Vox Populi

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Video: Liberal Redneck | Minnesota Burning

Justice for George Floyd. These cops are out of control, y’all.

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African-American man, died in Powderhorn, a neighborhood south of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. While Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on a city street during an arrest, Derek Chauvin, a European-American Minneapolis police officer, kept his knee on the right side of Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin, 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time occurred after Floyd became unresponsive. Officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane participated in Floyd’s arrest, with Kueng holding Floyd’s back, Lane holding his legs, and Thao looking on as he stood nearby. Preliminary results from the official autopsy found no indication that Floyd died of strangulation or traumatic asphyxia, but that the combined effects of being restrained, underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death. An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd’s family found that Floyd’s death was “caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain”.

The arrest was made after Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market. Police said Floyd physically resisted arrest. Some media organizations commented that a security camera from a nearby business did not show Floyd resisting. The criminal complaint filed later stated that based on body camera footage, Floyd repeatedly stated he couldn’t breathe while standing outside the police car, resisted getting in the car and intentionally fell down. Several bystanders recorded the event on their smartphones, with one video showing Floyd repeating “Please,” “I can’t breathe,” “Mama,” and “Don’t kill me” being widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media. All four officers were fired the next day.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is also investigating possible violations of Minnesota statutes. On May 29, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death, with Hennepin County attorney Michael O. Freeman saying he anticipated charges to be brought against the other three officers at the scene.

After Floyd’s death, demonstrations and protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area were initially peaceful on May 26, but later that day became violent as windows were smashed at a police precinct, two stores were set on fire, and many stores were looted and damaged. Some demonstrators skirmished with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets.Additional protests developed in over 100 cities throughout all 50 states in the United States, as well as internationally. Floyd’s death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner. Garner, also an unarmed black man, repeated “I can’t breathe” eleven times after being placed in a chokehold by a New York police officer during an arrest in Staten Island.

[adapted from Wikpedia]

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