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The Aftermath of George Floyd

The Repercussions of George Floyd’s death

George Floyd’s death has been examined by two different pathology bodies.

The family requested a private autopsy which found Floyd to have died due to ‘mechanical asphyxiation’, whereas the public autopsy carried out by Hennepin County, concludes death by cardiopulmonary arrest. Put more simply, George Floyd died when his heart stopped beating. His heart stopped beating when it no longer received air.

The private autopsy suggests compression to the neck, caused arterial pressure which obstructed the functions of the heart and the brain. Where it differs from the public autopsy, is that it suggests Floyd died purely from the pressure applied to the neck.

The public autopsy suggests Floyd died from a combination of factors: drugs within the blood (methamphetamine), lack of oxygen to the heart, and pre-existing conditions (heart disease and high blood pressure). 

The private autopsy does not consider any of these factors, other than to reinstate that Floyd would still have died despite the pre-existing factors. Thus maybe so, however this is not professional to make such claims.

It is not possible to test what would have happened to Floyd if he had not suffered pre-existing conditions. However, I find it surprising that an analysis of Floyd’s body weight and dimensions and the affect the trauma would have had upon them in the absence of such pre-existing conditions, was not made.

What would the affect have been upon a healthy man of his size and dimensions, subjected to the force and trauma of the compression?

High blood pressure which puts added pressure upon the heart, as well as diagnosed heart disease-will already have weakened Floyd’s cardiac response within the body. 

The private pathologist states that Floyd was ‘in good health’. Therefore his death would not have been affected by anything pre-existing. 

This is simply not the case however, it is well known Floyd had a history of health conditions that affect the heart, not to mention methamphetamine use; which can cause a rapid or irregular heart beat.

What the two reports do agree upon, is homicide, or murder. Where the private autopsy report disagrees is the extent to which the accused will be convicted.

A cause of death related purely to the compression of the neck will likely lead to a more severe conviction for all parties.

What is important here, is the angle of the compression.

What structures of the neck were compressed and how would this affect preservation of life-specifically would Floyd have survived without pre-existing conditions?

Nonetheless, an obstruction of anyone’s airway, even upon a healthy individual, is likely to affect life.

I cannot imagine being able to breathe after a compression of 8-9 minutes upon my neck.

I do not have the combat knowledge that the police are likely to train in, so I would not know what structures to avoid-perhaps Chauvin did. 

However, application of such a large surface area, such as Chauvin’s knee which was applied to the side of George’s neck, is likely to not have had the control in making discrepancy.

Whether Chauvin will be committed with first degree or second degree murder, remains to be seen.

What is important here, what is more important than anything else, is the brutality that George Floyd was subjected to.

Although he may not be innocent, it does not impinge upon the persecution he endured. Subjection to the video was one of the most harrowing things I have sadly witnessed in recent times. My heart goes out to those who were present.

There was no justification for what happened.

There is no real ‘why’ to explain what happened, other than perhaps hatred. 

According to reports, Chauvin was known to have a ‘short fuse’ and a tendency to overreact, reportedly readily using ‘pepper spray’ with punters at the venue both he and Floyd worked at.

What happened on the 25th May, is beyond pepper spray and a short fuse. I do not want to do George Floyd injustice by describing his experience with my limited words. 

George Floyd was subjected to an injustice that disregarded his life plain and simple. This much can be said. The man who carried out the action had no regard for the life that was at his mercy, and for which will be paid for forever more.

What happened was injustice, injustice for those of a different skin, injustice for those who are sick, and injustice for those who are poor.

It was injustice on all counts, not solely for the colour of George Floyd’s skin.

I think to focus on his race, is not to do him justice. Yes, it is no doubt a factor. Would Chauvin have reacted the same to a white counterpart? Probably not. The problem is not the colour of George Floyd’s skin however, the problem is the hatred that has formed, born out of insecurity and thrashed upon those who show up in a weak moment.

The idea of racial discrimination although, is a problem. We are all discriminated against, we are all labelled, but the persecution of the black people endures.

What happened was despicable, from Chauvin to the lack of responsibility taken by the officers surrounding, enlisted to protect our streets.

Whatever played through the minds of those who stood back, they thought their own integrity worth more than a man’s life.

Yet, they will have to live with that integrity for the rest for their lives.

Or, is there another side to the story?

Out of the other three officers present, officers Kueng and Lane spoke for George Floyd and either asked Chauvin to stop, or questioned his actions. These two men now sit on a $1,000,000 bail, like their other two comrades. 

Both these men were in the first week of a new job, Kueng was not long out of training.

This is not the story that is commonly making the rounds.

It is not fair to expect two new police officers, at least one fresh out of training, to find the strength to stand up to a bully like Chauvin. Especially when it is the very command they are taught to obey. Chauvin was a training officer.

There seems to be injustice on all counts.

How to break free of this persecution?

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter”

(Martin Luther King)

What happened was evil. Chauvin took a man at his most vulnerable and made his last day taste of the dirt that once only graced the soles of his feet.

Perhaps there is a justice in the voices that line the streets and cry in the back allies, but today, rest in peace George Floyd.

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