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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

My observation on this topic spinning off of the article’s abstract and not fully relevant to its comments, though deals with conceptualizing racism.

While I do agree we need to analyze racism on the basis of institutional or systemic, too often when that is the prime focus, it can render people feeling helpless to do anything because they visualize an institution or culture as a monolithic entity rather than a community made up of individuals that can change at different rates and different ways and therefore it is worthwhile to act even in small ways.

In my view, we won’t be able to change institutions without thinking about changing individuals first and putting a high priority on that. 

Also focusing on institutions is one way individuals can absolve themselves of responsibility to act, as in ‘it is the company’s responsibility to treat its employees fairly, I am just here to do my job’.  Or ‘the fault is in the police and I can ignore changing me because I am not one of them’ while promoting things that glorify police violence or violence against police (as this can create an environment of fear and justification) like movies or games. 
 

I don’t know how to achieve it myself, but a balance of approaches seems wisest to me, changing institutional rules while also having education of individuals. 
 

I have been a bit concerned when the conversation around me the last week is so focused on out there. (Not so much on the board, but elsewhere...I think it is making me hypersensitive to this issue). The recognition of what is going on in us and others needs to be a part of the conversation as is being pointed out in this thread. 

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

If these are accurate, are police just racist - black, white, Asian, officers are all racists? Why?  Serving their communities did everyone wake up one day and just determine we are going to hate black folks today. Or, is it something else?

I have always learned in a conflict that it takes two; there is never just one story. What are the contributing factors of both sides in this conflict? 

Is this a question you ask often when you hear of spouse abuse?  

There are definitely two sides to the story, but all of this has had me looking at myself to see if I would ask this question in other situations.  I am finding sometimes the answer is yes, but far more than I am comfortable with the answer is no.  

6 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Why is the news so slanted?  George Floyd had serious heart disease, was on drugs and no one talks about it. An officer could have used the identical knee on the neck and done no damage to a healthy individual. Why is this hidden from the public? Who benefits when this type of information is hidden?

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

Why is the news so slanted?  George Floyd had serious heart disease, was on drugs and no one talks about it. An officer could have used the identical knee on the neck and done no damage to a healthy individual.

And you know for sure this how?  Are you a  doctor? Have you examined the body? 

And does it even matter?  Is it even relevant? Police know not everyone they interact with is healthy.  They should take that into account and pay attention to those they restrain to ensure they do no harm.  Once someone is in custody they are responsible for his wellbeing.  The man was in obvious distress. He was ignored, people screaming for him to be taken care of were ignored, and he died.

If the information was hidden, you and me and everyone on this board and plenty of others wouldn't know about it.

Sure, there is a narrative for the protests currently being drawn in shorthand  that focuses on the cop and his backstory as opposed to Floyd's.  That is because what is at issue is the officer's behaviour.  In that moment a man is dead because of his action.  No one would have died if Floyd had carried on whatever he was doing.  Floyd had no control in that situation, the officer had full control.  There was only one action taken by anyone that someone could have predicted would do significant harm, even kill someone...and the officer went ahead and did it anyway.

And I imagine those trying to prevent this from happening again are worried that any thing, even something small will be latched onto in order to make the whole thing go away from people's consciousness.  And they have a right to be worried due to how victims are often treated in our justice system.

Later on I bet Floyd's life is going to get dissected and likely serialized on TV, books will be published. And possibly there will be blowback because only the positives in his life are part of the story now.   If I was in charge of the narrative, I would be including both the good and bad because when it comes to those sorts of actions, the officer should only be thinking "is this necessary" and not "do people care enough him if I hurt this guy?" Or whatever was going through his mind that he thought he could do that to another human being.

Right now what matters right is the manner of his death and why the officer was willing to act with such muderous indifference and the others say nothing.  Saint, sinner, most likely a mix like every other human, he is dead because someone killed him callously.  And that needs to be addressed.

