The death of George Floyd. Or Anatomy of a murder an 8 minute and 46-second of a black man’s lynching.
On a sunny hot spring day, George Floyd was lying on his side with four Minneapolis police officers. Derek Chauvin, the senior officer, had his knee on the neck of George Floyd as he gasped that he could not breathe.
The Murder of George Floyd was video tapped the audio revealed his cries for his mother and help.
Derek Chauvin was fired and arrested on May 29.On May 31, the Attorney General Keith Ellison charged him with second-degree Murder and third-degree Murder.; Ellison also accused the three other officers with aiding and abetting second-degree Murder. The Murder began a “tidal wave” of media, public and political outcry for justice. Some marches started in communities, both large and small urban and rural.
The demand for justice grew into a movement against systemic Racism. The group “Black lives matter” and other civil rights groups and concerned citizens, who were young and white joined the protest.
The death of George Floyd was not the first were a “chokehold” was used. Eric Garner, in 2017, was killed by Police, and the killing was viewed by millions, and he too cried, “I can’t breathe “and died at the hands of the Police.
Unlike George Floyd, Garner’s death did not draw the outcry from white Americans, but it may have caused the response that this was used to kill a black man before.
Floyd’s death followed the Murder of Armand Aurbery (Aubery was shot while jogging by a former police officer and his son ) and the shooting death of Breanna Taylor. She was also killed by the Police serving a warrant.
The death of George Floyd brought out emotional fatigue in the black community, and the numbers in the protest grew. Minneapolis became the focus. There were looting and fires. Still, those leading the
protest never promoted these actions.
The question of truth and Black lives matter reaches the world.
In 140 cities in the United States, there were protests as a reaction to the Murder of George Floyd. This level of outcry had never been seen for anyone except a civil rights leader. The Black lives matter theme had reached European cities, Aisa, and Africa, who then began their own protest.
The Murder of George Floyd revealed that systemic Racism as a concept was no longer just a semantic reference but an action that affects all of black America.
The issue of policing in America is a fundamental part of systemic Racism. It has evolved as a living threat for many black Americans as a means of suppression by arrest, imprisonment, and death.
In 2019 blacks are only 13% of the American population. Still, they are 3 times more likely to be shot in a confrontation with Police than whites. (fn# 2.)https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/)
There are 16,000 Police organizations in the U.S., and the level of training and rules of conduct can vary. The local government’s city and state officials are often unable to control the management of the preparation of the officers and the ability to terminate criminal officers. In the world of Policing, there is a “blue wall” that protects its officers. Police unions and Fraternal Orders have written contracts to empower officers often more than any other city workers.
In 2020 there are calls to “defund.” the Police and the Congress and U.S. Senate are debating reforms in Policing. But the only real method that can change the Warrior mindset to Guardian exists in removing the power of the F.O.P. and Police unions who are the “blue wall.”
In 2015 President Obama developed a “Task Force on the 21st century Policing that local law officers needed to create a “Guardian mindset rather than a Warrior type. This was a part of the de-escalation concept. The plan called for 40 hours of this training. In the past, the Wexler organization reported that only 8 hours were used and 58 for shooting. (fn# 3. https://www.policeforum.org/chuck-wexler).
The Obama plan was swimming upstream from the beginning the Warrior mindset embraced a training that an officer on duty was fighting alone against a hostile people.
The training taught officers you have to impose your will to gain respect in the streets and with your peers. Senior Police officers instill in new and junior officers that you protect each other and reject “whistle-blowers.” In some cases, Prosecutors, Judges, Detectives, and Senior Captains and Chiefs are seen as outsiders. Police officers are convinced that they are the wall between the lawless and society, and they have a right to have a license to kill. Blacks and people of color are these dangerous elements that need to be controlled. Black people are most likely to be killed by Police and are 3 times more likely than Whites, .and 1.3 times than Whites when unarmed(fn# 4 https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/.
The Police have killed 598 people in 2020 Black people have been 28% of those killed by Police since 2013 despite being only 13% of the population. (fn#5.https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/)
A SHORT HISTORY OF POLICING.
