this officer had zero respect for George Floyd's life, and, zero fear for any kind of reprisal or punishment to himself or his colleagues.   When the act was done, the paramedics came and George Floyd was dumped onto a stretcher like a bag of garbage.  

There have been so many of these incidents and people forget them.   I think George Floyd is going to be the one that never leaves the public consciousness.  Those seven long minutes cannot be forgotten.  

What is your take on police brutality in America?  Is it relegated to only certain sections of the country, or is it more systemic?  How can this issue be solved?

Police who abuse the power we trust them with are not only attacking an individual, they are attacking the social contract. I believe that a police officer who knowingly perverts justice in this way should life in prison with no chance of parole, along with any of his fellow officers who stood by when they could've helped.

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He should get life in prison for breach of contract ??
Not for murdering a person, with video evidence ??

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I think Jack means that besides being punished for murder, the fact that this person was part of the system (society), and misused his power, he is breaking the social contract, which should be punished by life in prison with no chance of parole (according to Jack). If this police officer had not killed anyone, but still abused his power, I think Jack would also want this person to go to prison for life, without parole because it is breaking the social contract that individuals sign with (are forced to sign with) society.

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51 minutes ago, Dagl1 said:

I think Jack means that besides being punished for murder, the fact that this person was part of the system (society), and misused his power, he is breaking the social contract, which should be punished by life in prison with no chance of parole (according to Jack). If this police officer had not killed anyone, but still abused his power, I think Jack would also want this person to go to prison for life, without parole because it is breaking the social contract that individuals sign with (are forced to sign with) society.

Then most of the government would be in jail.

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1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

Then most of the government would be in jail.

Would that be a bad thing? I do myself subscribe to the idea that those in power should be held to higher standards than those that are not, and that if you do something wrong or abuse your power, you should be punished more severely (the higher you are, the longer the fall. comes to mind).

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1 hour ago, Dagl1 said:

Would that be a bad thing? I do myself subscribe to the idea that those in power should be held to higher standards than those that are not, and that if you do something wrong or abuse your power, you should be punished more severely (the higher you are, the longer the fall. comes to mind).

That would be ideal, unfortunately the person America chose to drain the swamp, is 'Swamp-thing'. 

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Posted (edited)

I doubt there was intent to murder and likely the cop thought what he was doing would not kill the man - especially with bystanders recording. A bit of time honored unofficial "teach the scum a lesson", perhaps intended for the bystanders more than George Floyd, but gone wrong? Perhaps every attempt George made to struggle and shift to get a breath was taken as defiance - and so he was held down harder and longer?

The rioting and destruction of property is counterproductive of course - and it won't matter that the vast majority of protest was/is peaceful. I don't know how Americans will reconcile their own history re Boston Tea Party being celebrated with property destruction as protest being innately wrong now; my own view is it WAS wrong back then too.

I tend to see social unrest as inherently chaotic and easily incited to destruction and violence and it is potentially hugely expensive - that if legitimate and widespread grievances are not dealt with that kind of outcome becomes more likely. Not that property destruction is legitimate or that it will get the results wanted, but that it is a predictable outcome that good governance prevents.

Edited by Ken Fabian

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1 hour ago, Ken Fabian said:

I doubt there was intent to murder and likely the cop thought what he was doing would not kill the man - especially with bystanders recording. A bit of time honored unofficial "teach the scum a lesson", perhaps intended for the bystanders more than George Floyd, but gone wrong? Perhaps every attempt George made to struggle and shift to get a breath was taken as defiance - and so he was held down harder and longer?

Which is not something that should be tolerated with police.

1. The view that they are "scum" should not be tolerated. Everyone is supposed to be equal under the law, and innocent until proven guilty. Everyone has rights.

2. It is not the job of the police to mete out punishment. They are not the judge and jury.

3. He was handcuffed, which should severely limit the use of physical force against him.

 

1 hour ago, Ken Fabian said:

The rioting and destruction of property is counterproductive of course - and it won't matter that the vast majority of protest was/is peaceful. I don't know how Americans will reconcile their own history re Boston Tea Party being celebrated with property destruction as protest being innately wrong now; my own view is it WAS wrong back then too.

Some of the destruction has been initiated by people hijacking the protests and inciting violence. A person was just arrested for setting for to the Nashville courthouse. He's white. Others have been caught on film. Most of those arrested in Minneapolis were from out of town. Law enforcement has seen messages on white supremacist sites encouraging members to go and stir up trouble at the protests.

On top of all that, the police are inciting violence, too, instead of de-escalating.

 

1 hour ago, Ken Fabian said:

I tend to see social unrest as inherently chaotic and easily incited to destruction and violence and it is potentially hugely expensive - that if legitimate and widespread grievances are not dealt with that kind of outcome becomes more likely. Not that property destruction is legitimate or that it will get the results wanted, but that it is a predictable outcome that good governance prevents.

