The Minneapolis PD's Wondrous Tale Of Kind Cops' Merciful Treatment Of Sick George Floyd
Darnella Frazier was a 17-year-old high school junior, taking her nine-year-old cousin to a Cup Foods near her Minneapolis, Minnesota, home when she saw Derek Chauvin slowly murdering George Floyd. She took out her phone and recorded the horrific act. That's how Floyd was able to speak to us, even after his death. She filmed Chauvin's callous disregard for Floyd's suffering and those agonizing words: “I can't breathe."
She changed the world, and although she later testified that she blamed herself for not doing more that day, she's the primary reason Chauvin was convicted for the murder he committed in front of horrified bystanders.
Chauvin murdered Floyd and would've walked away a free man, likely never giving the encounter a second thought, if not for Frazier's bravery. Before her video went viral, the Minneapolis police released their own account of the incident. It was a twisted piece of fiction.
Seriously, read it again knowing what we know: https://t.co/XqPWCpoxeQ— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1618954787.0
The headline that appears underneath the Minneapolis Police letterhead stated, “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction." It's quite the benign description for a coldblooded murder. “Hotel Explodes After Domestic Incident During Winter Break" is probably how they'd describe The Shining, especially if cops were involved.
Here's how quickly the police moved to bury Floyd's memory:
May 25, 2020 (MINNEAPOLIS) On Monday evening, shortly after 8:00 pm, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of a forgery in progress. Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.
I've highlighted some of the more egregious bullshit. The “forgery in progress" was the alleged passing of a counterfeit $20. Cops have a habit of exaggerating a suspect's offenses while minimizing their own brutality. For instance, if you so much as touch a cop, that's resisting arrest or outright assault, but if they break your collarbone, that's simply restraining the suspect.
Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.
Surveillance footage contradicted the police's claim that Floyd “physically resisted officers." The statement concedes that Floyd suffered “medical distress" but neglects to mention the distress was because Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. It definitely doesn't share the fact that Chauvin's use of force violated department guidelines and, I'd argue, the Geneva Convention. Floyd dying "later," after they'd actually refused assistance from an EMT firefighter, is another thing we can see they lied about, because we have eyes.
At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident.
Chauvin's knee was a lethal weapon. The police would never hesitate to shoot a civilian pressing their knee into someone's neck, especially if the victim was a cop. They also would strongly dispute the claim that the assailant was “unarmed."
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to investigate this incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department.
No officers were injured in the incident.
A human being was brutally murdered on a city street, but don't worry, no police officers were injured. I can't help but think of this exchange from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
"Good gracious! Anybody hurt?"
"No'm. Killed a [n-word]."
"Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt."
Calling this a cover up gives the police too much credit. I don't think they believed they did anything wrong that would require covering up — although the sheer amount of lying here does at least suggest consciousness of guilt. But as the expression goes, for them, it was Tuesday. This is just how they explain fatal police encounters. And this is why the media should never take police at their word. Law enforcement provides one side of the story. And a "story" is exactly what it was.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."