By Stephanie Reck
I just went on YouTube and watched the 9 minute video from the New York Times that gave a timeline of how George Floyd died in police custody. Even though I had already heard about his death from numerous news reports, I had not watched the video.
There were a total of 4 police officers who were involved in some capacity in George Floyd’s death, but the main officer, Derek Chauvin was the one who used his knee and compressed it into Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes. In the video you can hear the now famous word’s of Floyd, “I can’t breath.” As I watched this police officer continue to keep his knee jammed into Floyd’s neck even after Floyd apparently goes unconscious; I wept. I felt grieved in my spirit over this brutality.
I know George Floyd was using a counterfeit $20 dollar bill to buy cigarettes that day. I do understand that he was acting criminally that day, but that does negate that his life was taken. Could there have been a better way to handle George Floyd that day? It does not appear that Floyd was resisting arrest, only that he did not want to get into the back of the police vehicle because he was claustrophobic.
Police officers are only supposed to use the knee restraint in the neck if someone is resisting an arrest. Even if Floyd was resisting arrest, did Chauvin need to keep his knee on his neck for over 8 minutes? At the point that Floyd goes unconscious why wouldn’t Chauvin take his knee off his neck? If there was nothing wrong with what Chauvin did why is he being charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter?
Chauvin is no rookie for having complaints made about him. In fact, 18 complaints have been made about Chauvin. Two of the complaints were closed with discipline.
You can decide for yourself if George Floyd’s death was an act of racism, but given the decades of police brutality and violence against people of color; many American’s have had enough. That’s why you are seeing the riots and the protestor’s in the streets. Being destructive and rioting is not helping anyone, but as Martin Luther King Jr. was all about peaceful protesting; we would all do well to consider his leading.
Christians should be speaking up and declaring that we are all God’s creation made in the image of God, and that in Heaven there will be people of all colors. Racism is hatred. Period. If you see people being different in some way because you are a different color than they are, and feel you can mistreat and dehumanize them; you are acting like a racist.
Christians have a unique opportunity right now to speak out in peace, the truth; and that truth is division and hatred are evils that God is not a part of. This can be a time for open communication between races, and a time for healing. Racism in America has gone on far too long. I urge you if you believe that you are better than someone because of the color of your skin, or that you have the right to mistreat others because they look differently than you; repent and ask God to give you a love for all people.
All people deserve to be treated fairly and with justice.
America it is time to wake-up, racism still exists. Although we may not see the KKK out and about terrorizing black Americans as they used to, they still exist and so does racism. Ask yourself this question, “If George Floyd would have been white would he have gotten the knee to his neck for so long, or at all?” Was Chauvin having a bad day, or was he tired from dealing with all the COVID-19 regulations and just took his frustrations out on Floyd? Possibly, and I did consider for a moment Chauvin’s position, but when he continued to leave his knee on the back of Floyd’s neck even after Floyd said was not able to breath and then he went unconscious; I became convinced this was an act of police brutality and racism.
What do you think about George Floyd’s death? If you have not watched the YouTube video from New York Times, I urge you to watch it and take action. Pray for our nation, for unity, for peace, for God’s justice, and for violence, hatred and racism to be eradicated from our nation.
Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC
Founder of Hope Ministry
Hope Ministry, @2020
Author of, “Disciplining Your Mind 30 Days to a Better You!”