Edited by Calm
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Charlotte Lartey grew up in Provo and still works in the area. She shares a timeline of her experiences in this public FB post :

 

 
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My Black Timeline.

1990’s. Provo, Utah.

My mom and dad’s interracial marriage was the scandal of the mormon century, and my whole childhood is full of people struggling with the belief that all these brown kids came out a white woman.

I remember going to the store with my mom, and people would stop us to ask her “Where did you get those black children??” and “How much did your children cost??”

I have an early memory of finding my sister screaming in pain, standing in the bathtub trying to bleach her skin so that girls at school would stop calling her “ugly” and “evil”. Another contributing factor to this incident was when our next door neighbor approached us in our backyard and she told us we “would never rid the devil of our black skin”. We were just 4 and 5 years old.

In Kindergarten, my principal tried to suspend me after a playground incident. I found my sister crying because a girl wouldn’t let her go down the slide. She stood at the bottom yelling “No brown girls are allowed on the slide!” I explained to my dad that I went down the slide anyway, she refused to move out of the way and my feet kicked her face. I don’t know what my dad said to Mr. Roper, but I was escorted back to class.

The only other physical altercation I’ve ever been in was when one of the neighbor boys called my little brother a nigger. I gave him a black eye and he smirked about that for weeks. I was 11 or 12 and I cried for days not understanding why this boy was happy that I punched him. My dad and I discussed alternative ways to resolve my anger about our neighbors.

It wasn’t long after that, that same neighbor boy tried to stab me repeatedly with a massive needle and he told me to die. I could outrun every boy in the neighborhood including him. I got away from him while bleeding from a pinhole scar 3 inches below my heart. When parents went next door to talk, they locked themselves inside and refused to answer the door.

For a lot of years people told me I looked like a boy. I would walk in a public restroom and white ladies would stare at me and say I was in the wrong bathroom and I needed to leave. They had never seen a little black girl with an afro I guess.

2000’s. Utah County.

When my youngest sister was playing outside, one of the younger neighbor boys threw a big rock at her face and ran away. She was bleeding around her eyes and almost needed stitches. My dad immediately went to their house to talk to their father, who was our mormon bishop. He was home, they were all at home. But they refused to answer their door. Again, and again and again they avoided confrontation and they have never been held accountable by anyone in our neighborhood.

When my baby sis was in elementary school, that same boy made everyone laugh with the joke, “Why does Beyonce sing to the left, to the left? Because black people have NO RIGHTS!” She cried for hours because she didn't understand why it was funny. He later gave her the nickname “Fatty Addy”, and he used it so often, it followed her to high school.

When I was in junior high, kids used to try and make their handprint in my afro, or try to make my afro bigger or smaller. Or stick pens or pencils in it and laugh behind my back. I had to carry around hair supplies to maintain my afro because people messed up my hair all throughout the day in my various classes.

In 9th grade, for an entire year, whenever I walked into a class one of my friends would yell “Look out everyone! There is a black person in the room!” Even my math teacher laughed.

Throughout college, while I was in the education program, the head of the department was a professor who targeted me for over two years. I filed complaints that resulted in an unsupervised meeting between her and I where she told me she would make sure that I never became a teacher. After I graduated I didn’t get my teaching license and it took me two weeks of calling UVU’s various departments before they traced the issue back to a written request to have my name removed from the list of graduates that year, signed and submitted by that same professor. I had to re-apply for and repay the licensing fees, and then I had to wait almost 6 months before I could be issued a teaching certificate and I couldn’t apply for any jobs until then. Everyone else from my graduating class found teaching jobs in their preferred areas.

I had 14 teaching interviews in Utah County, including a job interview at the high school I graduated from, where I had two siblings currently attending. I kept being told I wasn’t quite what their community was looking for but I was encouraged to keep applying for teaching jobs at other schools because I would “surely find the school that would be the right fit for me.”

