Chip Shots

by Jim Buzzerd

Not a sports take

If the Coronavirus pandemic wasn’t enough to put our way of life in chains, now we have nearly a solid week of mob violence across the country as folks protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman. Of course Floyd was black and the cop is white, which further exacerbates the situation. We’ve seen white cops killing unarmed black people over and over again on the news. Sometimes the circumstances seem to provide a reason the cop could have made a mistake and took a shot. Other times it seems the policeman involved was just eager to shoot.
The death of Floyd rises to another level. If I try to put myself into a policeman’s shoes that shot an unarmed black person, or white person for that matter, there are some viable reasons that could force me to take a lethal type action. I have no training at all in these matters, so from my layman’s perspective; if it’s dark and a suspect makes any move other than what he’s been directed to do, well, good luck suspect!
None of that applies here.  Police were called because Floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. It was still daylight and Floyd was cuffed without any resistance, at least not on any video I’ve seen. Floyd was put into a squad car and there appears to be some sort of scuffle in the back seat. The next thing I saw was a prone Floyd in cuffs with police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck.
Whatever issue there was with Floyd was over quickly, or so it would seem, I mean he was handcuffed. Instead, Chauvin kept his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. For an untimed portion of that time Floyd could be heard begging for his life. For the final stages of the nine minutes Floyd was unresponsive for a period of time, yet Chauvin continued to apply pressure. Other officers stood by and did nothing.
Chauvin has been charged with manslaughter and third degree murder. Those charges seem weak in this case and that fact has fueled the anger.
What has followed defies logic. Everyone should be outraged by this act regardless of ethnicity, but many of the demonstrations around the country turned from peaceful to violent.  I mean how does looting and arson make a point?