George Floyd, an American, was handcuffed by a police officer in Minneapolis – the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The video of late Mr.Floyd that has been widely shared on media and sparked the violent protests does not show how exactly the confrontation between him and the police started, but a white officer can be seen with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, pinning him down. Mr. Floyd can be clearly heard pleading the police officer not to kill him. “Please, I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me,” these were the last words of Mr.Floyn. The deceased was also heard calling out his late mother before he stopped moving.
The whole episode started off when on MAY 25th police officers in Minneapolis responded to a shop assistant’s complaint about someone passing a counterfeit(false) bill. They arrested a 46-year-old George Floyd but instead of putting him in the back of a squad car to investigate any further, an officer pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck for quite some time until he stopped breathing.
Derek Chauvin, the officer who held Mr. Floyd on the ground, was arrested on the afternoon of May 29th days after the violent protest erupted in the city. The officer has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter and may face further charges for what certainly looks like excessive and unjustified use of force.
The city has identified the four officers involved as Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J Alexander Kueng. In earlier action, the said police officer was only sacked from the service the action that sounds insufficient and failed to comfort the protestants. Minneapolis police station was set on fire overnight, and officers have been firing tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protests.
The disheartening remarks of President Donald Trump that he tweeted afterward further aggravated the situation and kick-started the heated exchange of words between Twitter and Facebook. The argument started after Twitter slapped a warning and fact-check labels on President Trump’s tweet in which Donald Trump said: “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means…”
In 1967, the police chief of Miami coined the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” to threaten civil rights demonstrators. The same year US Supreme Court first articulated a notion of “qualified immunity.” In the case of police violence against a group of civil rights demonstrators in Mississippi, the court decided that the police officers should not face legal consequences for enforcing the law “in good faith and with probable cause.”
As many as 7 people were shot in downtown Louisville, Ky., at a protest this Thursday evening calling for justice for a 26-year-old black woman who was shot and killed in her apartment by police in March. The protests started peacefully but gunfire erupted shortly afterward. The unrest in Louisville -the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky – happened on the same night that protests escalated in Minneapolis, where demonstrators called for justice over the death of George Floyd.
Protests have now erupted in multiple cities over the death of an unarmed citizen at the hands of a police officer. The wife of the accused ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has also filed for a dissolution of marriage, according to a statement from the Sekula Family Law office.
“This evening, I spoke with Kellie Chauvin and her family. She is devastated by Mr. Floyd’s death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy. She has filed for dissolution of her marriage to Derek Chauvin,” the statement said.
“While Ms. Chauvin has no children from her current marriage, she respectfully requests that her children, her elder parents, and her extended family be given safety and privacy during this difficult time.”
Police rarely face criminal charges for actions that might land an ordinary person in the legal pursuit. The protesters and rioters on the streets of Minneapolis see this discrimination as part of institutional racism, in which victims of police mistreatment rarely achieve justice. Police enjoy protection under the legal cover of “qualified immunity.”
Federal law gives Americans the right to sue government officials who violate their constitutional rights. But 1967 law protects the public officials who commit so-called “good faith” rights violations and entitled to “qualified immunity.” The limitless immunity from prosecution for actions taken while on duty gives public officials a license to kill and harm anyone at their will. The controversial law is likely to arrest the person’s basic right – the right to life. The right to life is the belief that a being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be killed by another entity including government.