One time I bought a filing cabinet at Deseret Industries, and the cashier nodded when I asked if I could use the dolly to take the filing cabinet out to my car if I brought it right back. I was stopped in the parking lot by a middle-aged white man in plain clothes, who told me he was security for DI, and a police officer for American Fork. He took me back inside DI and kept me in a room for 2.5 hours, interrogating me about my attempts to steal this rusty old dolly. He said he knew when I came in that I was there to steal, and he called me “a really horrible liar.” When the actual police arrived, the cashier eventually told them that the dollies are stationed next to the filing cabinets for that purpose, and then the guy had to let me go. That was the closest I have ever been to being arrested, I realized that I am the most privileged black person that I know.

2011, Early Educator, Utah

I was attending a back to school AVID training in a conference room, and I was freezing so I put my hoodie over my head and stuck my hands in my pockets. A teacher at my school who I learned to be my local union president, yelled to me from two tables over “Hey Charlotte, take your hoodie off! You look like Trayvon Martin!” That racist remark when unchecked by everyone who knew about it until I finally confronted her myself, while we were at an anti-racist training that she had been forced to attend. She apologized in person and via email later that day. Apologies can be nice. But what would be really nice, is if we lived in a world where a black person can feel comfortable wearing a hoodie.

My first year teaching at Jordan high, during my first week of school, a student scratched “nigger” into my classroom door. The custodians had to sand it off my door.

My second year, I walked into my classroom one morning and found “LARTEY HAS EBOLA” written in large letters across all of my whiteboards.

Another time, I was called to my principal’s office during my prep period because I had sent him an email to let him know that he created a hostile environment in my classroom when he announced over the intercom “ATTENTION! “There is a group of HISPANIC BOYS who are tricking people into eating ghost peppers. These are dangerous and can send you to the hospital so if you see any of these hispanic boys, report them immediately!” He called me to his office just to yell at me for 25 minutes about the evidence that proves that he is not racist and all the reasons that he will not stand for me calling him a racist. I tried to get up and leave multiple times and he yelled “Sit down Charlotte! I am not done talking to you!” I thought for sure one of his secretaries would hear him and would come and let me out.. I felt trapped, but I had to sit there until he was done screaming at me, and when he was done I was not invited to respond, but I was excused to leave. So I did and I cried in between my classes the rest of the day.

2016- M.Ed from Southern Utah

For my master’s thesis I developed and conducted a research study on fostering resilience to close the opportunity gap for at-risk youth. I taught AVID and used our students as my subjects. It took a whole year to plan and write the first three chapters of my thesis and get it all approved from my school, guardians and SUU. When I applied for my last capstone class in the spring, I wasn’t approved to register and couldn't figure out why until my grades were released. We needed to maintain B’s to stay in the graduate program and my previous professor had given me a B-, at 79%. I was told to take the class again, and I would need to postpone my research project for the following school year in the fall. I was able to work out a deal with the professor, who agreed to raise my grade the 1% I needed, if I wrote 3 page papers to fully explain my writing process for each of the three chapters of my thesis. He said that my chapters were well written but he was not convinced that the writing process was mine, and it caused concerns about my “professionalism”, and my ability to conduct my own research study. I stayed up all night to write the papers that explained everything I read and all my thoughts about my own thesis chapters, and I turned in 9 pages the very next day. It still took him almost two weeks before he made the grade change and by the time I was approved and in my capstone class, I had an entire month less than everyone else in my cohort to complete and publish my thesis project. It was pushed so far, I defended my thesis to their board the day before my graduation ceremony. Which I didn’t bother attending because I could barely feel celebratory in this massive personal achievement, because I was overly consumed with the relief that came from finally conquering my last educational obstacle. I was so exhausted, I never celebrated earning my masters degree.

A few years ago in April, a friend of mine passed away. I left the hospital and drove home to Salt Lake around 3am and I was followed by a police officer for six miles before he exited the freeway with me, pulled up beside me, looked at me, slowed way down to get behind me, and then pulled me over right by Smith’s ballpark, just a half a mile from home. His first words were “Is this your car?” I was having a bad night, I was exhausted, and I had a lot of words for this *** of a cop, pulling me over in the middle of the night for no reason. But I remembered what my parents taught me. I left twenty minutes later with no ticket, and a warning to do something about my license plate not being visible in the dark.

