Say His Name: George Floyd

Seven jurors were selected this week for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who, on May 25th, 2020 brutally murdered a Black man, George Floyd, by throwing Floyd facedown on the ground, handcuffed, and then keeping his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes.  With only two more jurors to be chosen, I would expect the trial to begin next week.

Keep your eye on this one, folks, for there is so much evidence I don’t see how Chauvin can possibly escape conviction.  But he is white, Mr. Floyd was Black, and this is the United States of Bigotry.

My understanding is that Chauvin’s lawyers plan to try to make the claim that it was not Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck that killed him, but rather that drugs were found in his system that led to his death.  ‘Scuse me, but that is the biggest load of crap I’ve heard in a long time.  The video plainly shows the truth, that Mr. Floyd was gasping, saying, “I can’t breathe,” while Chauvin kept putting his weight on Floyd’s neck and the other three officers stood by doing not one damn thing.

The coroner’s report indicates that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death but not that the drugs were the cause of death.  Both the coroner’s report and an independent autopsy report have ruled Mr. Floyd’s death a homicide.  Can’t get much clearer than that.

On Friday, the city of Minneapolis approved a $27 million payment to the family of George Floyd to settle the wrongful death lawsuit brought against the city.  No, it can’t bring him back into his children’s lives, but it will at least ensure those children will have their needs met since their dad can’t be there to take care of them.  Said Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender …

“No amount of money can ever address the intense pain or trauma caused by this death to George Floyd’s family or to the people of our city. Minneapolis has been fundamentally changed by this time of racial reckoning and this city council is united in working together with our community, and the Floyd family to equitably reshape our city of Minneapolis.”

A twist, though.  Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, sought to block any mention of the payout by the city to the Floyd’s family, arguing it would be prejudicial.  Yes, perhaps it would be, but in the most honest way … the city is admitting that it was their officer(s) who murdered Mr. Floyd.  Well, it was … it’s all right there on video for the world to see!  What, is Nelson next going to request that the video not be played in court?  Or, what happens when Nelson realizes that every person on the jury is already aware of the city’s payout, as surely they must be, since it has been widely publicized in the press.  Will Nelson then move to declare a mistrial?

Time after time after time, police officers have gotten by with murdering Black people in this country and not been held accountable.  This time damn well better be different!  Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  The evidence is plain for all to see.  If he does not go to prison … then there is no justice left in this country.

On a related note …

On March 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  Once again, the bill passed along partisan lines with two democrats voting against, and one republican voting for, but he later said it was a mistake, that he meant to vote ‘nay’ but accidentally hit the wrong button.  When the bill reaches the Senate, it will no doubt be subjected to a ridiculous filibuster by the republicans and will fail.  Let’s take a look at what these damn fools will be voting against …

The bill would ban chokeholds, end racial and religious profiling, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants. It also contains several provisions that would make it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct in civil and criminal court. One proposal long sought by civil rights advocates would change “qualified immunity,” the legal doctrine that shields officers from lawsuits, by lowering the bar for plaintiffs to sue officers for alleged civil rights violations.

Do you see anything … one single thing objectionable in that?  I don’t.  It means that even someone the police are arresting has the right not to be murdered, and it means that police will be held accountable for their actions, just as they should be.  A person in a position of trust must be trustworthy.

Derek Chauvin had 18 complaints on his official record, two of which ended in discipline, including official letters of reprimand. He had been involved in three police shootings, one of which was fatal.  And yet, he was still on the police force and was still allowed to carry a gun … and use his knee to murder a man!  This is why we need the bill to pass in the Senate … Derek Chauvin is the poster boy for bad cops, and he is not alone.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act must pass, for if it doesn’t, it will be a thumbs up to every police officer that it’s okay to be a racist, that it’s okay to use excessive force, and that there will be no consequences.  Do your job, Senators!  By the same token, Derek Chauvin must be prosecuted and found guilty, else it will open doors that nobody in their right mind wants to walk through.  Do your job, jury!

Remember the Black Lives Matter protests last summer?  Almost all were peaceful until outside influences intervened, but I’m not sure the same will be true this summer if justice is not done, if Derek Chauvin is found to be above the law because his skin is white.

23 thoughts on “Say His Name: George Floyd

  1. Pingback: Say his name (with a towel) | Wibble

  2. It’s long overdue that corrupt cops should be held accountable for their actions just like any citizen. They should not be above the law they took an oath to uphold. Our criminal justice system has been broken for a very long time,
    Convicting Mr. Chauvin is the right course of action, but then we must re-evaluate the corrupt prosecutors, judges, prisons… the whole school to prison pipeline that enrich the “criminal justice” system, while keeping POC exploited and impoverished.
    Saddest part is, i wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the cop was found not guilty! 27 million is alot of money, the powers that be can and will shake down the jurors to vote against justice. Watch the movie “Runaway Jury” with John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman – so much shady stuff going down during trial, shuddering.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lets hope justice will come back to court. Here in Germany we have had mysterious migrant deaths again and again for a number of years. These burn in cells of police stations. So far nobody seems to think that something is not going right here, in the system. Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    • Unfortunately, the courts are often more political than they should be, but like you, I hope that justice will be done in this case and so many others like it where racism has led to police brutality against Blacks and others. It sounds like Germany has racism in high places, as well. My question has always been … WHY can’t people just accept everyone as equals? The question has never been answered to my satisfaction. Sigh.

