Derek Chauvin is a rough hombre. Look at his history. He has almost twenty years as a police officer. Twelve to eighteen times, depending on the source, the Minneapolis Police Department investigates him for using excessive force. He shoots Ira Toles, unarmed and black, in 2008. Three years later he’s placed on leave for the “inappropriate police shooting of Leroy Martinez, an Alaskan American native.” I doubt we have tapes of those incidents. But we’ve got clear video and audio proving that alarmed civilians warn Chauvin he’s killing George Floyd and to take his knee off the man’s neck. Derek Chauvin is having so much fun, while two other officers pin Floyd’s legs and body and another stands guard, he keeps his knee buried in the back of Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, the final three when Flood stops saying, “I can’t breathe,” and lies dead quiet, his face in the gutter.
Parts of Minneapolis erupt in flames, and a police station is abandoned before protestors torch it. Unrest spreads around the nation. The four police officers are fired and finally, four days after the murder, the Minneapolis Police Department arrests Derek Chauvin. His wife also terminates him, filing for divorce. She knows he isn’t going to walk away from this crime. His violence is too sustained, too cold, too public. He’s going down for third degree murder and manslaughter and maybe more. Arguments by his defense attorneys won’t be effective. Everyone knows what they’re going to say. George Floyd, according to the initial autopsy, didn’t die of asphyxiation. He had coronary artery disease. He had hypertensive heart disease. He may have been intoxicated. He served several years in prison. He was a large and imposing man who’d just tried to pass a counterfeit twenty dollar bill at a deli. None of that matters because George Floyd would today be alive if Derek Chauvin hadn’t shoved a fascist knee into his neck and ignored Floyd’s pleas for life.
Sources: Some notes about Derek Chauvin’s work history come from a Reddit post “confirmed by Minnespolis Police Department spokesperson John Elder.”