Last year, one of my colleagues visited Rose Park Junior high in Portland and then came to find me just to tell me that I should go look for a job there because I'd probably fit in so much better in a school with more black people.

It’s 2020.

My black timeline is not over yet because I have lived a privileged life with two extraordinary parents, and access to educational opportunities. I have been equipped with a variety of protective factors that allow me to thrive in this world of racial intolerance. I have had to become a master of my own emotional regulation, stress resilience, conflict resolution, and interpersonal communication skills as if my life depends on it, and I do believe my black life depends on these things. My black students today, are still being called niggers at school and on the bus, they are still being discriminated against by their peers, their teachers, and by our educational system. My black timeline expands 30 years but I have changed a lot more than our world has.

THE BLACK TIMELINE is a history of painful experiences, obstacles, intolerance and injustice that started over 400 years ago and it continues onto today, tomorrow, and every day hereafter.

For so many of my brothers and sisters, this black timeline has been ripped apart and cut way too short.

For so many of my brothers and sisters, this black timeline might as well be cut short because we never asked for this plague of difficulty, disparity, death and consistent grief.

I think people forget that the end stage of grief is the feeling of hope. The problem is that hope gets lost in the depths of the black timeline. Even though I know how important it is to have hope, I have to dig really, really deep to find it. And I have to try even harder to convince the younger generation that it exists, and that I know it’s there, even though they can’t see it and I can’t show it to them. And I have to try even harder to convince myself that I don’t have to feel it all the time to know that it’s there, I just have to believe it is. My black timeline makes it really difficult, but I mean, it has always been this way.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

And you know for sure this how?  Are you a  doctor? Have you examined the body? 

And does it even matter?  Is it even relevant? Police know not everyone they interact with is healthy.  They should take that into account and pay attention to those they restrain to ensure they do no harm.  Once someone is in custody they are responsible for his wellbeing.  The man was in obvious distress. He was ignored, people screaming for him to be taken care of were ignored, and he died.

If the information was hidden, you and me and everyone on this board and plenty of others wouldn't know about it.

Sure, there is a narrative for the protests currently being drawn in shorthand  that focuses on the cop and his backstory as opposed to Floyd's.  That is because what is at issue is the officer's behaviour.  In that moment a man is dead because of his action.  No one would have died if Floyd had carried on whatever he was doing.  Floyd had no control in that situation, the officer had full control.  There was only one action taken by anyone that someone could have predicted would do significant harm, even kill someone...and the officer went ahead and did it anyway.

And I imagine those trying to prevent this from happening again are worried that any thing, even something small will be latched onto in order to make the whole thing go away from people's consciousness.  And they have a right to be worried due to how victims are often treated in our justice system.

Later on I bet Floyd's life is going to get dissected and likely serialized on TV, books will be published. And possibly there will be blowback because only the positives in his life are part of the story now.   If I was in charge of the narrative, I would be including both the good and bad because when it comes to those sorts of actions, the officer should only be thinking "is this necessary" and not "do people care enough him if I hurt this guy?" Or whatever was going through his mind that he thought he could do that to another human being.

Right now what matters right is the manner of his death and why the officer was willing to act with such muderous indifference and the others say nothing.  Saint, sinner, most likely a mix like every other human, he is dead because someone killed him callously.  And that needs to be addressed.

It was report a single time on CNN and then I haven't head it since.

I thought what mattered was being honest. 

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6 hours ago, Rain said:

Is this a question you ask often when you hear of spouse abuse?  

There are definitely two sides to the story, but all of this has had me looking at myself to see if I would ask this question in other situations.  I am finding sometimes the answer is yes, but far more than I am comfortable with the answer is no.  