      Like

  4. This is one of those bills that shows someone is looking to bring justice back to the courts. On the face of it there should be no question but that this should be a bi-partisan vote and should pass easily. But the Republicans won’t vote for it as it gives them too much opportunity for games. They will accuse the Democrats of picking on the police and supporting the criminal, of preparing to defund the police and allowing neighborhoods to be over-run by Black Lives Matter. It might be better if the police were defunded and the remaining officers better trained, and social workers hired with the money saved. Maybe that would save the Cities from massive payouts because of rogue officers in the long run. It’s obvious you’ll never get rid of the bigotted behaviour in the Republican Party but maybe it could be eradicated in the police in favour of justice.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yep, a lot of people are looking to bring justice back to this country, but just as many or maybe more are attempting to return the country to the days of Jim Crow, the days when Blacks were considered to be put on earth for white men to use and abuse, the days when women were slaves to men and gays? Unheard of! That is what half this nation wants and will fight tooth and nail for. This bill won’t pass the Senate, for the racist republicans will invoke cloture and a filibuster will put paid to it. I would happily defund the Republicans … burn Citizens United and let them find their funding among the working people in this nation. Perhaps then they might realize that money is NOT everything. But … sigh … the Republicans will take this nation down a path I shan’t follow, one where only certain people who pretend to be Christians, whose skin is white, and who submit to … well, you can use your imagination here … will be heard. The rest of us? I guess we don’t have many choices left, do we? It may sound like I’ve given up the fight … I haven’t, nor will I, but I’m enough of a realist to know how this story is likely to end. Aaaarrrrrrrooooooooo 🐺

      Liked by 1 person

    • David, the real issue is that the US criminal justice system has been corrupted for a very long time. US cities foster this school to prison pipeline b/c it’s a huge cash cow (billions annually) that no gov’t official wants to end. A 27 million payoff is just a drop in the bucket, simply the cost of doing business. Why do think nothing inherently changes year after year with 1000s of minorities beaten/ killed/ wrongfully arrested every year?! We need a major overhaul of tyhe entire system, from corrupt cops to prosecutors, judges, prisons, bail bondsman, it’s all a money game.
      Follow the money….

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I saw your first sentence (it was, as usual, prominent in the WordPress Reader) and suddenly noticed the date ’25th May’. That date coincides with another that has meaning to me: Towel Day. I guess the reason I didn’t spot that coincidence last year was because it would have taken a few days for the horror story about George Floyd to begin to spread, and the date itself was not, at the time, as important as the event itself.

    The Towel Day website contains a perpetual reminder of the days remaining till the next celebration of the death of Douglas Adams. 72 days, as of today. And from now on, it will forever also remind me that Black Lives Matter, too.

    You could say the clock is ticking. Things have got to change.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ahhhh … I vaguely remember your “Towel Day” post from a few years back! I must revisit! Yes, the George Floyd story sucked the air out of the room, so I’m not surprised you didn’t make the connection right away.

      I have to be honest and tell you that of late, I’m thinking that if humans have been on this earth for thousands of years, and if in all those thousands of years we haven’t learned to treat others fairly, with respect and dignity, then we aren’t going to learn … ever. We’ve had lots of time, lots of examples of what NOT to do, and still … we are greedy, bigoted, cruel and without conscience. Not all, of course, but … far too many. Say “Black Lives Matter” to 10 people, and at least half will give you an argument of some sort. Sigh. Yes, the clock is ticking … loudly … and we are no better than we were. Sigh. Good to see you, Pendantry!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, yes… ‘the arguments’. They wind me up. I think the worst one is the ‘I believe that all lives matter’ one, which, to my mind, is simply a dismissal. One cannot address a problem without first acknowledging that it exists.

        You may be right to think we’re never going to be able to change for the better. But I think that we do have to keep trying. And I think that there are encouraging recent signs that awareness is growing. Racial prejudice has been with us a very, very long time, and even if it can be eradicated, that is not something that can be done overnight.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yep, that one is the response that makes me grit my teeth and growl. Those who respond thusly have never in their lives been made to feel as if their life was expendable, they have never known what it’s like to be pulled over for the crime of being Black. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Indeed, all lives DO matter, but that’s not the point! Sigh. I’ve wanted to bash a few people’s heads in upon hearing that.

