A warning: this episode contains descriptions of police violence…
On May 25th, George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
We discussed it on last week’s episode, which we recorded about 45 hours after the killing.
We knew some of the details then — enough to recognize the obvious similarities to other killings in the past.
In video of the killing, George Floyd can be heard pleading.
He can be heard calling for his mother.
He begs his assailant, “don’t kill me.”
“I can’t breathe.”
Multiple times he says, “I can’t breathe.”
There was a knee across his neck as he said this.
He was pinned to the ground.
“I can’t breathe.”
That knee remained across his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
During the last 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that time, George Floyd was unresponsive.
Yet the knee remained.
It’s eerily familiar to the 2014 killing of Eric Garner on Staten Island…
Another man who told his assailant that he couldn’t breathe and was still held by the neck.
Both men were killed.
Both men were black.
Both men were accused of low level crimes.
They were accused…
Both of their assailants were police officers.
Their names, again, were George Floyd — killed in 2020 — and Eric Garner — killed in 2014.
Six years separate their deaths.
Much has happened in those six years.
And much has happened since last week… May 25th.
George Floyd’s killer was Officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Words matter, though…
and this killing was ruled a homicide by a coroner.
The officer has been charged with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter.
It was murder.
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