I think the question is hard to answer. I have learned that it changes the dynamics almost immediately. It is never just one sided completely regardless of the situation. 

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9 hours ago, pogi said:

There is a long history.  It ain’t pretty.  It starts with racism. Does anyone really think 400 years of systemic racism can be eradicated in just a few decades?  It is like bindweed who’s roots run terribly deep and no matter how much you try to yank it out, it manages to pop up and infest your garden over and over again.  Conversely, does anyone really think the negative impact of that racism can be erased from the psyche of a people that has been so long hated and viewed as cursed (still to this day) in a matter of a few decades? Might that play into some of these stats?

It seems that science is always helpful until such time as it conflicts with one's personal agenda. I think an honest approach is best - it may take us longer to get there, but everyone gets there with their eyes wide open. 

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14 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I think the question is hard to answer. I have learned that it changes the dynamics almost immediately. It is never just one sided completely regardless of the situation. 

Sometimes the power dynamic is so disparate that there is no way to frame an interaction as one between two independent actors.

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11 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

Because our country was literally built on the backs of Black slaves, the rationalization of whose enslavement is baked into the American experience. We are conditioned by the entirety of the American social, political, educational, and economic system to think of Black folks as more criminal and as less capable than others. Most of that operates on the intuitive side of our reasoning, and many of us have developed reflective decoupling techniques that help us override those intuitions, but implicit bias has been so repeatedly demonstrated by the data as to be entirely beyond dispute. We all experience it to one degree or another, no matter how convinced we are that we're above it. Now, implicit bias isn't the only reason, but it's a significant one. Here's one study from 2015 that demonstrated that Black folks were 2.8 times MORE likely to be killed by police than white folks despite being more than 50% LESS likely to be armed when killed:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6080222/

This other study from 2019 puts the odds of a Black person being killed by police at 2.5 times more likely than a white person:

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793

We could identify dozens and dozens of such studies. 

That's a great question, but unfortunately, it only seems to get asked when we're looking for reasons to have Black folks shoulder the blame. Too frequently, what happens is that someone points out that Black folks are more likely to commit violent crime (as someone has done already in this thread). The question of what factors contribute to that condition doesn't get asked, because the rhetorical goal isn't understanding, it's defending an ideology. I explain above that we all experience implicit bias, and our culture does a great job of aiming a lot of that bias at Black folks. 

The autopsy does not list the drugs as contributing at all to his death. It sounds like you're trying to make excuses for why it should be ok for these officers to have used a non-approved method of restraint for almost 10 minutes while they ignored Floyd's cries for help and even for his already-deceased mother. Why did they lie on their report about his having resisted arrest? Why did they place him under arrest in the first place for a situation that usually does not involve law enforcement at all? Have you given in to some implicit bias?

I think your stats conflict with other stats

Identifying that actions or contributing factors of both sides in a conflict is being honest. Trying to understand the motivations of both sides is a different issue. It is not about defending an ideology - gads, that seems like a cynical accusation of others.

The resisting arrest claim is interesting. I am sure you saw the video from the very beginning when Floyd was put into the police car and then cops on both side of the car appear to wrestle with him - or at least the car was moving.  I only saw a single station show it and then poof, it was gone and no one showed it again or mentioned it.

This is the kind of censorship that I hate. Give all the facts to the people and let the people make informed conclusions. DO NOT lie and withhold information in order to achieve a desired end. 

I support that reports should be accurate and honest. If an officer has a problem with that then at some point (s)he should be removed from the squad. 

HAHA - believing that crimes should result in an arrest is explicit bias? Oh please. Have you bent so far backwards to swallow the farce of the day that now you cannot see reality?  

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6 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Sometimes the power dynamic is so disparate that there is no way to frame an interaction as one between two independent actors.

I think I understand where you are going and I think I would agree with you.  

On the other side, our choices are owned by us our entire lives. They affect who we are from that point forward.