In America’s history, the local Police organizations were used to support the systemic Racism in America. March 31, 1877, the post-reconstruction era left former slaves to face repression by white Southerners as loss of voting rights imprisonment without due process and lynchings. This resulted in a mass migration to Northern cities Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and as far west as Arizona and New Mexico. During The 1820s through to the 1860s, cites developed Police forces which were designed to replace the “night watches. “Originally, they were used to protect the fear of crime by the new immigrants German, Irish, Italians, and Jews from Eastern Europe were viewed as a threat. A single political leader or group controlled the investigation of crimes, which also was enforcement against immigrants.
Officers were paid by the political figures and corporate bosses to manage the immigrants and Black Americans. The mining and manufacturing companies employed the Police as “strikebreakers.” In some cases, companies pitted private Police companies like Pinkerton, a private detective company created by a Scottish immigrant Allen Pinkerton.
The mining companies allowed them to power to attack and imprison with local Sheriffs. (fn# 6. https://www.insider.com/history-of-police-in-the-us). The Black Americans that fled above the Mason-Dixon line competed with the white immigrants for jobs, which resulted in hostilities that became race riots.
White immigrants gradually gained control of their community, and the leadership soon replaced the Policing with their own ethnic members. Black Americans were prevented from generally Policing their own communities. By the early 1870s, cities developed “civil service” exams, which determined if a person could apply for a city position as a Police officer.
White Police officers became the convenient means to manage the American immigrant population’s control and the clashes that occurred between them.
In 1871 the famous Chinese massacre on October 24, 1871, where white immigrants entered Chinatown in Los Angeles and hanged 17 Chinese men. The Police Chief closed off the area with his officers so no Chinese could escape the attack.
The Police Chief told Black leaders that an inquest would be held and killers arrested. The investigation found the whites not guilty the Coroner determined that the black man Joe Cole was “scared to death” as a cause of death(#fn8. https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/).
In 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an angry mob of white men were prevented from lynching a Black man who was accused of molesting a white woman. (fn#9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsa_race_massacre) There were 12 white men and three Black men killed in the attack at the Tulsa County jail. Whites were enraged that White men died, and Blacks had rescued the man. A crowd of Whites with the support of the Police attacked the Greenwood section of town.
The Greenwood riot resulted
in the most significant death toll in an uprising 300 deaths and the destruction of the entire community. The Tulsa Police and Sheriff’s officers took part in the Removal of Greenwood. Blacks who remained in Greenwood lived in fear of reprisals and faced attacks by the Ku Klux Klan. The destruction of Greenwood left 9,000 Blacks homeless without any support and equal to many of the Whites in Tulsa that were homeless.
A PATTERN OF POLICING BEGINS
The Treatment of Blacks in Tulsa Greenwood in 1921 revealed a new pattern of Policing Blacks. The makeup of Police forces was less White Angelo-Saxon and now ethnics. Irish, Italian, German and Eastern Europeans all took turns. They all needed to keep the Blacks, Hispanic, and Asians out of the areas where the jobs were. The systemic segregation and poverty that emerged in the 1930s and incarceration forced cities to demand more physical presents by Police. But it allowed the selling of drugs, bootlegged Alcohol, and Prostitution to flourish. The Italian “black hand” the Irish, German, and later Jewish mobs made Black communities their place to harvest crimes.
The Police were often bribed to protect the White criminals, but Blacks were targeted by Police and arrested if they were working for the wrong mob. The Police made little effort to protect Black citizens but turned a “blind eye” to Black on Black crimes or “street justice. “The Policing in a rural area often defended Whites racist attacks on Black farms and homes and many contained members of the Ku Klux Klan who burned churches and farms.
In 1935 the first race riot, known as the Harlem riot, occurred based on a false report of a young Black teenager’s beating by a white store owner. The Police later determined that the boy was not harmed, but the angry Black crowd fought back with the Police, and three Blacks died from the violence.
Whites were forced to often work together to support the effort. The level of poverty changed, and Blacks continued to be the last hired and first fired.
