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George Floyd Wasn’t Special and Police Kneeholds Were Ubiquitous

When the still image of a prone George Floyd was taken and the world witnessed a white police officer atop him, every ingredient for a white supremacist pie was served up to the handlers of Black Lives Matter. All they had to do was slice it and serve it. And serve they did.


The United States burned for months on end, resulting in scores of deaths and billions of dollars of property damage and theft. For those stricken with Trump Derangement Syndrome, they were not only unwilling, but entirely unable, to accept that their side was full of violent anarchists focused on ruining this great country. With evidence running low on real racism, they invented it wholecloth. Police deaths were the most obvious form of persecution, even requiring a U.N. special counsel to investigate genocide in America against blacks. Noting that many police departments were majority-minority, that many major cities’ police departments were helmed by black men and women, or that the these same urban centers had black mayors and city councils meant nothing to the acolytes of the white supremacist narrative. Noting also that police generally respond to crime (and that blacks commit most violent crimes relative to their own population) as opposed to making criminals commit them is akin to being the unheard tree falling in a dense forest of willful ignorance.


Reality has been utterly obfuscated by political agendas. The simple truth is that no one (blacks included) is being hunted down in the streets and murdered solely because of their skin color. Even if whites believed that the black population was imbued with Marvel-like superpowers thanks to their neuromelanin (as Biden nominee Kristin Clarke claimed), wouldn’t the Wakanda gene help overcome mundane white supremacists? It is hard to determine what is more frightening: The fact that people like Clark view the world through this lens or that people like Biden reward it.


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The cause of George Floyd’s death will soon be determined by the presentation of evidence and a group decision by a jury of peers. They will consider, among other factors, the withheld – but eventually leaked – body cam video revealing a larger narrative on noncompliance and troubled breathing patterns well before the documented hold, a toxicology report with fatal levels of fentanyl, a positive Covid test (Wuhan Flu is still scary, right?), and the Hennepin county’s original autopsy report noting that there were no crushed or damaged bodily structures indicating the hold produced asphyxiation. Police department policies and past practices will also likely come to light.


Minneapolis, the adopted homeland of Floyd and epicenter of his death’s inspired riots, sanctioned the type of neck restraint that prosecutor Keith Ellison and the Black Lives Matter movement contends ended the life of (yet another) black man. Although it was quickly scrubbed from the police training manual in the violent aftermath, the Minneapolis Police Department specifically allowed for officers to subdue uncooperative and potentially dangerous suspects by placing their knee and body weight on the side of a suspect’s neck. In this way, a suspect could be incapacitated while the airway remained unhindered.


An NBC news article that came out within a week of Floyd’s death highlighted that in the past five years, the Minneapolis Police Department had reported at least 237 kneehold procedures being used on suspects and that 44 of those uses ended in unconsciousness. No deaths were reported from any of the 237 cases. Critics were quick to point out that this suddenly-abominable practice was widespread and just more evidence of systemic racism, and the article noted that 60% of the so-called “victims” of this dangerous tactic were black.


But is there a different way to view this?


For starters, if the Minneapolis Police Department sanctioned the procedure, how is the George Floyd case any different from the previous 237 encounters? An obvious difference is his death, but Ellison and his team will have to prove that the officer’s actions and maneuver actually caused his death, as opposed to simply occuring during his fentanyl-induced excited delirium. Maybe Floyd’s death was accidentally caused by the knee hold, but Ellison pushed all his chips in by seeking a second-degree murder charge. The long history of detailed knee hold use also makes it harder to prove that race was a motivating factor. If Chauvin and the MPD were so intent on snuffing out a black life, why wait until Floyd in a crowded street in broad daylight? 60% of 237 equates to 142 opportunities to strangle a black suspect with a knee hold.


Race, Americans have been repeatedly told, was a motivating factor in George Floyd’s death. Black man, white police – the rest is history. The KKK has been rebranded and white supremacists get their jollies by putting on a badge and targeting black men with murderous intent. For that to be true, Black Lives Matter specifically and the political left in general would have to explain how individuals of all races have been killed by this photographically unsavory but quite legitimate police hold. Three cases will prove this point.


First, consider the recent death of Angelo Quinto. Quinto is of Phillipino descent and not black. In December of 2020, Quinto’s family called the police after his family sought reinforcement in the middle of a psychotic episode. Police arrived at the scene, where they observed Quinto’s mother using her weight on top of him to calm him down. Police took over, allegedly resorting to a knee hold. A few minutes later, Quinto was not responsive and had blood coming from his mouth. 


Second, consider the death of Antonio Valenzuela. Valenzuela is of Hispanic origins and not black. Given the treatment of George Zimmeman, he might as well be white. In February of 2020, police pulled over Valenzuela defied police commands and was not subdued after being shot at with a taser multiple times. Eventually, an officer (who has been charged with murder) used his knee to pin the suspect to the ground. Unlike the Floyd autopsy, Valenzuela’s indicated the likely cause of death of asphyxiation. A toxicology report found the presence of 5000 milligrams of methamphetamine in the deceased’s system at the time of death.


Third, consider the death of Tony Timpa. Timpa is white and decidedly not black. In August of 2016, Timpa called the police on himself and asked for help, saying he was off his medication for schizophrenia. After police arrived, the situation escalated and officers eventually subdued Timpa with a kneehold for nearly fourteen minutes, even after he was unresponsive. A toxicology report found cocaine in the deceased’s system at the time of death.


The three incidents are not shown to prove that police use excessive force regularly and with impunity. Nor are they shown to suggest there is either fault or no fault with the police. Instead, they are shown to prove a separate point altogether. The narrative of systemic racism in patterns of policing and police responses are flawed and intentionally misleading. The question of “Why does the world know the name of George Floyd but not Angelo Quinn, Antonio Valenzuela, or Tony Timpa?” is rhetorical. In the case of the latter three, they are not black, and therefore do not reinforce a falsified narrative. In other words, nothing to see here. Move along.


The aforementioned statistic of 237 documented kneeholds in just Minneapolis was used by journalists to suggest that rampant and wanton police cruelty was widespread. However, this statistic should be viewed only as proof that death from the formerly-condoned procedure is exceedingly rare. In the specific trial of Derek Chauvin, it should be used to exonerate the defense of any racist motivations. If Minneapolis, a city with under 500,000 residents, performed over 200 kneeholds in the past five years, how does the figure extrapolate out for the entire nation? And then, how many of those holds resulted in deaths – deaths that also did not coincide with lethal levels of intoxicants or illicit narcotics? ‘Practically none’ seems like an appropriate answer.


Nothing good has come out of this fantastic lie of systemic racism and white supremacy. Good names are dragged through mud when politically convenient, and certainly holding a victim mindset is harmful to anybody. The white community is made to feel guilt and remorse where none need exist, while the black community seethes with manipulated anger. Nor can anything good come out of the trial. If Chauvin is found guilty, we will be left wondering if the jury sacrificed him on the altar of appeasement to save cities across the nation from greater destruction. If Chauvin is found not guilty, the potential horrors are simply too awful to imagine.

3 thoughts on “George Floyd Wasn’t Special and Police Kneeholds Were Ubiquitous”

  1. George Floyd died of a drug overdose, a bad heart, and over-exertion resisting arrest. The knee on his neck had nothing to do with his death.

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