Jim Reisner wrote this: “Rage equals anger plus helplessness.
“If you are confounded by the destructiveness of protestors, then maybe there was another way to go. Maybe justice could have been rendered in the deaths of Dontre Hamilton, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown Jr., Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jermane Reid, Tony Robinson, Phillip White, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Terence Crutcher, Philandro Castile, Alton Sterling, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Tony Robinson, Laquon McDonald, Sam DuBose, Jamar Clark, Jeremy McDole, William Chapman II, Sean Reid, Steven DeMarco Taylor, Ariane McCree, Terrance Franklin, Miles Hall, William Green, Samuel David Mallard, E. J. Bradford, Jamee Johnson, Michael Dean, Antwon Rose, Stephon Clark, Tony McDade, Yassin Muhamed, Finan Berhe, Miles Hall, Darius Tarver, William Green, Kwame Jones, De’Von Bailey, Christopher Whitfield, Anthony Hill, Eric Logan, Jamarion Robinson, Gregory Hill Jr., Jaquavion Slaton, Ryan Twyman, Brandon Webber, Jimmy Atchison, Willy McCoy, EJ Bradford, Jr., D’etrick Griffin, Jemel Roberson, DeAndre Ballard, Robert Lawrence White, Anthony Lamar Smith, Lamarly Graham, Manuel Loggins, Jr., Trayvon Martin, Wendell Allen, Kendric McDade. Larry Jackson, Jr., Jonathan Ferrell, Jordan Baker, Victor White III, Dantre Hamilton, Kajieme Powell, Laquan McDonald, Charly Keunang, Brendan Glenn, Christian Taylor, Mario Woods, Quintonio Grier, Gregory Gunn, Akiel Jenkins, Alton Sterling, Keith Lamont Scott, Alfred Alongo, Jordon Edwards, Danny Ray Thomas, DeJuan Gillory, Patrick Harmon, Jonathan Hart, Maurice Granton, Tanishe Anderson, Yvette Smith, Miriam Carey, Shelly Frey, Malissa Williams, Alesia Thomas, Shantel Davis, Rekia Boyd, Shareese Francis, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
“This is by no means an exhaustive list of weaponless African Americans who have been killed by police within the past 10 years.
“Stop wondering why Minneapolis is burning.”
Jim, BTW, is a minister, a white guy, I suppose I should point out. He used to pastor in Albany but is now in Maryland.
Who was George Floyd? In Houston’s Third Ward, where he lived until 2018, they know him for how he lived for decades — “a mentor to a generation of young men and a ‘person of peace’ ushering ministries into the area.” The 46-year-old father of two daughters was a “gentle giant” to those who knew him.
The Three Stories of George Floyd.
I’m not a person of violence, at least some of which is stirred up by white nationalist group posing as Antifa calling for violence on Twitter. But read What we’re missing when we condemn “violence” at protests and How to respond to “riots never solve anything!”
Chattanooga police chief tells officers OK with George Floyd death to turn in their badges.
A photo from Thursday night’s protest in downtown Louisville appears to show a line of white women, arms locked, standing between Louisville Metro Police officers and black protesters.
Minneapolis Bus Drivers Refuse to Transport George Floyd Protesters to Jail.
Girl Gone Smart: Uncomfortable? Good!
George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper: The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah.
And my personal favorite: Wife of officer charged with murder of George Floyd announces she’s divorcing him.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
The anatomy of a homicide
The encounter began around 8 p.m. when an employee at the Cup Foods convenience store called police to say that a customer later identified as George Floyd had tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes…
The defendant [officer Derek Chauvin] pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 p.m. and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. [Officer J.A.] Kueng [one of the original arresting cops] held Mr. Floyd’s back and [Thomas] Lane [the other one] held his legs.
The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please,” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.
The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, “should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him.” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” The defendant said, “That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions.
BWC video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe.
At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving.
At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him on his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.
At 8:27:24, the defendant removed his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck. An ambulance and emergency medical personnel arrived, the officers placed Mr. Floyd on a gurney, and the ambulance left the scene. Mr. Floyd was pronounced dead at Hennepin County Medical Center.
[It appears to be Positional Asphyxia. The Minneapolis Police Were Sued A Decade Ago In Similar Restraint Case.]
This Was, at least, Second-Degree Murder
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder. Before they were leveled, quoting from the very rightwing Daily Signal in a story called The Unacceptably Unjust Death of George Floyd:
What, then, is the appropriate criminal charge to take before a jury?
Minnesota, like most other states, requires an element of intent for first-degree murder… [And it’s very difficult to prove intent. Although one wonders, since they may have known each other.]
Similarly, third-degree murder is likely off the table. Even though it might seem applicable as the unintentional killing of another person “by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard to human life,” the Minnesota Supreme Court has clarified that third-degree murder “cannot occur where the defendant’s actions were focused on a specific person.” [And yet that was the charge…]
We are left, then, with second-degree murder, which appears to be an appropriate charge. In Minnesota, this offense occurs when a person unintentionally causes a death while committing a felony offense.
Arguably, Chauvin committed the felony offense of assault, as his use of force was not authorized or justified under state law. Floyd died as a result of this unjustified assault, even if the officer did not intend to kill him.
Keep in mind, too, that Chauvin also could face criminal charges under federal law for civil rights violations, and the FBI is conducting its own investigation alongside state authorities.
Because Floyd ultimately died, a conviction under these federal statutes would carry equally significant penalties as a conviction for second-degree murder under state law.
Father James Martin, SJ