The police body cam footage of officers’ encounter with George Floyd was released and I have some questions—the most important of which is in regard to the media’s reporting of Mr. Floyd’s death and the circumstances surrounding it. We were led to believe that racism was the catalyst for his death. Mr. Floyd had purchased a pack of cigarettes at a store with what the clerk believed to be a counterfeit $20 bill and the police were called after he refused to return the pack of cigarettes. The clerk said Mr. Floyd appeared to be “drunk” and “not in control of himself”, according to the transcript.
Shortly after the report was made, officers found Mr. Floyd sitting around the corner in his vehicle with two other people. After approaching the vehicle, the officer tells Mr. Floyd to let him see his hands. After Mr. Floyd opens the car door, he begins to profusely apologize saying, “I’m sorry…I’m sorry…” but he does not immediately obey the officer’s commands and after he does, he continually moves his hands around and almost immediately begins sobbing. Throughout the video, Mr. Floyd remains uncooperative, behaves erratically and hysterically and refuses to get into the police vehicle, claiming he is “claustrophobic” and will die if he enters the vehicle. Ironically, he was in a vehicle when the police first made contact with him and was reluctant to get out.
After viewing the video in its entirety, I am trying to figure out how racism became the battle cry. Regardless, the loss of his life is saddening. It truly is. And why Mr. Chauvin did not remove his knee from Mr. Floyd’s neck even after he lost consciousness is a disturbing fact.
What do you think of the footage? Has your opinion changed at all since viewing it? Do you believe the media accurately reported this story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.