Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Michael Torrance, May 28, 2020.
Violence ERUPTS In The Streets Of Imperial Decline America
People sometimes forget the media is a business like any other and in their case, their business is is to attract as big of an audience as they can. The more sensational or outrageous the stories they present, the more money they make. Reporting that the qualifications to become police officer are too low, at least in some departments, that police training needs to be upgraded, and that we saw the result in Minneapolis doesn't make them as much money as saying the incident was racially motivated. Where is the proof that race had anything to do with George Floyd's death?
I don't know the police officer in question. However, when the victims of police brutality are mainly black men, it becomes clear that there is a racial issue. Maybe not in every single case, but surely in most of them. Had the same scenario played out if George Floyd had looked more like this:
It is almost irrelevant whether one specific example of appalling police behaviour was motivated by race or not because overall data clearly shows that black people are treated disproportionally harsh and unfairly by the US criminal justice system and killed by police brutality. So if a white policeman kneels on a black man's neck until he dies then the question to ask should be where is the proof that it wasn't racially motivated?
You are never called on to prove a negative, such as "prove it was not racially motivated." The burden is on the person making the claim. In this case that is: "it was racially motivated." So far no proof it was racially motivated has been presented by the media outlets making the claim.
Have you ever seen a white man arrested with one officer on his neck, one on his back and two more to pin him down?
Really? Where was the proof that Mr Floyd needed to be restrained by kneeling on his neck until he was killed? Passing a counterfeit note is a minor felony (assuming there was guilt) and there was no evidence that he was dangerous so why was the police action so disproportionate to the crime and the risk posed by the suspect? Why were all the police officers' body cameras switched off? These are the questions to ask.
The police instigated the action against Mr Floyd so they have to prove that their action was justified and proportionate and if they can't, because of the documented history of police anti-black prejudice and disproportionate brutality towards African Americans, people are justified to assume the actions of the police in this case were motivated by racism.
Many of the black men that have been killed because of police brutality were suspects of minor crimes such as stealing a pack of cigarettes or having a broken light on the car. Many of them killed by being choked to death or shot in the back. There is no way that I can buy that there is no racism involved. The police officers in question might not have thought "hey, this is a perfect opportunity to kill a black man" but they may have been scared because they are up against a black man and therefore used much more force than needed. To be scared of black people is racism too. Racism isn't only thinking black people are less worth or disgusting or animals or whatever one might think. Seeing a black man and reacting by preparing to fight or flee is racism too. And if a police officer overreacts when learning the suspected thief or traffic offender is black, it's racism.
I have always liked and respected the police personnel in the countries I have lived in, despite the frequent abuse of power the institutions exhibit. I don't think anyone joins the police force with the intent to torture and kill people of any race, and considering the constant danger their lives are in (even from something as mundane as the virus, which had quite a few of them contract it) they are never really well paid. But the video of the white police man with his knee on a black man, George Floyd, for long after Floyd has stopped breathing needs no editorializing or inflammatory media coverage to enrage someone who cares about human life and justice. I saw it online with no commentary attached, but I saw it knowing where I live: the context is that of an Anglo-Saxon society that has systemic racism against black people, and more specifically against Black men. As a white man, I am not afraid that a policeman or policewoman will come into my own apartment and kill me, or kill me while they stop me at a traffic light, or kill me while I am walking around in my neighbourhood. No black person can claim the same, even if they have abstained from committing even the most minute of legal infractions and have lived a model law-abiding life.
Fight or flight isn't just triggered by race, though. It's a visceral reaction that can be triggered by many different attributes. For example, tatted up, burly white guys make me nervous.
The police are armed and usually have other officers with them, so their fear is far more irrational. If their first response is to use deadly force, they have no business being a cop.
It's likely a combination of all of that, actually. I do believe much of it is racially motivated, but the cops have been shown brutalizing white and elderly protesters too.
FBI AND WASHINGTON POST REPORT:
10 million arrests last year,
police were involved in fatal shootings
19 white, 9 black.
89 cops killed in line of duty.
For what it's worth... I look at things from a criminal justice PoV, case by case.
Derek Chauvin's wife is Laosian.
A neck restraint is an approved non-deadly use of force in the Minneapolis police dept. Reportedly, police generally consider a neck restraint to be the use of an arm or leg to compress someone's neck without pressuring the airway. Different from an arm chokehold, which crushes the windpipe.
NBC reported that stats show that since 2015, Minneapolis police have used a neck restraint 237 times, and in 44 of those occasions the person on whom it was used fell unconscious. NBC reported that (unidentified) police who watched the videos said that the technique which O.Chauvin used allegedly was not taught nor sanctioned by any police agency.
Elsewhere I've read that Minneapolis police used neck restraints more often on blacks, but no figures were given to back this up nor reasons for it. The implication was that it was racial targetting. I wonder if the size of the person/suspect is a factor: for instance, George Floyd was 6'6" tall. Which may explain why more blacks than whites were subjected to neck restraints.
I've also read, don't know how true, that the Minneapolis police training manual states that neck restraints are only to be used when there is danger to the police or others. If true, then it's hard to see how Mr Floyd, handcuffed at his back, was a danger to anyone.
