Killing George Floyd: Pleas and Protest

The video is far worse than I think the media has actually told the public in lead-ins, transitions and other major statements regarding the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department. 

When you watch the full video, be aware that it is deeply troubling, potentially traumatizing and you may need the number of someone supportive or a hotline number.

  • The officer is demanding George to get into the vehicle.
  • The officer is making these demands while George repeatedly gasps for breath, telling the officers he cannot breathe. 
  • The officer is making these demands with his knee in the back of the neck of George.
  • The officer is making these demands with George’s face in the pavement with the same force that is being applied to his neck.

I guess the officer got carried away with trying to slap on a “resisting arrest” charge.

Counterintuitive orders are often difficult to resist. This exposes the meaninglessness of ‘do what I say, even if I am literally stopping you from following my orders.’ 

Counterintuitive is a function of what this officer was attempting to accomplish, not some bug, not an accident and who knows how many others have not resisted and have been abused in this way. That is the lingering turth.

We know how important it is to have a felony charge on an arrest report. It increases the likelihood of conviction without trial of a lesser charge, but any plea will include the least charge.

Pleaing to a a greater charge than you are guilty of means more potential jail time, more fines and fees, more disruption in any work or family schedule. 

Part of probation is to have a job, to have a schedule, and to pay fines and fees. 

All of these are more difficult to do when you’ve just lost your job, you just missed appointments and now you have more bills to pay.

George lost his life. His life isn’t more difficult. It is over.

The people protesting the lost life of #George, at least they’re not protesting against public health guidelines that help protect the lives of other people, at least there is hard, cold and decaying evidence that real harm, real loss, real threat, and real trauma have actually occurred here.

And, there’s real hard, cold and mounting evidence that the line of lost lives, pinned to their ends with the knees of government, will never find an end, or even a working resolution toward that goal.

If someone doesn’t believe there is an element about this that is connected to race, let them believe what they need. 

You will note I have not mentioned race once, yet, for many, it is staring this murder directly in the face.

The murder of George is about many systemic, structural, marrow-poisoned issues, ranging from individual, to family, to group, to government, to authority, to systems and to nothing at all being done to fuse these together more effeciently and effectively. 

If you share any commonalities with George which separate you from the ‘majority,’ what should be clear is that this could happen to you whenever you walk out the door, or even when you can’t face opening that door at all.

Those commonalities, one of which is race, is something that millions of Americans simply don’t have an adequate education nor have any shared experiences that would assist in delineating a more than sympathetic connection to the heartbreak, the trauma and the ongoing struggle of those who feel they must protest and tear life down in the aftermath.

I feel like protesting. And, I have and will again.

When in doubt, generate patience. 
When confused, attempt understanding. 

As for compassion . . . at least have enough compassion that if both patience and understanding momentarily escape grasp, you have already begun to heal and forgive yourself for not always living up and out.

George, his corporeal life as he knows it, is over.

It is up to those who have enough understanding to connect their compassion directly to the suffering of people at the heart of the people’s struggle against it, and to have enough patience with both themselves and others to never relent or give up on finding those paths to resolution. 

We made some progress in Illinois on criminal justice reform. Not nearly going the distance, but at least taking some steps along that path.

For those who are currently witnessing, both progress and success are not always synonymous with awareness, acknowledgment and working together to strengthen, reform and refurbish both rules and guidelines to increase the longevity of that successful progress.

There will always be folks that cannot absorb or accept reforms that primarily benefit someone that isn’t themselves. They will work mental and emotional gymnastics to demand others fight to overturn this progress. 

That is why we must always press forward with the understanding that we must never assume anyone will understand the importance of any idea, action and any person in the short or long term.

The effort, the struggle and the persistence of perseverance to protect, strengthen and make whole any such progress is vital.

The effort should be a true gift, given freely, as fighting to protect what we have achieved for others cannot be transferable.

The effort, the fight, and our awareness: may these always be in mind, assist in focusing the body, and free the spirit to tackle any and all obstacles that stand in our way.

Photo: Offices of Ben Crump Law, courtesy of NYT

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.