George Floyd – Different Approaches, Different Results

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.

2 responses to “George Floyd – Different Approaches, Different Results

  1. Rick Martinez

    It’s not only because we are longtime friends and colleagues I agree with you and your post. It’s because you are morally right about the wrong committed to George Floyd–for which I believe the whole of America and all Americans agree also. One man–a policeman–apparently killed another man. And now that accused man is arrested and charged with murder–and awaiting trial, due process, prosecution, and probably sentencing. This “lag time” is what is afforded to all accused–even the most heinous criminals.

    Steve, no person, people or group of organized partisans have the right or are entitled to demand this lawful “lag time” be changed via a community-turned-mob and turn their raw emotions into an excuse to riot and loot. My mom used to weep when us 13 brothers and sisters used to fight like animals
    until dad would come home. After a good kick in the butt and dad’s very strong look, he’d say: “When animals fight, it’s the LAND that suffers”–meaning mom and home.

    Yes, what this one man–this policeman–did to George Floyd was absolutely and definitely wrong, and he will be prosecuted for it. All America and Americans are not responsible for it.

    • Rick,
      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you–it recalibrates me to a time long ago and far away when I was a young Turk rather than a grey beard.

      When dealing with others, friends, spouses, business partners or business competitors, allies or enemies, I believe that it is always best to keep the entire range of response options available. That’s what I was hoping to communicate. If necessary, things can be escalated, but de-escalation is always difficult.

      I can see you and I as Romans or Greeks having philosophical discussions in the forum and hopefully impressing everyone else with our wisdom and philosophical capabilities.

      As always, best wishes and God’s blessings to you.


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