As an aside, that is one of the great beauties of coming to Christ - He can wash the impact of those things away when he makes us a new creature. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

have always learned in a conflict that it takes two; there is never just one story

True. Always two stories. Sometimes those conflict stories are beater and beaten, rapist and raped, molestor and child, owner and slave.   Because a someone can’t be a rapist without someone to rape; can’t be an owner without a slave to own.  Got to have at least two. 
 

Quote

 

I think the question is hard to answer. I have learned that it changes the dynamics almost immediately. It is never just one sided completely regardless of the situation. 

Please explain how the dynamics of the above situations are changed by asking those questions. 

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

It was report a single time on CNN and then I haven't head it since.

I thought what mattered was being honest. 

Why assume that was the honest or at least most accurate report given it was the preliminary one iirc?
I believe that was the initial report that was pulled iirc when the video was released and made it obvious along with a full autopsy what exactly happened. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

am sure you saw the video from the very beginning when Floyd was put into the police car and then cops on both side of the car appear to wrestle with him - or at least the car was moving.  I only saw a single station show it and then poof, it was gone and no one showed it again or mentioned it.

You mean this one that is all over and I found in about a minute with google?

https://nypost.com/2020/05/31/video-appears-to-show-cops-george-floyd-struggling-amid-arrest/

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11 minutes ago, Dan McClellan said:

No, the stats don't conflict. You provided total numbers, and these studies are looking at per capita numbers and trying to control for variables. Consider that the numbers you provided show just over twice as many white people are shot by police as Black, but that there are more than four times as many white people in this country than there are Black. You have to look at the per capita rates.

Then why are the motivations never sought for Black folks? Why do folks always say Blacks just commit more crime and then stop caring? It is absolutely about an ideology, some people have just convinced themselves that they're above ideologies. 

The police said he resisted arrest "after he exited his vehicle." They said it was only after they then cuffed him that they "noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress," but he was in cuffs for several minutes before that "struggle" of some kind happened as they were trying to get him into the police car. They didn't care about his "medical distress" until several minutes later after they had spent almost nine minutes on top of him, killing him.   

Whom are you accusing of lying?

He presented a counterfeit $20 bill. The overwhelming majority of the times that happens, the person with the bill has absolutely no idea and the business just asks them to pay some other way. Why would you just blithely assume that George Floyd knew his bill was counterfeit?

I accuse the national news stations of lying and withholding information.

I made no assumptions about Floyd. I accepted the police officers' assertion a crime was committed. 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

The district attorney's charging documents in the case stated, "The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation," and that "Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death." In contrast, the medical examiner's first press release stated that "the cause and manner of death is currently pending further testing."

Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to trust a medical examiner’s report that the DA?

https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/working-stiff/86913

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Charging documents are usually written by attorneys based on information obtained from police officers and a representative of the medical examiner's office. They should not be interpreted as the definitive result of the autopsy, and they are frequently inaccurate. The headlines that suggested that asphyxia had been ruled out by the medical examiner were wrong.

So were the ones that said that Michael Baden, MD, did an "independent autopsy." Baden is a retained expert and is being paid for his services by Floyd's family. He is not independent. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner, which is paid by taxpayer money, is the only independent agency here. They did the first, legally-mandated autopsy, and collected the evidence. The medical examiner's office is not an arm of law enforcement. If a retained expert finds something at autopsy that is not favorable to the client's legal case, the client doesn't have to disclose that expert at all. Everything the medical examiner does and all the evidence they collect is a public record. None of their findings, no matter what they reveal, can be suppressed.

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The death certificate's "other significant conditions" -- Floyd's natural heart disease and the presence of drugs of abuse in his tested blood -- do not excuse the officers, nor should they cause anyone to blame the victim. They are there on the death certificate because those findings, in the opinion of the medical examiner, would have made his death more likely. They are not the cause of death. The cause of death is police restraint.

 

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

It was report a single time on CNN and then I haven't head it since.

I thought what mattered was being honest. 

