Say His Name: George Floyd

The Rake’s Founder Wei Koh examines the death of George Floyd which has led to massive protests across the United States and the United Kingdom.

On the 25th of May 2020 amid the Covid-19 Pandemic, before the eyes of the world, George Floyd an African American man was executed by a white American police officer named Derek Chauvin. To say this was an isolated incident would be sadly misleading as since joining the Minneapolis police force in 2001 Chauvin has received 18 complaints against him.

" Derek Chauvin, officer arrested in George Floyd’s death,
has a record of shootings and complaints"

The reaction of most people was shock, then horror, followed by outrage as we saw Chauvin press his full body weight into Floyd’s neck who was handcuffed lying prone and being held down by two other officers.

Chauvin continued to exert pressure on his neck even as Floyd begged him to stop, told him repeatedly he couldn’t breathe and then finally prayed for his mother to help him before he died. You can hear in his voice the full terror he experienced as he knew he was being murdered, before a gathered crowd and yet no one could help him.

Chauvin continued to keep his knee on Floyd’s neck with an expression of terrifying equanimity on his face clearly backed by the full composure of a raging psychopath. Then the world waited for what must be justice, the omnipotent hand of an Old Testament God to enact his terrible wrath on Chauvin and the other officers who were complicit in this murder. But nothing happened.

Sure, the officers were fired. A measure of self-preservation from the Minneapolis police force that seemed woefully inadequate. But where were the murder chargers? Where were the images of these savages being led away in handcuffs to face retribution? It didn’t happen. Finally, days later Derek Chauvin was charged with Third Degree murder.



June 2020


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