If someone knelt on a dog’s neck for nine minutes in public, they’d most likely be arrested.
Kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he died was wrong. Period. There should be no argument about that.
Floyd’s death, and the circumstances leading to it upset many people. Admit it, such a reaction is normal and to be expected.
What is surprising is that some people are not upset. Are they oblivious? Do they believe that this action should be accepted? Even with extensive videos of the incident and with the mayor of Minneapolis condemning it and firing the individuals responsible?
It is not rational to expect people to respond by writing a letter to the editor or calling their city officials. Floyd’s murder was a blatant disregard of human life, by an individual who apparently had a long history of abusing his authority–15 complaints in 18 years–and no telling how many unreported incidents of abuse.
The response in many cities has been to send in police wearing bulletproof vests, armed with M-16 rifles, in addition to their usual 9 mm sidearm, Taser, pepper spray, baton, blackjack, etc..
There is a reason that the Posse Comitatus law does not allow the US Military to engage in law enforcement, except for specific, and rare, situations. Unfortunately, city/county/state officials choose to militarize their police forces.
Based on observation of the results, heavily armed police do not seem to result in a peaceful resolution. In fact, so far, it hasn’t resulted in any resolution.
In Norfolk, VA, a peaceful demonstration was planned to block a road for nine minutes–the amount of time that the knee(s) were on Mr Floyd’s neck. They also peacefully assembled outside the Norfolk Police Department building.
Police Chief Larry Boone took a different course of action than his counterparts in other cities–he joined the protesters, holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign. He gets it. He’s employing communication instead of confrontation. Will this result in a peaceful resolution in the days or weeks ahead? No one knows, but there are a wider range of options available to the City of Norfolk than for most of the other cities.
Why did he do this? I don’t know his exact thoughts, but I suspect it was because he saw Mr. Floyd’s death as wrong. Dead wrong. Period.