The Beaumont race riot of 1943 was the result of Whites forced to work with Blacks in the shipyards. The Southern regions like Beaumont still contained Jim crow laws that the Police were to enforce even against military personal. In 1942 a Black military Policeman was shot and beaten by the local Police. The Policeman refused to sit in the back of a bus. That summer, riots occurred in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Mobile. The Police were given the duty to put down these riots, and the amount of force went unregulated.
In large cities, Political leaders controlled the actions and regulations that governed Police.
Blacks and non-whites often did not even control their own wards and no input in the management of community Policing.
By 1950 the civil rights movement began to demand Black Americans’ rights, and the political power of Black voters emerged. The demand for unions for political power lured Blacks, and this voting block gave Blacks the ability to use civil service to gain jobs in cities.
THE RISE OF POLICE UNIONS.
Police unions allowed for Police to bargain with municipal governments regarding hiring and Police standards in a city. It also allowed them to exclude non Whites from receiving promotions. The union also politically was able to give it support to politicians that best preserved the interest of its members. This voting power extended to State, Congressional and Presidential candidates.
The demand by Blacks and people of color for civil rights was met by the Police as resistance to protests. The march on Selma, Alabama, is a clear example of Police using excessive force in a protest and the role of policing. The poverty of time for Black America continued to grow, and the crime rate made an upward trend, which made the public demand more action by Police.
The Frank Rizzo Era; A model of Confrontational Policing begins.
Frank Rizzo, as a Police officer in Philadelphia starting in 1943, would become a Police commissioner and later Mayor. He rejected desegregation by Blacks as a Police officer and carried this belief as a Police commissioner. During his years in office, he treated Black civil rights activists as criminals, and his officers were immune from prosecution. Rizzo developed a power base that extended to state, county, and federal representatives.
As a police commissioner, Frank Rizzo had four squads of men dedicated to attacks on the offices of civil rights groups like SNCC or CORE. Rizzo instructed his men to “beat their Black asses” in 1966, Rizzo’s reputation and brutality methods grew nationally.
The Philadelphia Inquirer gave Commissioner Rizzo 84% in a poll in 1967, and this resulted in an increase of the Philadelphia Police force. In 1967 the Police force grew from 7,000 to 9,000 and a maximum budget to 100 million dollars. (fn#11. http://www.vice.com 10/25/75.) In 2019 the Philadelphia Police force is currently at 6,500 officers. As Mayor, he would advocate for an increase in prisons in Pennsylvania. In meetings with President Nixon, he requested more federal prisons to hold anti-government and revolutionaries convicted of federal crimes. (fn#12. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kwxp3m/remembering-frank-rizzo-)
Richard Daily, the Mayor of Chicago, IL. Followed the image of Frank Rizzo of being tough on crime and that civil rights and anti-war members were criminals. As Black emancipation increase, Police took on a greater connection to Federal law enforcement like F.B.I. And D.E.A. and started cross-training with Military tactics and weapons.
The term long hot summers reflected an era of riot-torn cites caused by the civil unrest of violence, looting, and arson. The Police complained that they were becoming “outgunned” that rioters linked to revolutionaries had semi-automatic weapons and Molotov cocktails. (gasoline bombs ) The first SWAT team carried the M1-Carbine and shotguns and did not wear helmets and body armor.
In 1964 Frank Rizzo claimed his SWAT Team was created to deal with bank robbers. And in 1967, the Los Angeles Police developed a team known for the ability to attack terrorists like the S.L.A. or the Symbian Liberation Army. The Los Angeles Police inspector Daryl Gates who managed the Watts riots inspired the development of SWAT. The teams by 1967 were carrying the M-16 and M-16A assault weapon and using body armor. This soon became the standard across the U.S.(fn#14. https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/)
On December 9, 1969, The L.A. SWAT Team had a four-hour confrontation with the Black Panthers Daryl Gates was able to obtain a grenade launcher and assaulted the building. (fn#15. https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/the-evolution-of-swat-team) When the battle ended, six Panthers were wounded, and four SWAT Team members were hurt, but there were no deaths. The news of this battle with an urban paramilitary force would change policing into a Militarized force.