Per the events outlined in the FBI's statement of probable cause (document to support charging Officer Chauvin), Mr Floyd was initially non-compliant about getting out of the vehicle the first set of patrol officers found him in. Later, after O.Chauvin and his partner arrived, the hancuffed Mr Floyd did get into a police car but something made O.Chauvin pull him out. After a while Mr Floyd stiffened and fell to the ground. (The medical examiner's official report said he'd suffered a heart attack, but I don't know at which point.) Might O.Chauvin have believed Mr Floyd was play acting(up) and simply decided to teach him a lesson without considering skin colour? That's a possibility thst shouldn't be ignored.
You err -- at least where Officers Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng are concerned.
From USA Today:
Also, a CBS Minnesota report extract:
WHAT THE COMPLAINT SAYS
A criminal complaint released Friday afternoon details the events that unfolded on May 25:
Officers were dispatched to Cup Foods on the report of a man buying merchandise with a counterfeit $20 bill. Shortly after 8 p.m., Officers Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng arrived with their body cameras activate and recording.
The officers learned from store workers that the man, later identified as Floyd, was parked in a car around the corner.
Body camera footage shows the officers approaching the car with Lane on the driver’s side and Kueng on the passenger side. Three people were in the car: Floyd, another man and another woman.
I hadn't heard about her being from Laos, but maybe that's because it doesn't help the media sell their story of him being a racist.
Her brother Tou Thao was one of the four police officers at the scene of the incident and has been fired along with the other three.
It is a possibility, just like it's a possibility that skin color may not have been of any importance when the allegedly racist white police officer Derek Chauvin married his wife Kellie. This is Kellie Chauvin:
But is she black? Racists aren't always racist to every race, just towards one or more specific races. Unless his wife is black, this is an irrelevant point.
Not just more often but TWICE as often as on whites. Minnesota police data showed 60% of those subjected to neck restraints and then rendered unconscious were black. About 30 percent were white. However, that doesn't tell the full story because it's also worth noting that 83% of people living in Minnesota are white and only 6% are black so overwhelmingly the police are using this tactic on black suspects.
I didn't know that. I read that Kellie filed for divorce the day O. Chauvin was arrested. She said they'd made the decision the day before, and she asked reporters not to reveal the identities of her aged parents and brother. I'd thought then that was only because O.Chauvin was her hubby.
I've been disappointed in the Lloyd family lawyer who tweeted out that O. Chauvin should be charged with 1st degree murder. Disappointed by his lack of professionalism. He supported that call over Twitter by claiming that bodycam audio recorded O.Chauvin as saying "we're staying put" when one of the other officers wanted to roll Mr Floyd on his side, which the lawyer was proof that O.Chauvin had "intent" to murder Mr Floyd. He was unashamedly manipulating public sentiment in a very intentionally unjust way -- by ignoring the next few sentences of the conversation. The very person who shouldn't be making a travesty of justice is doing just that.
He can't runaway from what he did because the criminal complaint against O.Chauvin shows him up by its regaling of the facts. And those facts show prosecutors can't be certain O.Chauvin had "intent", and the authorities charging him with murder in the third degree bears that out.
From the criminal complaint:
Prosecutors need to prove intent to successfully make a case for murder in the first degree. They don't for 3rd degree murder.
Those numbers don't tell us what happened. Many of them were probably killed when trying to do something stupid like attacking the police officer. Some might have done a "suicide by cop" thing. Some might have pretended to be armed as a way of escaping. Each case is unique.
I would also like to add that I have huge respect for the police. Most of them are great. Most, not all. And it's those bad cops that are ruining the reputation for the rest of them. There are also some really bad investigators that ruin the name for other investigators, good investigators. I often hear on the news about bad police work causing a case to either go unsolved or there not being good enough evidence because it got ruined on the crime scene for some reason. And I often hear about terrific police work where everything went excellent, like a perfect school example.
In the case of George Floyd, I assume he met a bad cop. Floyd wasn't suspected of something major, he was unarmed and he was brutally treated. I wasn't there, but the outcome and circumstances speak volumes.
I'm the same. This isn't about criticising the police overall, it's about racist police and how black people are disproportionately treated badly by the criminal justice system.
I worked for the Metropolitan Police for 16 years (not as a copper but in a civilian role) and I have huge respect for most of them. Bad police bring down the whole profession which is why seeing a policeman literally choking a guy to death enrages me.
First of all, this fact has absolutely nothing to do with the case. Other POC minorities (older generations, primarily) are known to be incredibly discriminatory toward black people, so because he married a woman who is a person of colour that doesn't instantly mean he isn't racist toward black people.
You don't put your knee on someone's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds without the intent to murder.
You don't continue to hold your knee on someone's neck when they have not moved or spoken for several minutes and have started to bleed from their nose without the intent to murder.
You don't continue to hold your knee on someone's neck when the paramedics arrive and need to check for a pulse without the intent to murder.
I don't know why some people are so determined to defend this murderer?
Use my name. Don't be shy.
Separate names with a comma.