On May 25, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police offer while being arrested. A 911 complaint said that Floyd used counterfeit money that day in a local business and was “pretty drunk”. When police initially approached Floyd after the complaint, he was inside a vehicle in an area a few miles SE of Minneapolis not far from the downtown area. Toxicology reports showed that George Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system, but they were not the cause of his death. Floyd was killed while in what from everything I know, have read, and have seen, appears like a massive overuse of force from police. The video of events leading up to his death can be seen here, which I’m sure most of you have already seen.
If I were to guess, I’d say that 99.99% of Americans seeing the video of George Floyd’s death were shocked and outraged. Is there anyone watching the video that thought what transpired was appropriate? I’d be shocked if even police saw the video and thought it was acceptable. There still is a lot of evidence about this case that hasn’t been publicly presented, but the way and length of time in which the officer kept his knee on the back of the neck of George Floyd seems like it was murderous, especially since the suspect already had handcuffs on and was face down on the street. I listen to a lot of radio and podcasts, both from the right and left, and there’s unanimity about the overuse of force by the police officer involved in George Floyd’s death. Rush Limbaugh (who I don’t really care for, just happen to be flipping through channels) called for the officer who killed Floyd to be tried for first degree murder (well before the third degree charge was announced). I think Sean Hannity called for the same, and has been extremely, and consistently, critical of the force that was used too. Other conservative talk show hosts have echoed those sentiments about the incident.
Earth, Wind, and Fire
I live in the Minneapolis area, not far from where George Floyd was killed and where much of the protests, violence, burning and looting took place. In the first few days after Floyd’s death, I was alarmed at what was taking place. Via video from the local news, I saw the city that I live in deteriorate quickly, namely arsonist thugs setting buildings and business on fire, and mass looting. You could see fire wafting into the air from the burnings in many parts of the city. Even Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), which a left wing news source, did a few articles and some reporting on the destruction. The damage to the city was so immense it couldn’t be ignored, although their coverage of the damage fell off dramatically after the first couple of days.
I wanted to see what happened in the area, so on May 30th (or 5 days after Floyd was killed), rode my bike along the main throughway on Lake Street where much of the actioned began. I was in the area for around 3-4 hours and also stuck around the main protest area for about an hour, where 1,000 or so people congregated. Here are some photos and thoughts on that day:
Who Were the Protesters?
Before I left to see the destruction, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wanted to bring my audio recorder and get some interviews, but wasn’t sure that would be safe so I left it at home. Driving to the main area of the protests, I encountered a few thousand people along the way. The masses of people I encountered closely matched what I saw on tv too, they were:
- Young, mostly people in their 20’s and lower 30’s
- More whites than blacks
- Left politically
- Non – religious
Obviously points 3 & 4 are my assumptions, although I’d guess that 90% (likely 95%-99%) that I saw during my trek align themselves leftward politically. The remainder might not classify themselves polically and may think of themselves as more anarchist. I’m also assuming a very high percent of those in attendence, probably 85% or higher are non-religious. The reason I think all of those points are significant are because this is the last group of people that I equate with wisdom. Look at similar protests in the U.S. and around the world in say the last 20 years, like at the WTO, G7, G8 summits, in Fergusson, Los Angeles, etc. All mostly younger people, often followed with violence. Fortunately for them, violence works.
“The vast majority of political violence comes from the left” – Dennis Prager
The protests were, and are, continuously called “mostly peaceful”. What does it mean to be mostly peaceful? If protesters are threatening and profane, throw rocks, glass bottles, and concrete at police, smash cars, cheer as buildings burn, not stop others who do damage, participate in mass looting, mass damage of public and private property? There’s also plenty of video that has protesters talking about the guns and weapons they were carrying too.
According to the protesters and left wing media narrative, the officers that were accompanying officer Chauvin on the call, and subsequent killing of, George Floyd, were guilty because they didn’t step in and stop the brutality. Did any of those “peaceful protesters” stop any of the violence in Minneapolis? Did they report any names of the arson thugs and looters to police? What would happen if someone wore a MAGA hat to the protests? Or a pro-Trump tshirt? How would they be treated? I think the answers to those questions are pretty evident. I think verbal, mental, or material support to violence protesters and anarchists is also supporting violence. If you don’t, then we not only differ, but have different moral standards.
