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[George Floyd Eyewitness\LAPD]
Charles McMillan: "I kept telling the officer, 'Brother, get your foot off his neck because he’s stopped breathing. He’s going to die. And the officer refused to get his foot off Mr. Floyd‘s neck...I hear Mr. Floyd saying, “Mom, they’re killing me in the street.”
Photo: YouTube

Charles McMillan eyewitness to the murder of George Floyd.

The cop raised his weapon shouting, "Forty millimeter up! Curfew! YOU WILL BE FIRED UPON."

Olympic Street near LA Police headquarters in downtown LA was lit up by a bright blue and purple disco light-show from about 40 police cars, all with sirens braying. It was just past the 8 pm curfew meant to stop the riot.

But there was no riot.

Still, the officer pulled up his weapon, aiming at a half dozen protesters who were, at that moment, wandering a bit lost and quiet with exhaustion, seeming unaware of the power of a "Forty," whether the cop meant a gas shell or a 40-caliber bullet. A few raised middle fingers, yelling, "FUCK THE POLICE!" as I walked toward the line of cops. When the one with the raised weapon repeated, "You will not get a warning! I’LL PUT A 40 MILLIMETER IN YOU." I shouted, "PRESS! PRESS! PRESS!" holding my reporter's ID over my head, hoping its message, and not its thin plastic, would stop the .40.

Suddenly, the cop’s etiquette changed. "Oh, I didn’t see that."

Whew! Politely, I asked, "Were you really going to shoot someone for violating a curfew?"

"I’m not giving an interview! GET OVER THERE!" directing me out of the firing line.

The protesters wandered off, unmolested but satisfied that the Police Department's over-the-top reaction (500 arrests as I write) had accomplished what the protesters themselves could not do: shut down Los Angeles.

On close inspection, the shouting cop’s Smith & Wesson .40 was still holstered; he’d been holding a tear gas "shotgun," the type used all day, alongside rubber bullets, to break up the protests which the city had banned, ostensibly because of the coronavirus.

And this was the day LA was scheduled to open up, with folks allowed back in the streets. They certainly filled the streets; and now their masks had a second purpose: to screw up police surveillance.

There was an interesting ethnic division in that small part of the ersatz "riot" I witnessed. Young and middle-aged Black protesters held signs. LatinX protesters carried US and Mexican flags; some rode cars, honking and slamming accelerators to leave an acrid cloud of burning tire rubber, a very LA form of protest. A rock band defied the curfew from the back of a couple of pick-up trucks riding in noisy tandem.

The cops and looters were uniformly white.

A LatinX woman with flags was crying, inconsolable. "Where did they put my kids?!" she asked no one in particular, sobbing. Her kids were still in ICE detention at the border. She saw the police killings and the kidnapping of her children as just two episodes of the same old story.

The city closed the Griffith Park hiking trails, apparently afraid of an insurrection in the Hills. Exception: you could access the trails if you have your own horse. Presumably, the horsey set are unlikely to rebel against the regime.

In Minneapolis, our award-winning photojournalist Zach D. Roberts was slammed hard with pepper spray. But he still got the story from Charles McMillan, eyewitness to the cop’s killing of George Floyd.

McMillan said, “I saw the police officer handcuffed Mr. Floyd and take him over to the squad car. And Mr. Floyd was on the ground. I kept telling the officer, 'Brother, get your foot off his neck because he’s stopped breathing. He’s going to die. And the officer refused to get his foot off Mr. Floyd‘s neck.”

“This is the consequence everyone’s got to pay, including me watching a man die. ... And I hear Mr. Floyd saying, 'Mom, they’re killing me in the street.’”

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