BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #ican’tbreathe
May 25, 2020 will be a day and date that not just the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers, but the entire world will remember for a long long time to come. Causing an impact on the upcoming generations as we see waves of movement, protests and violence erupting in all parts of Unites States of America. Never before has a single event echoed and resonated so strongly in the world that even world leaders are hanging their heads in shame. Lately Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went on his knees to show support and solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.
So what exactly happened and how did this all start.
It was approximately 8:08pm on 25th of May 2020 the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) received a complaint on 911 about counterfeit money being used by a man at a store. The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers responded to the complaint on Chicago Avenue South in Powderhorn, Minneapolis. Two officers from Minneapolis Police Department Thomas K. Lane and J. Alexander Kueng reported at the scene. As required by law they had their body cameras turned on.
The complainant, a store employee, identified the man man in a car parked close by. The man in the car was none other than George Floyd, a 46 year old African American man, employed as a bouncer in a local place. The officers carefully approached the car and as turn of events narrated by them, George Floyd was “under the influence”. When ordered out of the car, George Floyd “physically resisted them”. At this point the officers used force to pull him out of the vehicle and put him in handcuffs. All this took several minutes. The video footage from roadside surveillance cameras managed to record all this. In moments George Floyd collapsed on the street beside the car and this is when the officer Thomas K. Lane placed his leg on the neck of George Floyd who was already face down on the street and in handcuffs.
The officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes during this time. Its important to note that several video recordings made by passersby clearly showed he was not resisting at all, but was trying to desperately breathe as the officers knee was obstructing his airflow. He cried out loudly several times “I can’t breathe”. This was clearly recorded on all the videos shot by passersby who also desperately requested the officer,Thomas K. Lane, to ease his knee on the victims neck. The officer paid no heed and called for additional backup. Very soon, MPD Officers Derek Chauvinist and Tou Thoa arrived on the scene to assist the other two but did nothing to save George Floyd from what was happening, infact none battled even an eyelid or showed some shame, forget remorse later on. All the officers and arrogantly remained not just in position but officer Thomas K. Lane also placed his left hand in his left trouser pocket to clearly indicate that he was forcefully dominating his authority and with a force that was more than actually required. You can imagine how hardly dangerous a man lying down on his face on the street and in handcuffs can be. It appeared inhuman by any standards and the hate and arrogance on the officers face was evident. Few minutes later George Floyd breathed his last and the autopsy done was completely falsified to save the officers involved.
If the videos had not been recorded, none would have ever believed what had happened. To add to the fact that so many videos were shot and uploaded to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.), the officers sheer level of arrogance, his level of inhuman handling of the situation and the very fact that it was a law maker who turned a law breaker caused an uproar online immediately. And the death of George Floyd put fuel to the fire, and there was no looking back at the amount of protests it started.
It could all have been controlled and not let it go out of hand, but the manner in which the MPD tried to cover up facts and hide the truth was criminal at best. In addition, the officers were not even suspended, until there was an uproar. The interesting fact about all these events is, no where did the Officers or MPD act respectfully or with Accountability as law makers of the Society of United States of America. Police are an authority given power by law to uphold the law and not break it or twist it to their benefit and harm anyone else. Even the autopsy was shamelessly rigged and truth twisted out of hand, a perfect example of crime that will go down in history. Perhaps we will now have web series documenting Police Crime, which is far more violent than criminals themselves.
Every day the situation went out of hand as the MPD was brash and did nothing to solve the problem or punish the officers, even if it did, it was just a mere suspension or something of that sort. This incited a wave of protests across United States where people, forgetting the risks of Corona. This ongoing series of protests started against the evident police brutality began as in Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan, an area in Minnesota, which eventually spread throughout the United States and then worldwide. People were already deeply disturbed by all that had happened and a lot of people globally were beginning to notice this. All along this time the highhandedness of MPD and zero regard for law and public, soon turned the protests violent.
When people realized things were getting out of control for the common man and justice could not be guaranteed despite mass protests and pressure, a Black Lives Matter movement took shape. Now all protest are organized under “Justice for George Floyd” and “Black Lives Matter” to give a name and a direction to this movement. Otherwise the movement will simply fizzle out or may head into a different direction if all the support is not unified under a single front. This is also one way how other similar crimes can be reported under the same movement and can gather valuable support to push for fair legal rights of a US citizen as legalized under the United Stated Constitution and law. “Justice for George Floyd” and “Black Lives Matter” now form the basis of all the protests worldwide and is an indication of support to not just the injustice meted out to George Floyd, but also the criminal attitude of the MPD to arrogantly shield criminals in its workforce.
As protests increased so did Police Brutality and Police violence on them. This was recorded live by several local, national and international news stations. Even reporters, camera crew and media present at sites were not spared, with a CNN corespondent, Omar Jimenez, being arrested when reporting Live on National TV. No wonder he was a colored American. Several more were shot with either pepper or rubber bullets and had several injuries including one reporting a rubber bullet shot to the face. Linda Tirado, 37, from Nashville, was left with life-changing disability while covering the rally protesting death of George Floyd. She eventually lost complete eyesight in that eye. Protests spread across United States and soon resulted in mass rioting and looting. Many other protests were marked by violent street skirmishes and police brutality. Even peaceful protesters were not spared which didn’t go down well with anyone the world over as it was all captured on thousands of videos and posted online. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok were all flooded with such videos. Curfew was soon declared in almost a dozen cities with more being added to the list as the protests grew uncontrollably bad. The Trump administration, drew widespread criticism for its inhuman hard line stance over the chain of events and their divisive rhetoric. People were already upset with Trumps handling of the Corona crisis when all this happened. Even Trumps threats did not stop then. The protests became out of control for Police to handle. Governors in 24 states and Washington, D.C. had requested for the National Guard to respond to the protests and riots. Eventually the National Guard had to be called in in Washington, D.C, and other states with over 17,000 troops sent in to control the mass unrest. Reportedly 10,000 people had been arrested till date and it is being wondered with so many more being arrested, where will they all be kept. Over a period of time all the 4 police officers involved in the death of George Floyd were arrested.
All these unfair chain of events found support in celebrities and international heads of states many of them showing open support. Celebrities used their social media handles to report and document the crime, provide support, protests, gain more support and setup donation campaigns. Kellen S., a 15-year-old kid from Oregon started a Change.org petition titled “Justice for George Floyd,”. This petition was demanding the 4 police officers involved in the crime to be charged. This petition has become the fastest-growing and now also the largest in the site’s history. The petition is now reaching over 16 million signatures.
Black Lives Matter and Justice for George Floyd
BlackLivesMatter #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #ican’tbreathe