‘No rational person’ can say Floyd’s death was racially motivated, columnist says
Sports journalist Jason Whitlock wrote Tuesday that the early narrative surrounding the death of George Floyd amounted to a “race hoax” after leaked body camera footage of the incident that led to Floyd’s death May 25 was made public.
The death of George Floyd was more complicated than the liberal media like to portray it, and the leaked police body camera footage this week doesn’t really make the issue any clearer.
If anything, the video takes some air out of the idea that Floyd’s death was the result of one or more racist officers looking to kill another unarmed black man.
That might be why CNN and MSNBC aren’t airing it around the clock the way they had the initial 30-second video of officer Derek Chauvin leaning on Floyd’s neck with his knee.
The footage, first published Monday by the Daily Mail, shows the beginning of Floyd’s encounter with police, starting when officer Thomas Lane approached the parked vehicle that Floyd was sitting in. Lane taps on Floyd’s window, and Floyd, alarmed, shuffles around before opening the door.
From the beginning, it’s clear that Floyd is in some kind of mental or emotional distress, frantically telling Lane, who is pointing a gun at him, and the other officer present, Alexander Kueng, that he’s “sorry” and that he “didn’t do nothing” (despite the police not having accused him of anything) while repeatedly failing to do as instructed.
Floyd was told to keep his hands on the steering wheel, which he didn’t immediately do. He was asked to step out of the car, to which he kept pleading for the officer not to shoot him, even as the Lane told him, multiple times, “I’m not going to shoot you.” (Lane is heard later in the video stating that he is concerned about Floyd’s hands because he thought me might restart the car and attempt to drive away.)
Throughout Floyd’s entire interaction with police, he struggles, perhaps at least in part because he had a genuine fear of the police. He’s seen begging not to be shot. He’s heard telling the police, “I’m not that kind of guy” and that he “just lost my mom.” And he repeats over and over that he’s claustrophobic, that he can’t breathe, and that he feels like he’s going to die.
However, sustaining a murder charge against Chauvin is going to be tough, unless the other two videos show something significantly different. A manslaughter charge would have made more sense, but that would have made it very difficult if not impossible to charge the other three officers. Two of them had made several attempts to get Floyd into the car without success, and it’s clear that Floyd was resisting almost from the first point of contact. This won’t acquit Chauvin, but it’s very possible that the other three could walk if a jury considers the full context of the video.
The resulting riots will be even more disastrous for Minneapolis than the first go-around. No word yet on whether state Attorney General Keith Ellison would approve of them, but perhaps this since-deleted tweet offers a clue: