OUR VIEW: Euro Weekly News opinion and views on news around the world
Technology over humanity
ON Monday, May 25, Police Officers in Minnesota received a call to attend a “forgery in progress” after a 46-year-old black man, George Floyd, allegedly tried to purchase goods in a shop using a counterfeit $20 note.
Upon arrival at the scene, the officers ordered Floyd out of his vehicle and cuffed him. Then he was pinned to the ground and surrounded by four officers, one of whom forced his knee into the back of Floyd’s neck. The officer’s statement said that Floyd had “physically resisted officers”, but many witnesses dispute this claim.
Footage of Floyd’s detainment has already gone viral as they were streamed on Facebook Live by bystander Darnella Frazier. The video shows Floyd groaning and repeatedly struggling to say “I can’t breathe” to Derek Chauvin, the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Floyd can be heard telling him: “I’m about to die. I can’t breathe. Please, the knee in my neck, I can’t breathe.”
As the crowds plead with the officers to let him up as he is not resisting arrest he eventually falls silent and stops moving, however, Chauvin defiantly does not remove his knee until the emergency services arrive. Floyd was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. A police statement states that he appeared to be in “medical distress,” it did not mention that he had been pinned to the ground with the weight of a police officer crushing his airway.
I am sure for a lot of people this brings to mind the case of Rodney King, who on March 3, 1991, was violently beaten by LAPD officers during an arrest for leaving the scene of an alleged crime and resisting arrest. These “attacks” are separated by almost 30 years. Has mankind not evolved in the last 30 years?
What have we been doing with our time? Have our heads been stuck behind laptops, phones and social media as technology advances but our own minds, actions and beliefs do not?
The four officers involved in Floyd’s killing have all been dismissed. Will they also be charged with his murder?
I suppose it was lucky there was somebody there with a mobile phone to record it for social media.