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Non-violent murder by natural causes: the mysterious death of George Floyd

Anorak Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Non-violent murder by natural causes: the mysterious death of George FloydDeath, murder and a killing. How do you report on George Floyd, the 46-year-old man filmed telling the policeman kneeling on his neck, “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe”? He had already been handcuffed. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired and federal authorities are investigating what happened to George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had allegedly used a forged check in a grocery store. What we know is mostly broadcast in this video below. Police say George Floyd resisted arrest:

“Hundreds demand justice in Minneapolis after police killing of George Floyd,” says the Guardian. Mr Floyd was “killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest”. Does the policeman’s whiteness matter? Was the man killed, a word that suggest it was no accident? Was it murder? Did he “lay” on the ground or was he being pushed into it.

Minneapolis police department says George Floyd “died a short time” after a “medical incident”, after being transported to hospital. He just died. It was passive. “[They] were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realized that the suspect was suffering a medical distress”. Dutifully, officers “called for an ambulance”. Was this medical incident related to the large, armed man named Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck? “He physically resisted officers,” MPD said in a statement. “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.”

The Daily Mail is no less circumspect, reporting that “footage emerged of a white cop kneeling on the neck of a black man who then passed out and died”. He was not killed. He just died. Al Jazeera agrees, although its headline only identifies the dead man by skin colour: “George Floyd: Black man dies after US police pin him to ground.” It was the “death of a black man” says the BBC. “CHAOS, ” yells the Sun, “Riots erupt in Minneapolis as thousands demand arrest of cops over George Floyd’s death with riot police firing tear gas.” Not a killing. A death that plays second fiddle to the “riots” -of which there were none. There was protest. Given what had occurred and the long, ugly history of African Americans being abused at the hands of white police and the US State, the crowd was remarkably calm.

Who do we fear – the police or the crowd looking on? A policeman is kneeling on a man’s throat. Another policeman stands by them both, watching the crowds for signs of insurrection. The man being pinned to the tarmac is about to breath his last.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on “The nonviolent incident that led to Floyd’s death”, adding that “a cause of death has not yet been determined”. It’s a mystery. But the coroner may care to take a look around Mr Floyd’s neck area for signs of “non-violent” trauma.

The Washington Post says Mr Floyd “died at the hands of police”. There’s no mention of any underlying health conditions. He didn’t collapse. He was taken down and kept down in brutal fashion. Was his death preventable? That one for the experts.

From one newspaper’s”killing” to another’s “non-violent” incident, the story is packaged and shaped to our tastes and prejudices. We need the facts.
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Video credit: Sky News UK Studios - Published
News video: US protests rage over George Floyd’s death

US protests rage over George Floyd’s death 02:19

The death of George Floyd has sparked angry protests and has led to a former officer being charged with third-degree murder.

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KaffirofKCUSA

C Martel @damocrat It's almost like death from natural causes/disease is percieved differently than senseless violent murder… https://t.co/DxtP5b5uZk 1 day ago