George Floyd, Protests, Riots, and what’s next?

CC isn’t a place to talk about some of the deep seeded mistrust that the African-American community has with law enforcement. But CC is a place where a lot of smart people congregate to talk about many topics including some topics outside of the realm of “all things academia”. So I am going to talk about my initial impressions of the events that have unfolded since George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis PD.

I have not seen any threads on CC speaking to the George Floyd tragedy, but my social media platforms have been overwhelmed with anger, cries for justice, and outright rage within my “village” of family and friends. This one hurt. George Floyd was taken into custody for an alleged forgery (fake $20 bill) and he died on the street while citizens were watching and communicating that he was in distress. This was a disrespectful disregard of a life, and it has reinforced to my own children of color the great care they must take when in the presence of law enforcement. I truly believe that there are many fine officers who protect my community, but I have seen and experienced enough that will always cause me to act with extreme caution and some fear (despite being a law abiding citizen) around law enforcement.

The protests will hopefully help lead to some justice for Floyd’s family, and I pray that any rioters understand that justice will not be served by committing crimes and random acts of violence. My question to others on CC is how does this case end now that the primary officer (Derek Chauvin) has been charged with 3rd-degree murder and 2nd-degree manslaughter? Should any other officers on the scene bear any criminal responsibility for what happened to George Floyd?


I thought we couldn’t discuss anything political here? I would posit that Mr. Floyd’s murder transcends politics, but I’m not sure the line here on CC. To answer your specific question, yes I think the other officers are culpable. They could have and should have stopped this. If I rob a bank and kill a teller, and you’re my lookout, you’re going down with me. This is no better imo.

@milgymfam I am not interested in the politics with this story and only care about the opportunity to discuss the future legal ramifications of the officers and what deters future tragedies from ever taking place.

I had a discussion about the exact correlation @milgymfam mentioned. The other three officers were for all intent and purpose, lookouts or accomplices of the one who committed the murder. As such, they could be charged with anything up to and including the same charge of murder as the one who physically carried out the murder.

It’s hard to consider that this type of brazen disregard for human life could take place in broad daylight in front of many witnesses, yet the murderer nor his accomplices thought their actions would be held against them. That’s a high degree of feeling justified, entitled, and above the law.

It really makes me think twice about sending my son off to university hundreds of miles away. I haven’t had a single concern about sending him off in the age of Covid-19, but I have had second, third, and 400 thoughts about sending him off in the long-continued age of unrestrained police brutality.

It frightens me, but I know I have to send him anyway.

Holding every one of the police bystanders who failed to intervene accountable (i.e. charging them with a crime) is an important step towards preventing something like this from happening again.

It feels like America is fraying.

I totally agree with you on your assessment of holding the officers accountable and that America is “fraying”. I believe that all of the officers will be charged, but I am not as certain that they will be convicted. The American legal system can be manipulated in the hands of a great defense attorney. I fear that would cause that “fraying” to become even stronger.

Agree if the officers there are not convicted there would be more riots.

By fraying, I meant that it seems like the 1960’s again, where the country was polarized and on fire. I feel inarticulate about this. I didn’t mean the protesters were causing the fraying; I see the fabric of society ripping due to the police, the protesters and the president’s tweets. I’m still probably not articulating well what I mean.

ETA A NY Times op-ed’s subheading seems apt “Scenes from a country in free fall.”

I also agree that the other officers should be charged. At very least with aiding and abetting or better still, accessories to murder.

I still can’t believe that this continues to happen in this day and age.

It’s a disgrace.

(And I think this is fair game to discuss in the cafe. IMO, this is a world event, like Covid-19, and we should be able to talk about it apolitically.)

The unjustified killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer isn’t a political issue. The fact that there are those who believe it is gets to the heart of the underlying issue and a serious problem in America.

I think we clearly have a problem with the police and their feeling of impunity. I am sure it is a tough job but there are too many instances of unnecessary force and when they arrive upon scene they often escalate matters instead of calming tensions.

It is very sad and clearly there needs to be an investigation but I see little to indicate any force was necessary at all. Hopefully all will serve time for this.

I am outraged by the murders of both Ahmad Arbery on the GA coast and of George Floyd in Minneapolis. I agree that all involved (including the cops that did nothing to intervene in MN and the guy that videoed the shooting in GA) should be charged with murder. And I completely understand the fury. But I am saddened by the violence and looting in many cities yesterday. Wish there was a better solution…

Nothing will change if we don’t change how police and people in authority are trained and we need to get police to be “part” of the community. We need more people of minorities in these roles. If you don’t understand the community how can you enforce the laws of your community? It truly hurts me as a white man growing up poor seeing people destroying their “own” community. That I will never understand. I agree with protests but not violence and destruction
I feel bad for the people of these communities that won’t have places to shop and get basic groceries,etc.

