Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
Transform, Part III
The past week in my home city of Minneapolis we have been witness to events that have shown the world just how much we need a radical transformation of the social compact.
Minneapolis is the most culturally homogenous city of its size in the country. We are not just white we are ulta-white, northern European, Scandinavian white, this has made our social-compact fragile, brittle and as evidenced this week…broken.
On Monday, an unarmed African-American man was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer with cruel and calculated indifference. That white police officer was aided by three of his fellow officers.
They squeezed the life out of him, even as he pleaded with them, calling on his deceased mother to protect come for him, and protect him.
They police kneeled on his neck for nine minutes while he lay handcuffed, face down in the street, one officer applying that crushing weight, while two others held him at the midsection and at his legs.
He was not resisting.
Even as they were killing him, he was polite addressing them as sir, begging for relief.
They held him down for three minutes after he had become unresponsive, and did not register a pulse, while they denied an EMT access to him sixteen times, which might have saved his life.
They filed false police reports, even though it was all caught by their own body cameras, by surveillance cameras, and by the cell-phone video footage of bystanders who were witness to the killing.
The police officer who knelt directly on his neck, knew the man, they both worked as Security guards at a nearby nightclub.
They killed him in broad daylight, in public, in front of witnesses, they killed him with reckless indifference because in their heart they believed they would get away with it, and the sad thing is, that even though all four of them were fired and the worst among them has been charged with third degree murder, they still might get away with it, because justice is not impartial, our social compact is broken, our police behave like predators and kill with impunity, expecting and receiving the complicity of their brothers and sisters in uniform.
This corrupt and unjust system demands transformation.
There have been protests, without which the officers would likely still be employed.
Those righteous protests have been coopted by white supremacists and other bad actors who have looted and set our city on fire.
We have been burning for three days: police stations and post offices and libraries and banks, businesses and homes.
The smoke is thick in the air, I can taste it. It is horrible, but at least I can still breathe, unlike the man who’s murder set these events in motion, unlike George Floyd.