And it was claimed a healthy person would survive the restraint in all cases or they had a better chance?  Just curious as irrelevant to the case as I explained before. He was in custody, they were responsible for keeping him unharmed. 
 

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More than a dozen police officials and law enforcement experts told NBC News that the particular tactic Chauvin used — kneeling on a suspect's neck — is neither taught nor sanctioned by any police agency. A Minneapolis city official told NBC News Chauvin's tactic is not permitted by the Minneapolis police department. For most major police departments, variations of neck restraints, known as chokeholds, are highly restricted — if not banned outright.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minneapolis-police-rendered-44-people-unconscious-neck-restraints-five-years-n1220416

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

I think I understand where you are going and I think I would agree with you.  

On the other side, our choices are owned by us our entire lives. They affect who we are from that point forward.

As an aside, that is one of the great beauties of coming to Christ - He can wash the impact of those things away when he makes us a new creature. 

I think the gospel of Jesus Christ obliges its disciples (and helps to persuade any reasonable people, for that matter) to examine the power imbalances between George Floyd and the officer who killed him. It would demand an examination of the systemic power imbalances and persuade us to correct them.

A former public defender for Minneapolis wrote an opinion that helps to demonstrate the Minnesota justice system's power imbalances. It does so by considering what would have happened had George Floyd survived:

Quote

 

CONSIDER WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO GEORGE FLOYD IF HE HAD SURVIVED.

OP ED BY FORMER MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC DEFENDER

I am an attorney in Minneapolis, formerly a Hennepin county public defender. I have witnessed Minneapolis police brutality over and over and over again. Dozens of my clients were beaten up, choked out, and brutalized by Minneapolis police officers. This violence follows a pattern. It starts when the police assault a ‘suspect’. Then it moves to city or county prosecutors, who shift blame to the victim in the form of criminal charges. Judges perpetuate the violence by finding it legal and permissible. The people who have the power to stop the violence, or at least condemn it, look away. 

The big difference between my clients and George Floyd is that they did not die. Consider what would have happened to George Floyd if he had survived. Here is a snapshot of what he would be facing in the Minnesota justice system.

George Floyd wakes up in a jail cell, disoriented and in pain. Deputies take him into the courtroom for a bail hearing. The prosecutor charges him with forgery of a $20 bill, obstructing legal process (the formal name for ‘resisting arrest’), and felony assault on a police officer. The judge sets bail around $500,000.

George Floyd’s defense attorney challenges the stop, search, and seizure (arrest). The attorney plays the videos for the judge and argues that the police officers violated the Minnesota and u.s. constitutions by using excessive force. The attorney also moves to dismiss the obstruction and assault charges, because the video shows that George Floyd wasn’t resisting arrest or assaulting the officers. The prosecutor argues the police were just following their training.

The Minneapolis Police Department manual, section 5-311 (neck restraints), allows officers to use their legs to restrain a suspect’s neck when the suspect resists arrest. The prosecutor argues that the use of force was valid because George Floyd “actively resisted being handcuffed”, “did not voluntarily get into the [squad] car”, and “struggled with officers”. (these are quotes from the Hennepin county attorney’s criminal complaint against Derek Chauvin. This is how the prosecutor described George Floyd as a murder victim. Imagine what they would say if he were the defendant.)

The judge adopts the prosecutor’s version of facts, condones the neck restraint, and denies the motion to dismiss. The parties set a trial date.

Jury selection begins. There might be two or three black people in the jury pool. The prosecutor strikes all of them. The defense objects; the judge allows it.

At trial, each of the four police officers testifies. They have been prepped by the prosecution, and they testify in lock-step with each other. The defense either does not know or is prohibited from presenting evidence that two of the officers have a history of police brutality. George Floyd testifies and explains he didn’t know the $20 bill was fake and that he was not resisting arrest.  He was scared. He could not breathe. He has an old felony conviction from Texas.