If people got as riled up about violence by the police as they do about property destruction, this would be far less of an issue.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ken Fabian said:

A bit of time honored unofficial "teach the scum a lesson", perhaps intended for the bystanders more than George Floyd, but gone wrong? Perhaps every attempt George made to struggle and shift to get a breath was taken as defiance - and so he was held down harder and longer?

That's not much of an excuse...

1 hour ago, Ken Fabian said:

I tend to see social unrest as inherently chaotic and easily incited to destruction and violence and it is potentially hugely expensive - that if legitimate and widespread grievances are not dealt with that kind of outcome becomes more likely. Not that property destruction is legitimate or that it will get the results wanted, but that it is a predictable outcome that good governance prevents.

I listened to a report on BBC World Service this morning, from a correspondent (of many years experience in reporting on protest's) who described how an initially peaceful protest is more often than not esculated by the action of the police. 

One has to wonder (given the political leverage gained by a full riot, against the political damage a legitimate "peaceful' protest can inspire) where the orders came from?    

 

Edited by dimreepr

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I am torn as well.
While I see the value of protest as a voice to people for the enactment of change, most of the time violence/destruction/looting are counterproductive. Although there have been a few good examples of protests where the police has marched with protesters, taken a knee, or even read names of past police killings.
Even the 'chanting' of lines like "I can't breathe",  "Black lives matter", etc. are counterproductive.
While I agree America needs to have a long hard discussion about these matters, these 'slogans' seem to just drown out the discussion, and more like temper tantrums of little kids. They remind me of the sheep in G Orwell's Animal Farm, drowning out the other animals' complaints about the pigs in charge. Protesters should be speaking with one unified voice and be inclusive.
( and there's no better example of well-reasoned discussion than this forum )

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1 minute ago, MigL said:

While I see the value of protest as a voice to people for the enactment of change, most of the time violence/destruction/looting are counterproductive. Although there have been a few good examples of protests where the police has marched with protesters, taken a knee, or even read names of past police killings.
Even the 'chanting' of lines like "I can't breathe",  "Black lives matter", etc. are counterproductive.
While I agree America needs to have a long hard discussion about these matters, these 'slogans' seem to just drown out the discussion, and more like temper tantrums of little kids. They remind me of the sheep in G Orwell's Animal Farm, drowning out the other animals' complaints about the pigs in charge. Protesters should be speaking with one unified voice and be inclusive.

That usually takes a great leader, they're not exactly thick on the ground ATM.

What's happening now, is planting the seeds of one (I hope)...

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16 minutes ago, MigL said:

While I agree America needs to have a long hard discussion about these matters, these 'slogans' seem to just drown out the discussion, and more like temper tantrums of little kids. They remind me of the sheep in G Orwell's Animal Farm, drowning out the other animals' complaints about the pigs in charge. Protesters should be speaking with one unified voice and be inclusive.

Speaking with one unified voice often sounds just like angry slogan chanting. It's not their fault that you're smarter and want deeper reasoning than their average spectator. Speaking as if to a child is about as inclusive as you can expect anybody to be in a protest where safety is a concern. I don't see the problem here, MigL.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ken Fabian said:

Boston Tea Party being celebrated with property destruction as protest being innately wrong now; my own view is it WAS wrong back then too.

Do you doubt the result? 

A legitimate attempt, by the founding father's, to create a better society.

There is no utopia...

There is just, better than now...

But if you don't want that, the chances are, your now is better than theirs... and good for you... 😉

Edited by dimreepr

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3 hours ago, dimreepr said:

an initially peaceful protest is more often than not escalated by the action of the police. 

Police in Louisville, Kentucky opened fired on peaceful protesters last night and killed a demonstrator. On Saturday, Louisville police violently escalated protests and shot a teenage girl in the face with a rubber bullet, captured in a photo that went viral. The Louisville PD is also responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor, a young nurse who was a beloved member of the community. Louisville PD raided her house in the middle of the night and executed her in a hail of gunfire. Not a single officer has been arrested.

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3 hours ago, swansont said:

Which is not something that should be tolerated with police.

1. The view that they are "scum" should not be tolerated. Everyone is supposed to be equal under the law, and innocent until proven guilty. Everyone has rights.

2. It is not the job of the police to mete out punishment. They are not the judge and jury.

3. He was handcuffed, which should severely limit the use of physical force against him.

 

I'm pretty certain Ken 's referring to "teach the scum a lesson", being in quotes, was describing the poisonous thought process, not advocating for it.

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Thankfully, we have a president willing to step in between the anger and angst and de-escalate tensions. Oh, wait...

 

presidentrants.png

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