The SWAT Team members dressed differently than other officers and wear black uniforms and helmets and now have variations with camouflage. The weapon is the M-16 AND M-16A used by the American military for combat. The sidearm the standard revolver was replaced by the 9 shoot automatic like the Colt 9mm, the Barretta was also used. The SWAT Team employed body armor before any other part of the Police force; they upgraded the physical standards and fitness training. The SWAT Team began using armor protected trucks and small tanks modified with armor plates and heavy weapons like grenade Launchers. But over the years most of SWATS actions involve “no-knock search warrants”.
The rise of the drug trade provided a large amount of money to flow between criminals, and they bought semi-automatic weapons like the Glock 9 mm pistols and “mac 10 “. These weapons were able to have more firepower and use fewer men in a fight.
The Militarization in the standard Police officer took a more extended period of change. Still, it began with armed conflicts were criminals outgunned the Police. Most of the Riots did not provide a need for this, but the shootout in 1986 killed two F.B.I. Agents did. Then the “infamous North Hollywood shootout in 1997 “revealed the access to bulletproof protection and automatic weapons were available to all.
THE 1033 PROGRAM
The Defense logistics organization in Michigan provided surplus military equipment to the states to support Police organizations. The Clinton administration expanded the addition of small arms and explosives. The Obama administration, however, pushed back and reduced the types of weapons.
In 2012 in Arizona, several Police offices were suspended for misuse of firearms in the program. The firearms were often taken home, and some were sold at gun shows or kept by retired officers. The use of these weapons in the inner cities served to intimidate and make a two-man patrol car powerful enough to hold off a crowd or gang members. The Trump Administration lead by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the National Fraternal Order of Police’s request reinstalled the program.
How The Fraternal Order of Police and Police Unions have control of modern Policing.
John McNesby was the head of the Police Union while Frank Rizzo served as the Police Commissioner. The Philadelphia Police became known for the racist attack on Black rights organization and other people of color groups and anti-war groups.
Police officers were shielded from legal prosecution, and complaints of assaults were never prosecuted, and officers that were reprimanded had no publications, and their records cleared.
Police Chiefs and supervisors could not suspend an officer unless Rizzo approved it. The connection between the Police Union and the city government in Philadelphia was a reflection of Policing throughout the nation. The Fraternal Order of Police as a national organization has a lobby group with every state and the Federal government of the United States. The leadership has been made up of White men who are former Police officers; they are supported by Republicans and Democrats in the Congress and Senate.
Police Advisory Commission.
The systematic Racism that exists is also a by-product of this relationship and protects Police Officers that use extreme force or commit crimes. The F.O.P. defends Police Officers facing criminal charges and, in high profile cases, provides legal support.
It was repealed in 2020 and was an example of where the systemic Racism within the U.S. used Policing to send a disproportionate amount of people of color to Prison. In 2019 in state prisons, blacks are 33% Hispanics 23% and Whites 30% while in Federal Prisons, Blacks are 38%, and Whites are 57%. Blacks and Hispanics have the highest incarceration factor, but Blacks are just 12.4% of the population, and Hispanics are 18.3%.
The Trump Administration with Jeff Session as Attorney General restored the 1033 program. This program funneled billions of dollars of military-grade equipment to local Police forces. The Obama administration had applied tight controls and fought the F.O.P. for expanding access to tanks and armored combat vehicles. The F.O.P. has made a significant effort to increase the 1033 program to supply Police forces with heavy weapons and armor vehicles due to the “George Floyd” movement and the protest.
The overall crime rate has decreased with a consistent increase in incarcerations for non-whites.
The F.O.P.” s significant objective is to support Police Officers involved in shootings or killings of unarmed people or any crimes against the public. The rate of violent crime in a community statistically was not found to determine the number of people of color killed by the Police in 2017 89 was killed following a traffic stop. (fn#18. https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/)
The F.O.P. has a direct play with the city Police budget to pay for officers and increased manpower, health insurance, and retirement.
