The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has instigated one of the largest and most wide-spread anti-racism protests in the US, perhaps only eclipsed by the late-1960s’ Civil Rights Movement. As 4 former police officers who were at the scene face trial, they have tried to tell a different narrative.
Floyd passed away on May 25 as officers tried to arrest him for claims that he was using a counterfeit bill at a local store. Footage from the scene shows former cop Derek Chauvin with a knee of Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes as Floyd slowly lost consciousness on tape.
Floyd’s pleas that he can’t breathe were ignored by the officers. By the time the EMT came to the scene, Floyd had already passed away. As the footage went viral, so did the calls for justice. Not long after the incident, Chauvin and the rest of the team was charged with varying degrees of crime.
As the court gets ready to commence with the legal ruling of the incident, the defense attorneys have circulated the claims that Floyd was killed by overdosing on Fentanyl, rather being choked to death. Autopsy results vary as to how critical the choke was to Floyd’s death.
Floyd’s family has vocally and vehemently denied the recent allegations that the defense attorneys have suggested. In a statement, the family said that the only overdose that Floyd had was an overdose of police brutality and racism, not some drug usage.
Ben Crump, the family’s legal representative, was more direct in his expression. Saying that America has seen the footage of Floyd being arrested and being killed, he asked whether Americans will go on to believe what he described as “killer cops” or their own eyes in understanding the situation.
Floyd’s brother also told reporters about how hurtful the allegations have been. He said watching Floyd get killed on tape was the most brutal thing the family had to go through, and that to hear claims that he died from drug usage was like being stabbed with a knife.
Regardless of which argument the court finds to be true, the case itself will likely do little to defuse the tension. In fact, a large crowd of protesters gathered in front of the courts and hassled Chauvin as he showed up for the first time.
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