Other Black Lives Matter Too
A few days after taking these photos, I went for a walk with a friend of mine. We became friends talking about and comparing notes about our travels in Africa. She’s black, lives in North Minneapolis (a poorer, mostly black area in the Twin Cities metro), and inherited 2 pharmacies from her grandmother. One of the pharmacies is in Uptown (where these photos are from and near where George Floyd was killed) and the other is in North Minneapolis. Each location was started by her grandmother decades ago and are vital businesses for those local communities. One of the pharmacies was burned to the ground; a total loss. The other was heavily damaged with broken glass and mass looting. She was so irate at not only her loss, but all of the other damage done to her community and city. Don’t hold your breathe, you won’t hear her voice on MPR or NPR though.
The wise sages on the Left in Minneapolis are now calling for defunding and disbanding the police department. After the riots in Fergusson, MO violence increased (known as the “Fergusson Effect”) as many police were afraid to take action against blacks committing crime. Violence in Minneapolis and Chicago are on the rise, and as police are criticized more and more, I expect that to continue. Can you imagine a city without police? It would be amazing. I’d expect criminals from other states to pour into Minneapolis and create a real life Gotham City, and I’m completely serious.
Defunding and especially disbanding police will ultimately create more violence and cost more lives, to which you can hear ants playing in a band more than a peep about that issue from groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM). Only some black lives matter to BLM, or those that come from police violence. The other black lives lost, like those recently occurring in Minneapolis and Chicago, do not enter on their radar. Never have.
Judging from his past run ins with the law, George Floyd might have been a thug, I don’t know. However Floyd’s death was not necessary, and I have contempt for the way that officer Chauvin (the man who killed Floyd) went about his job, and for the killing of George Floyd. However, the violence, looting, and arson that Minneapolis has experienced is also extremely maddening, and it’s getting little attention. Certainly much less attention than it deserves. Here’s a recent post in the Star & Tribune, a Minneapolis based newspaper, that details the over 1,500 businesses that were damaged, looted, and burned during the “mostly peaceful protests”. But as long as that rage is connected with left wing groups, it’s obvious the media would gloss over it. Can you imagine if a pro-life rally took place and results like Minneapolis has experienced took place? The media would be going insane. Calls of insurrection would be coming from everywhere and pleads to the police to stop the violence would certainly follow.
I hear people, even friends and family, say they “are against the burning and looting, but…”. But what? They then go on to indirectly or subtly justify the violence in some way or another. So if a group of people is mad that gives them the green light to ruin people’s lively hood? To endanger people and families in their homes? To burn and destroy anything they please and cause over $100 million in damage, forcing some businesses to close forever? It’s absolutely sickening and so is the lack of outrage over it in and outside of this city.
Again, what happened to George Floyd was terrible. It shouldn’t have happened. Do I support police reform? Absolutely. I’d like body cameras to be mandatory on all police in MN as soon as they are put on a call. Even though I think there is much more violence that is intentionally avoided by police (that is never talked about), I’d like to see less domineering and forceful action when it’s not needed. Having police reports that aren’t accurate and outright lies about what transpired is also extremely troubling. I’d also like more funding for police physical interactive training, not less. One of my relatives is a retired cop too, so I do have a connection in that regard.
I’ve had a few run ins with police too. I almost got beat down by a cop after going to a Rage Against the Machine concert in downtown Minneapolis in 2008. I was just crossing the street trying to get to my car. An officer was in the middle of the road along with hundreds of other concert goers walking around. He turned around and didn’t realize I was behind him and raised his hand into the air with the billy club ready to strike. Just before that, I saw a guy holding an anti-cop sign who got beat up badly by police on the street, which blood pouring down his face after the assault. That same day though, I had a nice talk with a female officer before the concert. I like law and order, but I think police could use less violence in general to deal with situations. However, in a country where guns are ever present, it’s easy to see why police want to control the situation first and ask questions later.
In the end though, the police are the thin line between regulated society and chaos. Literal chaos. It will be interesting to see where things are at here in the coming years. Hopefully I’ll retire and get the hell out of dodge; I’m not very hopeful.