Training for officers is a significant issue because it is expensive and time-consuming. But the question is a type of training before the Obama plan officers were trained as the “Warrior method.” Still, in the Obama era, it was a “Guardian method.”
The Obama plan required 40 hours of de-escalation training. In most other programs, the Wexler organization reports that typically only 8 hours is used for de-escalation and 58 hours for shooting. (fn# 19. https://www.policeforum.org/chuck-wexler)
In Scotland, only 2% of the officers carry firearms, and the officers are taught to defuse violent situations. In Norway, a Police officer must have 3 years of training and spend a year working with veteran officers who evaluate them.
In the U.S., most officers only receive 21 weeks of training, and less than 8 hours is devoted to de-escalation. The Police Union and F.O.P. bargain with the cities to increase the overall Police budget with the bargaining power to assure no slowdowns or “Blue Flu” issue.
The Guardian method of Policing vs. the Warrior does more than changing the Policing; it directly impacts the economics of Policing. The Guardians will be able to use non-lethal support from social services that manage the case, and arrests are eliminated. But The Warrior type required more officers and heavily armed officers.
THE DEFUNDING OF THE POLICE.
The F.O.P. has two threats that directly affect the Warrior method. The consent decree and the dismantling of Police for a defunded department.
The de-funding of Police means a plan to move funding to help the homeless, mental illness, and drug addiction. The current value of Police funding is 115 billion dollars.
The other is Community policing, or community–oriented policing (C.O.P.), a strategy of policing that focuses on building ties and working closely with members of the communities. The main idea is to allow Police to feel like the public can trust them. (
A reflection of the new method of policing was the by state governments the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in June signed a 10 point plan to change Policing tactics and training and Removal of the choke-hold.
Police Officers that cause death can be charged with a felony, and all actions of excessive force will be a part of an Officer’s record.
New York also created The Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office. The office will be established by another bill to review, study, audit, and make recommendations on police operations and policies.
But New York is an exception, and the states will face a work slow down in some major cites. Buffalo already had members of its Emergency Response Unit suspended for assaulting a Martin Gugino during a protest. And 57 members resigned due to the 2 officers being suspended(fn#22. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/us/martin-gugino-protester.) The chapter of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association claimed the city would be unmanned for future protests, and his Officers were attacked on social media.
Governor Andrew Cuomo denounced the 2 officers for the incident. The P.B.A. leaders in New York have power like all police unions to provide votes in all of the Boroughs. And the Police support in the streets is perceived as a presence of numbers of officers. To most New York citizens, this is what stops crime, but The real figures show something different. Following the Murder of George Floyd, New York had a 210% increase compared to the same time in 2019. (fn#23.M.Hobbes.07/19/20 http://www.huffpost.com. ) Dallas and Philadelphia all marked gains, and Philadelphia had the highest since 2007.
THE FERGUSON EFFECT
The phenomenon “The Ferguson Effect” and argued that protests against police violence had made law enforcement officers afraid to do their jobs. In response to the more cautious police forces, criminals had become more brazen in carrying out assaults and murders. (fn# 24. M.Hobbes.07/19/20 http://www.huffpost.com. )
The result of protests has historically caused people of color to refuse to call the Police for help during these times. Many people in the inner cities do not expect justice for violent crimes today in some cites Police solve only 1 in 5 Homicides.
The Police Unions use these statistics up to the public and political leaders against the de-funding of Police and the Applied consent.
Applied consent may be the greatest threat to Police Unions’ efforts to conceal criminal acts by Officers.
The Police Union culture has to be treated like any other Union, and the “at-will” practice has not applied to most Police Departments. The current view of systemic Racism following the George Floyd movement has begun questioning the Police Unions role.
The F.O.P. is the foundation of policing culture in America and has promoted the excessive force mindset that has resulted in deaths. This mindset has been labeled as the “killology.”
The fundamental conflict in for the past 20 years is between the Warrior and Guardian method of Policing.