All the police that were there and just stood by should of been arrested right away. 3rd degree? That will be pleaded down to a “J” walk. This was 1st degree murder.

While a very small part of the overall protest, I am also saddened by the violence that has occurred.

One thing I keep reminding myself is that the protests are not the point of origination. I should not focus on the problems with the protests and try to create solutions to encourage protests with zero violence. That is following a distraction, and diluting my power to do the most good.

We should all focus our efforts where our efforts will do the most good. We should all focus on ending the relentless stream of abuse, torture, and murder from an unjust police/legal system combined with no accountability for those perpetrating the abuse, torture, and murder. Once America does that, these protests about this issue will cease altogether. No protests means no chance for any possible violence associated with protests.

A recent article I read indicated that one of the officers was concerned for Mr. Floyd and urged Chauvin at least twice to reposition him on his side. Chauvin refused and stated Floyd was going to stay on his stomach. This was from body cam footage I believe.

I also read that two of the officers were rookies. I would be hesitant to judge all four until all information is available.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t think this was another horrible tragedy and injustice in a long line of many recent horrible incidents.

So there are protest planned in Chicago today. My daughter is planning on going. This is who she is. Since seeing the chaos in other cities I am feeling uneasy about this. People from other area’s will come to start up and cause destruction. She has supported other protests in the past. She is all about social justice.

She doesn’t want to take the train to the downtown area due to Covid. Maybe she will let me go with her. She’s smart enough to join an organized protest and leave if it becomes something else. In many cities the chaos is being caused by others outside the area and people that have something to prove that has nothing to do with social justice. This truly keeps me in fear.

I wonder if there is more to the story that may lead to a change in the charge. Chauvin and Floyd may know each other from working in the same nightclub.

In Denver they have shut off buses/light rail into downtown. You can get close and walk the rest of the way, but nothing into downtown or state capitol. The Capitol, the City and County building, the main police station are all close together and those have been the areas where most of the violent protesting has been. It is complicated by a homeless village that has formed in the park separating the the Capitol and City/County building. There is also the US Mint there too, but it is a fortress.

I did learn that you are supposed to bring milk to rinse your eyes if there is tear gas.

It’s distressing. I saw things like this growing up in a very dangerous area more than forty years ago. The problems of race relations and racial grievances seem insoluble, at least with the approaches taken over those forty years. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

@knowstuff, please go with your daughter if you have the opportunity. I was upset at what happened at the CNN Center in my area yesterday. Atlanta has always been a haven for peaceful protests and what I saw last night was not in the spirit of our Civil Rights forefathers.

I am frustrated with the unnecessary danger being posed as no one else should lose their life over this. Atlanta PD is probably one of the more “integrated” police departments in America and what happened last night put the “protesters” and officers in danger.

But I also understand the frustration that things seem to never change. As a young person, I may have been in such a crowd, but my Momma would have come and snatched me right out of it because she gave up a lot of her own dreams to make sure I reached my own. We should honor George Floyd by making things better and providing justice for his family and countless others who have lost loved ones in a similar manner.

I do not believe the violence and looting response to the George Floyd travesty is any solution. These things keep happening. I do not know if it’s because more such things are reported in MSM as well as social media. But that such cases make national news, police departments and government get sued and settle for huge amounts , and worst of all lives are lost and shattered, doesn’t stop the very next catastrophe—they even overlap.

Every police officer by now should understand what can happen when they apply deadly force. Everyone should get it, that racism exposed will ruin you. More importantly, though that has not seemed t have made any difference, is that it’s wrong. Also, every one of us should know that resisting arrest, running from cops, not behaving deferentially to LE can cost you your life. I’m not talking about how it SHOULD be, but how IT iS. Sadly, I know too many of those who could not keep this mind, even as they had no desire to be martyrs or poster faced for the cause of eliminating the death penalty for not cooperating with the police,

So what is the solution? I live in an area where certain parts of town , where most of the trouble occurs, the police are not called and they do not bother doing much if they are unless it’s an extreme situation. I know many older women who live there, many mothers. They would like heavier enforcement and the troublemakers to be taken away They are totally politically incorrect but they live the consequences of a many law breakers and criminal activities in the area.

No demonstrations here despite half the residents black, and IMO, cops very heavy handed. There have been breaking points here in the past,however, and can happen again. Despite the National nature of a significant uprising here, nothing has really changed— arrests, abuse , crime up in certain areas, and opportunities and income down.