Black People Oppressing The Police Again
Minneapolis, Minnesota, burned for a third-straight night, following the police's vicious killing of George Floyd on Monday. It's important to remember the black man who was alive before he was dead following a fatal neck massage. Prince's home town is often freezing cold or sticky and humid, but it's rarely literally on fire. Despite what Tucker Carlson might have you believe, black people don't just break into the Minneapolis police station because it's Thursday.
White people just aren't regularly murdered during routine encounters with the police. Dylann Roof mowed down nine black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Police not only took him into custody without suffocating him but they even brought him a hamburger. This was defended because Roof was so busy race killing he hadn't eaten in days (time just gets away from you) and a “criminal suspect is entitled to humane treatment," like a fast-food meal. Floyd was also entitled to a continued supply of oxygen. That would've been humane.
Roof is also still alive almost five years after shooting up a church. Floyd is still dead four days after allegedly attempting to use a $20 bill at a convenience store that an employee identified as counterfeit. That was the “crime," and if the convenience store clerk was correct, Floyd was likely the one who'd been screwed. Prosecutors would have to prove Floyd intended to pull some complex Ocean's 11-style heist with his funny money. Yet he was arrested on the scene instead of simply out $20. Meanwhile, the officer who killed Floyd on camera is still free because, gosh gee whiz, it's so hard putting an airtight case together. Black folks might get the impression we are not subject to equal protection under the law.
Minneapolis Police Station On Fire Amid Protest Of George Floyd's Killing | The 11th Hour | MSNBC www.youtube.com
White people are collectively horrified whenever a black person's state-sanctioned killing leads to riots. Can't we all just get along and peacefully protest? That's what some NFL players did and Donald Trump called them “sons of bitches." Colin Kaepernick took a knee and lost his job, which is likely the same "punishment" Derek Chauvin will receive for killing an innocent man.
During a press conference Thursday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman made it clear to any black person with a functioning brain stem that he's not prosecuting anyone for Floyd's murder.
FREEMAN: We're going to investigate [Floyd's death] as expeditiously, as thoroughly and completely as justice demands. Sometimes, that takes a little time and we ask people to be patient. We have to do this right.
Yeah, he's not going to do this right. This artisanal approach to criminal justice wasn't on display when Floyd was arrested in the first place. That was an actual “rush to judgment," which is what Freeman claimed happened with the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore — as if waiting longer might've convinced a jury that people don't sever their own spines. Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby responded (as a black woman is gonna do when you throw shade on her) that Freeman's deflection was “shameful" and “demonstrably false." She also reminded Freeman that he has “video footage of a murder," which is usually a slam dunk for prosecutors who aren't trying desperately to exonerate their killer cop buddies.
FREEMAN: I will say this, that this video is graphic, and horrific and terrible, and no person should do that.
Sounds like you're talking about a crime there, slick.
FREEMAN: And there is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge. We need to weigh through all of that evidence to come through with a meaningful determination, and we are doing the best of our ability.
Oh, get the fuck out of here. Chauvin killed a handcuffed man on camera, in front of multiple witnesses. Daniel Nichanian, founding editor of The Appeal, noted on Twitter that “within six months in 2018, the Minneapolis police arrested 47 people through sting operations against 'small-scale' marijuana sales. Forty-six were black. Freeman's office charged all of them with felonies."
If your common Amy Cooper tried to buy something with a fake $20, she'd have cried or asked for a manager, and it would've been considered a simple misunderstanding. The store probably would've even let her leave with her purchases. She wouldn't have wound up cuffed and "pinned" on a city street.
White people might think the police and prosecutors are careful and deliberate before acting. They probably assume that suspects in custody are treated as humanely as mass murderers. Black people know this isn't true from painful, personal experience.
A small minority of protestors are rioting because the state behaves as if their lives have no value. George Floyd died for $20. A Target is worth at least twice that. If the police can kill you for no apparent reason and walk away, why not go for broke? I'm reminded of what Muhammad Ali once said: “If I'm gonna die, I'll die now, right here, fighting you."
Ali - You're My enemy www.youtube.com
Freeman asked for “patience" yesterday, but black people have been far too patient with this illusion of justice. It's a predictable cycle: A cop kills a black person. There are peaceful protests. Sometimes there's an arrest, even a trial, but almost always the killers are cleared and sent on their way. If some lose their jobs, they just “protect and serve" elsewhere. Why some of the people in Minneapolis are rioting is the wrong question. The right one is why isn't every black person? And the answer is that we're collectively more “patient" and peaceful than the armed white men who can't go two months without a haircut. We just want you to stop killing us.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).