The Officers were in the “don’t resist training were told, “after a kill, you will have your best sex. “He actually believes it’s true, but this is a part of the mindset. This training has been used by more Police Officers than any other in the U.S.,. But different versions embrace the Warrior method of Policing, and this puts the concept of being aggressive and punishing your enemy as a message to all the thugs. The people who are the “thugs” are people of color or those who support them.
The course tells Officers that loyalty to your fellow Officers is an unbreakable code even if an Officer is wrong or uses “excessive force.” It states an Officer must protect another from the system.
The Warrior mindset is fully embraced by the F.O.P. it knows that it strengthens the bargaining power with cites when Officers have complaints and charges against them. This factor is a significant reason for the number of officers fired only to be rehired, in most cases receiving back pay from the date of termination. (fn#26. https://www.checkthepolice.org/#project)
In 2017 48 officers had killed before, and 12 had multiple killings in their past history. Of those killed, there was no actual crime committed (640) vs. those who were suspects in violent crime (409) of those killed racially 49 were Black, 34 Hispanic, Native American 2 Asian 2, and White 51. (#27. https://policeviolencereport.org/) .
In Wilmington N.C. The police department fired three Officers after they were exposed in audio after making severe racial threats following the George Floyd protest and threatening to kill Blacks. They berated fellow Officers that sought to work with Blacks and hoped for a race war so they could “kill as many of them as needed.” The Police chief who fired them could not assure that the North Carolina Criminal Standards” could prevent them from holding another Police job in the state or in the U.S… (fn#29. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/).
The end of systemic Racism will mark the end of the F.O.P. and the end of the Warrior Policing.
The Murder of George Floyd and the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Eric Garner, Rashard Brooks, Carlos Ingram Lopez, and Armand Aubery all died in the hands of Police Officers or former Officers(Armand Aurbery murder case ).
Their deaths began with a mindset and a belief that their lives had no value. And the system protects these Officers from being charged and prosecuted under the law. The Police that killed Breanna Taylor still has not been arrested, and the state Attorney General has not appointed a Special Prosecutor, but one Officer was fired; she was killed on March 13, 2020
Elijah McClain, who was killed in 2019 by a choke-hold that resulted in a Brain trauma, took the results of the George Floyd protest to gain momentum on an investigation into his death. In 2020 three Aurora Police Officers were fired for sending a mocking video of his death. The Officers that caused his death all are free and have not been arrested. This is the standard way that Police involved in extreme force measures are handled by the legal system by clearing them of all charges and a reluctance to bring them up on charges.
Derek Chauvin, who killed George Floyd, was not arrested until hours later. Chavin was kept segregated from Black correction officers by Steve Lydon, who is white and the superintendent of the county jail. He indicated that he thought they could not be trusted to do their jobs because they are not white. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office had to remove Mr. Lydon from the superintendent role.
The Police Union uses the policy known as the Leobor The Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR or LEOBoR) is intended to protect American law enforcement personnel from investigation and prosecution arising from conduct during the official performance of their duties.
The Leobor prevents interrogations by fellow Officers and internal affairs teams. It is used to avoid exposure of information on a case to the public, using tactics that could result in a confession or threats to the Officer’s benefits.
The primary importance of the Leobor views Police Officers and Police as a part of the legal system and defends Police as the only people able to protect a citizen, maintain civil order, arrest criminals, and take a life. (fn#33. https://columbialawreview.org.klevine )
21 CENTURY POLICING SOLUTIONS.
1. Develop a method to report Police Misconduct and require an Officer to present a reason for stopping a Citizen for questioning. 2. Require reporting of all serious injury of civilians and produce the name of all Officers involved.
3. Produce the name of any Officer-involved in a fatal shooting within 72 hours.
4. Identify violent officers via a central database. 5. The Removal of the use of choke-holds, strangleholds, and hog-type ties from training. 6. Require an up to date database of Police Officer arrests, complaints, excessive force confrontations.
Police Polices changes.
1.The Removal of the policing method known” broken window” policing policy.
2. The end of racial profiling to create suspicion of guilt.
3. The development of a non Officer policy for managing the homeless and mentally ill that does not use arrest.
4. Establish a civilian oversight for complaints against the Police department.