The jury deliberates. The police officers sounded credible, and they all said the same thing. The prosecutor said that George Floyd’s actions constitute ‘resisting arrest’ under the law. George Floyd sounded sincere, but he didn’t want to get into the squad car.  He admitted he was scared. He’d had run-ins with the police before.

The jury finds him guilty of obstruction and assault on a police officer. They might vote not-guilty to the forgery.

George Floyd files an appeal. His attorneys challenge everything from the bail to the excessive force ruling to the convictions. The court of appeals denies all of it. The supreme court declines to review the case. George Floyd remains in prison.

The prosecutors take the appellate ruling back to the 3rd precinct station—it would not have burned down—and celebrate. The trial court and appellate court rulings validate the contents of the police manual, the use of neck restraints, the filing of obstruction and assault charges against a victim. Minneapolis city attorneys add this case to the “use of force” section of the police department manual. They use this case as an example when they train police officers about the use of force. They cite it in their defense briefs when police officers are sued for using neck restraints. District and appellate court judges cite this case in affirming similar acts of police brutality. The violence continues.

The cycle of violence within the Minneapolis Police Department is condoned and perpetuated by the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, and the Minnesota Judicial Branch. A special counsel, totally independent of the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office, must review and rewrite the police department manual and training materials. Prosecutors must not file criminal charges when police officers use excessive force. Judges must dismiss such charges and/or suppress all evidence obtained through excessive force. They must stop prosecutors from creating all-white juries. We must fire attorneys and impeach judges who sanction police brutality. Only then will the cycle of violence be broken.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I accuse the national news stations of lying and withholding information.

I made no assumptions about Floyd. I accepted the police officers' assertion a crime was committed. 

Why do you assume it is the news and not the police?  Am curious.  
The things you claimed censored were not. They probably were replaced with more accurate info in the case of the medical examiner’s replacing the DA’s charging report. Can’t say about the video as it was easily there if you looked for it ‘George Floyd in police car video’.

I am not going to start from a place of trust with the news based on personal experiences of what I knew and what was reported. Sometimes mistakes, often had to be intentional misrepresentation. But I see little reason to automatically trust any human to accurately describe something that makes him look bad, even if it is unintentionally.  I wait for confirmation when there is obvious bias with potential to affect accuracy.

The official report from the medical examiner themselves seems like the best source. 

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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

I think the question is hard to answer. I have learned that it changes the dynamics almost immediately. It is never just one sided completely regardless of the situation. 

Thank you for answering.

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42 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

I accuse the national news stations of lying and withholding information.

But everyone saw the videos. All the outlets are including that video in their coverage and their event timelines. It still flatly contradicts the incident report the police filed. No one is lying. 

Quote

I made no assumptions about Floyd. I accepted the police officers' assertion a crime was committed. 

What precise crime did the police officers assert was committed?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

It seems that science is always helpful until such time as it conflicts with one's personal agenda. I think an honest approach is best - it may take us longer to get there, but everyone gets there with their eyes wide open. 

It seems I am being accused of disregarding science. What science are you talking about?
What does science say about the effects of 400 years of racism on a people?  Do social sciences think it can be eradicated in a matter of decades?

Changes still need to happen on one side while healing still needs work on the other.  I agree that it should be a multifaceted approach, but to point the finger solely at the side that needs healing seems wrong.

It is like a spouse who suffered 40 years of violent physical and hateful emotional abuse to the point she wasn’t treated as human with intrinsic value.  After 40 years society starts to change and decides it’s not ok any more to abuse your spouse.  The husband stops beating his wife daily and starts to give her some independence.  After only a few months of this change from daily to more gentle weekly beatings, the husband complains that if things aren’t working out, it is all the wife’s fault, as he has tried hard to change, and asks what have you done? Why can’t you just get over it and be ok with things now that things have changed some?

Edited by pogi
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dan McClellan said:

What precise crime did the police officers assert was committed?

I gave the factual answer to this question but that too seems controversial so I will disengage from the conversation. 

 

Edited by bsjkki
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