Derek Chauvin, the despicable killer-cop has finally been arrested.
The fires in Minneapolis embody a much deeper rage in the Black community over the many killings of African Americans that have gone unpunished, and the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin and his colleagues, was the spark.
The protests and fires could spread.
To refer to the killers of Floyd as police officers is to lend legitimacy to these racist thugs masquerading as officers of the law.
The cavalier, arrogant, and heartless execution of Floyd in broad daylight showed the four men in uniform involved to be soulless creatures devoid of human compassion. Floyd had committed no crime. He was not resisting arrest. He was handcuffed and had one officer squeezing his life out with a knee to his neck while two others apparently pinned him down. A fourth stood there, as a lookout, keeping angry bystanders at bay.
The ring leader of the killers, Chauvin, has only just been arrested today, four days after his heinous actions. All four men in uniform had already been fired.
Floyd begged Chauvin for his life, saying “I can’t breathe” and could also be heard saying Chauvin was going to kill him. He could already feel his life ebbing. Bystanders, recording the slow-motion lynching, urged Chauvin to let Floyd “breathe.” Floyd’s plea for his life echoed Eric Garner’s who uttered the same words–“I can’t breathe”– at least eight times as another killer in uniform named Daniel Pantaleo, on the New York Police Department used his arms to choke the life out of him in 2014. Pantaleo remained on the police force for five more years before he was fired. He was never criminally prosecuted.
Floyd’s killer, Chauvin, in one version of one of the videos by a bystander can be heard telling him, repeatedly, to “get up and get in the car.” Why would he make such statements? The only plausible explanation is that this killer cop was recording himself, already trying to create a false alibi, to later suggest that Floyd had been resisting arrest.
This is the mind of a criminal committing premeditated murder. Unfortunately there are many men like Chauvin, with deep-seated animus toward Black people, who use the cover of police departments to carry out their racist aspirations.
Chauvin and his partners in crime showed depraved indifference to Black human life. They were so callous that they didn’t even care that the whole affair was being recorded by several people. Why should they care when they know—as we all do—that in the past, White people have walked after murdering unarmed Black people.
The fuse was already lit by the anger in Black communities over recent killings that had been covered up. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot execution-style by White vigilantes in Georgia in February, yet the killers—a father, son, and an accomplice—were not arrested until more than 10 weeks later.
They’d chased down Arbery in their pickup van. While the father, Gregory McMichael, stood in the back of the vehicle, the son, Travis McMichael, holding a shotgun, confronted the unarmed Arbery and shot him three times. Only after outrage on social media when video of the killing emerged did the authorities arrest the McMichaels and charge them with murder and aggravated assault and begin to undo the coverup. A third White man, William Bryan—the one who recorded the lynching—was also later arrested and charged.
There was additional rage in Black communities over the shooting death by plainclothes police of Breonna Taylor, 26, as she slept at home on March 13 in Louisville. Taylor, who was an EMT, was pumped with at least eight bullets while asleep in her underwear according to her lawyer Ben Crump. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who fired a shot, with a licensed weapon, at the door when he heard what he believed to be strangers trying to enter their home, was arrested and charged with attempted murder. The police later claimed they’d been conducting a drug raid. Again it was public outcry over social media that spurred the ongoing investigation into Taylor’s killing. Charges against Walker have been dropped.
Before these recent cases, the memory of several other victims remained raw on the minds of people in African American communities. A short roster of those killed by police officers or vigilantes include: Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Stephon Clark, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Patrick Dorismond, Oscar Grant, and Amadou Diallo.
African Americans in Minneapolis, and elsewhere around the country are saying enough is enough. After the cold-blooded execution of Floyd, Black Star News wrote in a recent editorial
before the eruption: “Racist officers like Chauvin are undeterred even as society denounces killer cops who precede them. They must be warned that any people can only take so much abuse. They risk sparking a conflagration if these routine killings go unchecked and unpunished.”
We cover these killings closely and we could sense explosion coming. It doesn’t help that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, is a racist flamethrower who has sown the seeds of division throughout his lifetime.
Minneapolis indicates that the moment for serious action is now.
We will see similar eruptions down the line unless some serious steps are taken immediately, such as:
1. European Americans must join the protests against police criminality—through social media if need be until the coronavirus restrictions are eased to permit physical protests—in large numbers. So long as the criminals disguised in uniforms believe they have the tacit backing of the majority in the European American population, they will not change their behavior. Chauvin and his accomplices were obviously undeterred by the outcry over the deaths of Arbery and Taylor.
Criminals like Chauvin believe that they are keeping “these people”—African Americans—in their place to preserve the status quo and privileges that European Americans enjoy.
2. Attorneys general and district attorneys must review all future incidents—and investigate any questionable past ones—for possible coverups of criminal unlawful killings of Black people, in light of the coverups now exposed after Arbery’s and Taylor’s killings.
3. In clear cases with documentary evidence such as the execution of Floyd, the officer shouldn’t only be fired, but arrested and immediately charged with murder.
4. Police departments must be reformed and focus on community policing. Why should European American police officers who don’t live in Black neighborhoods—in the case of New York City they live in suburbs—police areas they have no ties to?
5. Police officers must come forward—whether they do it anonymously—and provide information to the authorities about racist police officers once they become aware while working with them in the same precincts. They must provide this information to the media if they don’t believe that the authorities will take action. Let racists harbor their noxious notions at home, not while wearing a uniform and carrying a gun and badge pretending to be an officer of the law. We at Black Star News welcome tips to [email protected] and [email protected]
6. Police officers convicted of unlawful killings should forfeit their pensions when fired.
The criminal, Derek Chauvin, looking at past egregious cases where police officers got away with murder, was confident that he too would walk.
Police officers must not be allowed to think that way.
Follow the writer @allimadi