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The Death of George Floyd

The details emerging upon George Floyd’s death

I do not know much but I do know that leaning on a man’s neck for nine minutes is not manslaughter.

George Floyd, an African American in Minneapolis died on the 25th May after he was arrested and held down by an officer by way of neck.

Derek Chauvin, one of the officers at the scene compressed Floyd’s neck with his leg, for a period of 8-9 minutes.

George Floyd was later pronounced dead at hospital, with cause of death asphyxiation. 

Officers were called to the scene when an alleged $20 forgery was called in at a grocery store.

One of the officers who was the first to respond at the scene, allegedly arrested Mr Floyd after finding him sitting in his car close to the grocery store, where the counterfeit money had supposedly passed.

It is not clear if there was any other evidence, or any evidence at all to have arrested George Floyd in the first place.

Two nearby witnesses, owners of businesses close by did not witness Floyd ‘resisting arrest’.

Donald Williams, a by stander at the scene told the officer constricting the man’s life:

“Officer, he is not resisting arrest”

You can see the video here. (Warning-the scenes are disturbing).

Chauvin, the officer holding Floyd down by the neck seems to be enjoying the spectacle, and does not react to the bystander’s protests. Chauvin looks to be fully aware of what he is doing, and unperturbed by those around him.

After watching the video, I could not help but wonder if the man Chauvin (holding Floyd by the neck) knew George Floyd personally. 

As it transpired, both Chauvin and Floyd worked at the same venue together on security. They did not necessarily work together, but there was occasion to have worked on the same night/s.

This information is too coincidental to not be valid. Chauvin is likely to have recognised and have known Floyd. Where another scenario may have endured the innocence of Floyd, Floyd instead was treated with a police brutality that took his life.

Whether the relationship between Chauvin and Floyd influenced what happened, is yet to emerge.

What does appear in the footage, is a man not resisting arrest, this is from footage at the original arrest by Lane, and after, being held to the ground.

On the contrary, George Floyd appears submissive and gently asks:

“Let me stand up”

“Please, please, I can’t breathe”

Mr Floyd suffered with hypertension (restricted arteries), and other related conditions; which would have made him susceptible to death under such a compression of the neck.

However, I am not sure how long someone without these conditions would uphold such restriction to the neck.

On research, I found a discussion on ‘how long it takes to strangle someone to death’. One user replies:

“I used to train brazilian jiu-jitsu, and we practiced chokes and strangles (although everything is referred to collectively as “chokeholds”). A choke is cutting off air to the lungs via the trachea, a strangle is cutting off blood to the brain via compressing the carotid artery and other blood vessels on the side of the neck. It takes a while. With someone resisting and being untrained, I’d say it could take as long as 7-9 minutes. Being that the victim will pass out before and you hold it for more than 1:30 after that. You have to know how to do it to pull it off, it’s not as simple as just grabbing someones neck and squeezing.”

This implies George Floyd suffered compression of the trachea, since he was unable to breathe. However, it took 8-9 minutes of compression before George Floyd eventually died in hospital.

This could mean George Floyd died from a restriction of blood to the brain.

“You have to know how to pull it off, it’s not as simple as just grabbing someones neck and squeezing.”

This could suggest Chauvin knew what he was doing, and intentionally killed George Floyd.

Currently, Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder. There are varying definitions of second degree murder, although evidence of ‘intent’ may sway towards a first degree murder charge.

The family of George Floyd are fighting for a first degree murder charge.

Of course, there is a difference between knowing an act ‘could’ kill and knowing an act ‘will’ kill. 

Undeniably, this was not a premeditated kill. Yet, the actions surrounding it appear to be intentional.

Derek Chauvin was a police officer, who worked as security off-duty. Chauvin will have been trained in combat, and he will have been trained in limits. Derek Chauvin was a more senior police officer to two of the other officers present.

Another officer at the scene held accountable for Floyd’s death has attested that attempts were made to stop the actions of Chauvin in light of Floyd’s medical signs.

If officers, two of which have been said to be new to the job and the police, can recognise and call out the warning signs, so can the more senior officer.

It appears there is ground to hold Derek Chauvin accountable for first degree murder, with intent to kill.

The official cause of death will have to be announced. Only time will tell.

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