Derek Chauvin, murderer. Screenshot.
Eric Garner et al, ad nauseum. After Minneapolis police responded to "a forgery in progress," Derek Chauvin pinned George Floyd to the ground for seven minutes as bystander Darnella Frazier filmed the encounter. During that time, Floyd moaned, sobbed, "Oh Mama, oh Mama," begged, "Please, please, I can't breathe, I can't breathe" at least 11 times. A horrified first responder bystander asked cops to check his pulse 17 times. Other distressed witnesses joined in with "Bro, you've got him down, at least let him breathe, man," and, "He's not even resisting arrest ... he's human, bro." One of the cops responds, "This is why you don't do drugs, kids." After about four minutes, Floyd lost consciousness. Though a witness charged, "You just really killed that man, bro," Chavin kept his knee on Floyd's unmoving neck for another four minutes. A police statement said Floyd "was ordered to step from his car" and then "physically resisted officers." It went on, "Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress....Officers called for an ambulance." The spokesman added that Chauvin's assault "was not a department-authorized chokehold," but "At no time were weapons of any type used." Floyd died soon after.
According to one study, Minneapolis police kill black people 13 times more often than white people, one of the worst rates of racial disparity in the country. Police records show that Derek Chauvin has been involved in at least three shootings: Wayne Reyes in 2006, Leroy Martinez and Ira Latrell Toles in 2011. Both Chauvin and a second officer have been put on paid administrative lead as the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension joins the FBI in an investigation. Thanks to Frazier's posting of the video on Facebook, the response was swift and furious. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called the video "wrong at every level," and noted what should at this point in our blood-spattered history be a plain truth but clearly, sickeningly still isn't: "Being black in America should not be a death sentence," he said. "He was a human being and his life mattered." Sen. Amy Klobuchar called for accountability in "yet another horrifying and gut-wrenching instance of an African American man dying," adding, "Every single person in every single community in this country deserves to feel safe," though, obviously, they don't nor should they. In 2018, on social media, Derek Chauvin's wife called her cop husband "just a softie. He's such a gentleman. He still opens the door for me." We call him and his brutal brethren murderers, again.