Black Lives Matter #2

January 01, 1970

If you watch the video of George Floyd’s arrest, you will see a man who looks calm, quiet, and obedient and a bit confused. From his vehicle to the wall, from the wall to the cruiser, from the cruiser to the ground, he is not resistive, he is not yelling, he is not flailing. He is letting his body be controlled by four people who have him handcuffed, while carrying guns, batons, mace, and tasers, all items intended to inflict damage on his body should the officers feel a sense of threat to their persons.

What I don’t get is how Floyd ended up in handcuffs in the first place. Police were called to the convenience store after the clerk discovered the $20 bill he was given was counterfeit. Floyd was already out of the store and in his vehicle. He wasn’t driving away, he wasn’t hiding, he was just sitting in his vehicle doing who knows what. I have no reason to believe Floyd even knew he had just used a fake bill.

I remember being at a friend’s house for supper in 2015 when the police came to the door. They asked him to step into the hallway and told him he had been caught on camera, leaving a gas station without paying for his gas. My friend was dumbfounded. How could this have happened. What happened was he had a head full of other things going on and the credit card function on the gas pump was down and he had been thrown off his usual habit of paying before pumping. He forgot to pay.

When he explained this to police he was asked to go back and pay the gas station for the gas. He left dinner and immediately payed for the gas and returned. No handcuffs, no ride downtown, no murder. They didn’t even escort him to the gas station. I wonder if George Floyd would’ve done the same thing if the officer had asked him to. I wonder if George Floyd was actually a criminal deserving of handcuffs or a link in a long chain of hands that had held and passed that $20 bill thinking it was legit?

I think if he had been made aware of the situation in a clear and helpful manner he would’ve been surprised and made it right by returning to the store, apologizing, and paying for whatever he hadn’t.

But we’ll never know for sure.

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