          Oh yes, I fully agree that we must keep trying, and if we make even just one or two people stop and think about things in a different way, then perhaps we’ve accomplished something. I just think we’ve had plenty of time to accomplish it … thousands of years … and we take one step forward and two steps backward. It isn’t just us, though … racism exists everywhere. I have a friend in Ghana who tells me that even there, people are judged by the darkness of their skin.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Jill. What confounds me is how easily the Republicans are sidestepping questions on their votes to continue to allow racism and brutality. They need to be made to answer the basic questions you asked, and to justify their positions on all these regressive racist policies. The question should be are police to be allowed to commit extrajudicial killings? Are they to be given the power to be judge and executioner? I want someone to ask the Republicans if they agree with South Africa’s apartheid, and if no then why are they allowing or creating that system here instead of trying to stop it? But instead the questions asked were mild, misleading, and the politicians allowed to sidestep answering. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have given up on the Republican Party and its sycophants ever … EVER … finding their conscience and becoming humanitarians. They are greedy, self-serving bastards who care about naught but money. If you offered one of them $50 million for their youngest child, you’d have yourself a kid before you could blink. For many decades, I have thought that Democrats and Republicans could meet in the middle for the best possible solutions, but in the past couple of weeks, I’ve given up on that notion. They are cruel, evil, and greedy bastards. If they ever again have complete control of our government, we are doomed. Yes, I honestly believe that. They will take us back to a day that we thought we overcame 50 years ago and not bat an eye. I think we need someone to start a moderate party and let’s rid ourselves of the vermin who call themselves “Republicans”. You’re right … they would take us to a system of Apartheid in a heartbeat, not to mention one where women are servants, gays are executed, and only white, male, pseudo-Christians are welcomed. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Hugs, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. I debated if I should send this to you, I value you far too much to want this spiking your blood pressure. But if you and your grand readers want to see just how petty the Republican party and the tRump administration was while the public was being lied too here is a news article to read. No way that tRump was not getting a cut of the necessary money that had to be changing hands. Hugs

        https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/03/how-officials-in-trumps-white-house-scrambled-to-score-covid-vaccinations

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hey, Scottie! Don’t ever hesitate to send me such things … I’m a seasoned pro and my blood pressure has taken up residence on the second floor already! I do appreciate you caring, though … very much.

          This article did not even surprise me … if I thought about it, I would have guessed as much. Am I incensed? Sure. I’m also incensed, though, that his daughter-in-law Lara has helped him scalp almost $2 million from a charity intended to protect dogs! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. Sigh. But, things are looking up … the former guy is history and from what I’m reading, is likely to remain so, and Biden is doing some really good things. There is hope after all, my friend. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Question: How many jurors are people of colour? Any?

    Quetion: What is the difference between 2nd and 3rd degree murder in the USA. What are minimum punishments?

    This case is about more than the murder of one black man. It is about the police being able to use lethal force against any person suspected of committing a crime. Not convicted of committing a crime, but merely suspected!
    In my mind there is nothing that can condone capital punishment. We are supposed to be a civilized society, but we fall far short of that. Further, capital punishment, where used, has to be decided by a court of law. Derek Chauvin had no court decision to fall back on. He didn’t even have a mandate to use violence. He was supposed to be in service to his community. He served himself, not his community. And I hope that is why the City of Minneapolis agreed to the settlement, that they allowed this obvious racist and dangerous man to remain on the force despite the evidence that he would someday go too far. The Police Force’s refusal to fire Chauvin makes them directly culpable and complicit in Mr. Floyd’s death. This is why they should be paying Mr. Floyd’s family. Not because they want to be seen to apologetic, but because they are responsible.

    Question: Has the Minneapolis Police Department gone through the records of any other such officers, and fired potentially dangerous members of the force? If they have not, then they are not making progress, but merely covering their asses. And that is not acceptable!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Thank you for sharing!!… today’s technology has brought to light what many world’s societies have managed to keep hidden by creating a image… the human race is not as “civilized” as they would like the universe to believe.. add to that the closed minded elements and you have a George Floyd scenario or other like incidences… hopefully wisdom will one day prevail with the help of technology!!… “When we begin to build walls of prejudice, hatred, pride, and self-indulgence around ourselves, we are more surely imprisoned than any prisoner behind concrete walls and iron bars.” (Mother Angelica)…. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 5 people

    • You are so right, Dutch … it never went away, we just believed it did, perhaps because it was easier to believe so, it allowed our consciences to be free … temporarily. I am disturbed by the attitudes of so many who genuinely seem to believe that some people are better than others because of skin colour, ethnicity, religion, gender, or whatever other criteria they choose to apply. We haven’t managed to overcome this in the thousands of years humans have existed, and of late I’ve come to think we never will. That sense of superiority seems to suit some people far too well. Sigh.

      Your Irish sayings always bring a smile to my face, shine a bit of light into the darkness. Thanks, my friend!

      Like

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