It was murder, plain and simple. There are no contradictory witnesses, no he-said-she-said. It is on the video, with no lapses. The man on the ground is clearly heard imploring mercy, begging to be allowed to breathe. Onlookers also implore. The officer knows the man is choking, yet keeps choking him. No police protocol calls for kneeling on the neck of an unresisting and handcuffed man. It was murder. It probably was sadism.
The police said he resisted arrest. They were lying. The surveillance video makes it plain. (Apparently they didn’t know that they were on camera.)
So why were they not arrested? An arrest by police requires “probable cause,” defined approximately as “ an articulable reason for believing that a specific person is committing a specific crime.” Would not having clearly identifiable perps committing the crime on video, plus audio, provide an articulable reason?
This was not like the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, in which the cop was telling the truth, or Freddie Gray in Baltimore, in which what happened remains murky, or Eric Garner in New York, in which a grand jury voted not to charge the cop.
This time there is no doubt at all. Murder. The Minneapolis police killed him, one doing it and the others looking on. These three made no effort to stop what they could see and hear perfectly. In Minnesota, does this make them accessories? I don’t know. They were not taken into custody, suggesting that the Minneapolis police saw nothing wrong with it until the video surfaced. How many other things have they regarded similarly?
No excuse for the killing is possible. Floyd was arrested on suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill, which he may or may not have known to be bogus. It doesn’t matter. The law doesn’t allow the police to kill on suspicion of passing counterfeit money. Did he have a police record? I don’t know. Neither did the cops. It doesn’t matter. The law does not permit cops to kill for having a record.
White Nationalist sites, as for example Vdare, seek to justify it, which is impossible.
White Nationalists have a following because much of what they say is true. Blacks do in fact commit a great deal of crime. Blacks do in fact commit brutal racial attacks on whites, many of them (one of many dozens I’ll bet you have never heard of it. ) and the media do in fact hide them. Massive immigration does in fact cause massive problems. The endless trendy vilification of whites wearies. Affirmative action against whites in favor of blacks and Hispanics reasonably causes anger.
But White Nationalists in their sullen racial hatred, their lack of interest in right and wrong, are little better than Black Lives Matter–often slicker, more polished, but no better. When they defend clear murder, as they do in this case, they lose all moral authority and show themselves to be exactly what leftists say they are.
In Minneapolis blacks, as usual, showed themselves to be exactly what their critics say they are: violent, thieving, uncontrolled. Not all were thus of course, but enough always are. Don’t think so? Look at the video. They speak of justice, but always loot and burn. It is not clear how burning a store and stealing TVs contributes to justice. They will then complain that there are no stores in the neighborhood, and blame this on racism.
The protests were entirely justified. The looting and arson were not. Of course, as my wife pointed out, without the destruction nothing would be done. The government would have waited out peaceful demonstrations. Officials would say It wouldn’t do to jump to conclusions. It would take time to gather all the evidence, get the results of the autopsy. There would be a study, perhaps a commission, even a panel, and an in-depth investigation to get to the bottom of this tragic event. The crowds would dwindle as people had to go back to work. Case closed. Burning down a dozen or two of city blocks, while not excusable, does get official attention. Nothing else seems to.
Speaking of attention, the original cell phone video has by now been all over the world, along with the looting and incendiarism (though YouTube has disappeared it). It’s those damned smartphones. In a planet of videographers, the dirty linen is hard to hide. The riots, the arson, the lawlessness of both the cops and the American Uighurs they seek to control, the many tens of thousands in filthy homeless encampments on the sidewalks–these are as visible in Kathmandu and Guadalajara as they are in Des Moines: Breaking news from the throbbing heart of democracy, human rights, and exceptionalism. How must this look in civilized countries such as Finland, Norway, China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore?
Blacks complain constantly about the brutality of police. Does it exist? Yes. You bet it does. Obviously not all cops are brutal, some departments are worse than others, but it assuredly exists. I say this having spent nine years as police reporter for the Washington Times.
Cops are not stupid enough to beat blacks in front of a reporter, but friends on various departments have told me of many such incidents, so I have seen little brutality, (though a cop in Chicago did force an Hispanic guy to strip to the waist in freezing winter wind to try to make him confess to something he probably hadn’t done.)
Perhaps worse than beatings in leading to riots is the constant humiliation inflicted on blacks by cops. In case you want examples:
I was riding one night with the LAPD in South Central with two burly guys, mid-twenties, swatted out, 870 in the rack behind, nightsticks. A late model black car, a Buick or something on that order, rolled a stop sign. The cops pulled it. Immediately both doors of the squad were open, cops standing behind them, leveling pistols toward the offending car. The following is from old memory, but close:
“Show me your hands. Step out of the vehicle. Walk backwards toward my voice. Get down on your knees. Put your hands behind your head. Interlace your fingers.”
The man was in a suit. His wife was in the car. This, for rolling a stop sign on a deserted street. If this had happened to me, which it never would, I would spend the rest of my life wanting to kill every white cop on the planet.
Another? Riding on Capitol Hill, maybe two a.m. Streets dark and empty. Down an alley, visible by a light on the back of a building, we saw a black man taking a leak. Technically, urinating in public, a misdemeanor. Realistically, something every man has done and, late at night on a deserted alley, ignorable. Instead the cop subjected him to a humiliating tongue-lashing of several minutes, said he could arrest him, etc, while the man, maybe forty-five, said “Yessir, yessir, yessir.” What choice did he have? Cops can do anything on dark streets.
Or: In the black Austin district of Chicago, in a residential neighborhood, the cop I was with was in plain clothes, the car unmarked. He had stopped to talk to someone, nothing hostile but I forget about what. On the sidewalk an old black man, maybe sixty, walked slowly past and the cop said, “Hey, wait, I want to talk to you, “ or something similar.
The man didn’t hear and kept walking. The cop rushed over, grabbed him by the shirtfront, and shouted into his face, “When I say stop, you fucking stop, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”
“Yessuh, yessuh, yessuh.”
These are the kinds of things that blacks downtown go through all the time. White Nationalists I suspect have little idea of this, and wouldn´t care any more than the cops did who killed Floyd. The Nationalists of Vdare and their ilk, at least at the level of commentators, know little of cops, blacks, or Hispanics. Curiously, when riding in Cabrini Green, Robert Taylor Homes, South Central, Rockville, Anacostia, the Austin district–I didn’t see anyone from Vdare.
Blacks always complain of racism. Does it exist? Oh hell yes. Lots of blacks hate whites like poison, and lots of whites hate blacks. There are sociological reasons for this, but some other time.
When something blows, cops will usually be the fuse. The smart thing obviously would be to get white cops out of black regions and vice versa, but that would segregation and so won’t happen. Better to have city after city burn than to adopt a quick, simple, and un-PC cure.
Where is next? Milwaukee? New Orleans? St. Louis?
Write Fred at [email protected] Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid atuodeletion..