May 29, 2020 — It didn’t take a genius to see and hear that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was suffocating George Floyd. Floyd gasped repeatedly for several minutes that he couldn’t breathe — before falling silent. Yet Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight full minutes. When an ambulance finally arrived, Floyd was reportedly “unresponsive” and “pulseless.”
That was on Monday, May 25. The four arresting officers were immediately fired but four nights of violent demonstrations and rioting erupted across the country until, finally, Chauvin was arrested this morning and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. One wonders if the arrest was simply an effort to stop the riots.
Despite the video showing exactly what happened, Chauvin walked free for almost four days after committing what was clearly murder. He knew what he was doing … and he persisted. Floyd told him. The crowd of witnesses told him. And yet, with intent, he persisted for at least three minutes after Floyd grew silent. It was reminiscent of a hunter kneeling over his kill.
At least Chauvin was finally arrested. But why the lengthy delay? Will he ever actually be tried? Will he be convicted?
Justice hasn’t been done yet. But at least it has finally started. Maybe.
(Note: It’s now Friday night and demonstrations continue in many cities.)