The Buz Blog
The first obligation of those that are elected or appointed as our leaders, is the protection of citizens and their property.
The manner of George Floyd's death makes law enforcement's job that much harder.
First, there is no defending the indefensible. The video shows an officer kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed suspect for several minutes. In none of the videos I've seen was this suspect, George Floyd, resisting or non-compliant to the officers. He may have resisted getting into the back of the police vehicle, but it wasn't caught on video. Even if that was the case, that is no reason to kneel on his neck once he was prone on the pavement. If Floyd was kicking, an officer would be justified to kneel on his legs or hold them down with his arms. An officer could kneel or hold his back down if he were thrashing his body about. I know of no training or any pain compliant holds that involve a knee to the neck.
I was a police officer for 29 years on the Long Beach Police Department in California. It is inconceivable to me that any officer would kneel on a HANDCUFFED suspect's neck for any amount of time, let alone long enough to kill him. I read on the internet that the Medical Examiner's preliminary report was that Mr. Floyd did not die of strangulation or asphyxiation. It is difficult to believe that George Floyd's death wasn't directly related to Officer Derek Chauvin's knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for an extended period of time. I'm sure the final report will show a connection.
It just makes all of the rest of law enforcement look bad and makes their job that much harder. To say that this rogue cop is a brutal sociopath, hides the fact that he is also an idiot. Almost everyone in America has a camera app on their phone and this moron puts and keeps his knee on the suspect's neck for eight or nine minutes? He didn't see people in the crowd pointing their phones at him? I believe at least some of the officers had body cams that were on. Chauvin didn't know this?
Officer Chauvin would have to be pretty dense not to know he was being videoed by citizens and police body cams. If he knew he was being videoed, why did he look so nonchalant during this episode? Did he think he was following his department's policy and training? Had he done this kind of thing before and never been disciplined? Why didn't one of the other officers tell Chauvin to stop kneeling on Floyd's neck? Was this a common Minneapolis PD procedure? If so, that whole department needs some serious retraining. These are my educated opinions based on years of law enforcement experience and training.
Having stated all of the above, it should be noted that the arrest of George Floyd was apparently a legal arrest. Officer Chauvin's arrest was a legal arrest. Like Mr. Floyd, had he lived, would have been presumed innocent until proved guilty in a court of law, so should Chauvin. He should not be lynched by public opinion, but tried and judged on all of the facts, not just the very damning video. George Floyd did have a criminal record. If his record included the abuse of drugs, that might have been a factor in his death. If, for example, the autopsy determined that the cause of Mr. Floyd's death was a drug overdose, that would most probably negate the murder and manslaughter charges against Officer Chauvin. The rule of law requires we wait for the judicial process before we determine the fate of anyone accused of a crime.
That's only half the story. The day after the video became public, the protests started. They were inevitable and certainly appeared justified. Unfortunately, they were almost immediately followed by rioting and looting. Those who rioted, vandalized and looted were not protesting. They could have cared less about George Floyd's death. His tragedy merely provided an excuse for their criminality.
After the first day, the continuation of the rioting and looting in any of the cities where they occurred, can be placed directly at the feet of the cowardly politicians and police chiefs who allowed it to go on. Since at least the riots in Baltimore and probably back to Ferguson, progressive politicians have decided that it was the appropriate thing to allow the anarchists, rioters and looters the right to “vent their frustration” on a certain area of their cities and businesses. This only encourages these criminals to continue their destruction of private and taxpayer owned property.
It has been my experience and most of those that honorably work in law enforcement, that riots and looting stop almost immediately after the first arrests are made, especially in front of an unruly crowd.