A newly leaked video of George Floyd’s arrest has been making its rounds after being posted by the DailyMail. In the video, we see a completely different depiction of the events leading up to his death that included resisting arrest from the start, claiming he couldn’t breath several times before being put on the ground, and absolutely no signs of racism in the actions of the law enforcement officers.
It’s unfortunate that DailyMail received the leaked video as the narrative they tried to paint with their edits as well as the story associated with the video is completely one-sided against law enforcement. What I and others saw in the video was a man resisting arrest from the very beginning. He refused to follow simple instructions such as showing both hands. DailyMail claims the “rookie cop” pulled the gun on him, “terrorizing him,” while making no mention of standard operating procedure when a suspect appears to be hiding something in his hand. Had Floyd showed his hands as instructed multiple times, there would have been no gun pulled on him.
Before we get into more takeaways from the video, it should be noted that by no means is any of this considered justification for former officer Derek Chauvin’s actions prior to Floyd’s death. Kneeling on his neck for over eight minutes led to his death. Whether that’s because he was suffocating or had other issues that arose based upon his panicked state for several minutes before he was on the ground is up for debate, but the knee to his neck was clearly excessive in this circumstance. However, the narrative that has been given to us prior to this video is completely false. We were told he didn’t resist or only lightly resisted. We were told he was fine until he was on the ground, which he wasn’t; he was claiming he couldn’t breath long before he was on the ground.
But the biggest false narrative taken from this is that racism played a part. It did not. There is no indication whatsoever that the actions of the police officers involved were motivated by race. It is almost certain that if a white man was acting in the same erratic way that George Floyd was acting, the results would have been identical. Perhaps that’s why it has taken so long for this video to be released.
Reactions on social media have been mixed. Those who see this as further evidence of police misconduct will only see a terrified man acting a little strange. Others will see a man who simply needed to not resist arrest in order to be alive today. I fall in the latter category; up until the point a knee was wrongly placed on his neck and kept there for over eight minutes, the law enforcement officers involved were acting appropriately.
Perhaps the most curious part of this whole story is why this video wasn’t released before. During the riots, this video could have helped to defuse the racism narrative that sparked the various riots around the nation. It wouldn’t have worked for everyone; I’m already seeing many on the left and with Black Lives Matter claiming this is further evidence of racism. It is not, but they have to claim it was in order to justify their narrative. As bad as the riots got, it’s unlikely this video would have made things worse. It may, however, have dissuaded some from buying into the false “systemic racism” narrative that has divided the country so furiously over the past few months.
People will see what they want to see from the leaked video, but one thing is certain. We’ve never been told the real story. Derek Chauvin’s knee should never have been on George Floyd’s neck, but racism wasn’t the issue here.
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