By Levell Williams, Interim Editor,
May 29, 2020
The officer who killed unarmed black man George Floyd has been arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. The charge comes in the wake of three days of riotous protest that exploded across the nation.
The murder, which took place on Memorial Day May 25th in Minneapolis, MN, was prompted by police response to a “forgery in progress” report. In a brutal arrest that has ignited the nation, officer Derik Chauvin was captured on video kneeling uncaringly into Floyd’s neck as he was downed on the pavement, muttering that he could not breathe.
Once the police called an ambulance, Floyd died shortly after arriving at the hospital. Chauvin and three other officers were fired after the bystander footage of the murder emerged.
Hannepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Chauvin’s arrest in a press conference today. “The investigation is ongoing,” said Freeman, noting that other charges may be imminent.
“Chauvin has eighteen prior complaints of improper police conduct, including violence,” said Guy Lewis, former U.S. Attorney to FOX News. “Just charging [and] arresting is only half the picture… the real goal here is to convict.”
Across the nation, officials are faced with the response to protests and rioting. “We’re seeing two separate groups, said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter to CBS News. “[There are] protestors… and folks who are out to use George Floyd’s killing… [to] further victimize the very communities who have already been traumatized…”
“There is a lot of pain and anger right now in our city… What we have seen in terms of looting is unacceptable,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to CBS News.
He noted the essential value of institutions like grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies to the community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We additionally need help from our community,” saying that he has gotten state aid “to prevent looting.”
People in every facet of American society have expressed their outrage about the situation, in no small part via social media. The President tweeted on the 28th, “…the Military is with [Governor Tim Walz] all the way… When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Although Floyd’s murderer is in custody, many are not satisfied, believing that the arrest should have come sooner, with the bystander’s egregious video evidence available to the public. Additionally, many protestors want a more severe murder charge, as well as charges against the other officers involved.
Ultimately, as government officials seek to uphold the wellbeing of their constituents amid these turbulent times, justice-seekers across the nation await a murder conviction. It will be a meaningful instance to disturb a terribly consistent trend of white law enforcers going relatively unpunished for the killings of unarmed black people.