The arrogance of racist cops was on full display Memorial Day when they arrested George Floyd, handcuffed him, and one of them knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground. A bystander took a video. Others argued with the cops to let him up. You can hear Floyd moaning and saying, “Please, I can’t breathe… My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. … (I need) water or something. Please. Please. I can’t breathe, officer. … I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.”
Apparently little has changed since 2014, when New York City cops murdered Eric Garner, who died in a cop’s choke hold, repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe” before dying. Garner’s case was one of many that fueled the Black Lives Matter movement.
Like countless other cases of police violence against black people, the fact that a bystander took a video of Floyd’s murder proved crucial. The video sparked mass outrage at yet another murder at the hands of police. The four officers responsible for this murder have been fired and the FBI is launching a federal civil rights investigation.
Floyd’s murder comes on the heels of the cop murders of Sean Reed in Indianapolis and Ahmaud Arbery in South Georgia. No active-duty cop was involved in Arbery’s death, but one of the suspects is a retired cop.
Racism pervades policing in the United States. We need to continue the fight to defend black lives against racist murder.
Featured image credit: Elizabeth Flores / Star Tribune