On Monday night George Floyd was pronounced dead after he was taken into custody by police in Minneapolis. There is a video of Mr. Floyd being pressed to the ground by a policeman despite Mr. Floyd’s stating that he could not breathe. This is a horrible abuse of power by the policeman and by the other policemen and people standing around watching it happen. So where do we go from here?
The answer is not rioting, looting, and burning down the neighborhood businesses. There is never any excuse for that behavior. Part of the answer is arresting the policeman who had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the policemen who stood by as Mr. Floyd was murdered. There needs to be a trial. Probably a change of venue for the trial would be in order. The charge needs to be appropriate to the crime–the video is evidence. I don’t know if a murder charge would hold up, but I suspect an involuntary manslaughter charge would.
We can’t judge the motives of the policeman. We don’t know if he knew his actions would result in death. We don’t know why he simply did not place the man in the backseat of the police car. These are things that I hope would come out in a trial.
Most of our policemen are honest, hardworking men and women. It is a shame when a man charged with upholding the law does something this horrible. According to various sources, the policeman involved had other questionable incidents in his record. This should be a wake-up call to all supervisors of policemen to remove any policeman who cannot handle the responsibility of the job without acting in ways that bring disgrace on their profession and create situations where people feel they have the right to riot. People never have the right to riot, but unfortunately some people have been told that they do.