Nomination For A Hero Badge

Winner in the Latest Round of the Ghetto Lottery

There is no doubt about it the Minneapolis cops screwed up. However, it was one more screw up in a long line of screw-ups, both before and after.

Let’s count the ways everybody involved contributed:

  • George Floyd needed $20 he didn’t have, so he made his own. Under Federal law that is called counterfeiting and it is a felony. Under Minnesota law is is considered forgery and likely also is a felony.
  • George Floyd, for reasons known best only to himself did not feel obliged to follow the law.
  • In fact, he objected to the police holding him accountable.
  • The cops didn’t do anybody any favors by allowing themselves to be sucked in by Floyd. They fell for the oldest trick in the book and made a rookie mistake.
  • It is one thing to go toe to toe with a suspect. I have no sympathy for a suspect who resists arrest and finds himself with a mud hole stomped in his butt.
  • The being said the fight is for the purpose of getting the handcuffs on. It is not punishment, get back or catch up. Once the cuffs go on it is over.
  • It is not unusual for a suspect to docilely allow themselves to be handcuffed. Once the cuffs go on that same docile suspect turns into brawler. The suspect knows he is going to lose the fight in the here and now. He is hoping for a payoff down the road, when he can claim he was abused after he was cuffed.
  • The only justification I can come up with for the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck is that he didn’t want to rip the knee out his pants. Not good enough.
  • As numerous videos show, Floyd had incentive to continue to resist. He needed and had an audience, as long as he was in he public view.
  • Had the officers placed him in the patrol car, Floyd would have been isolated. He wouldn’t have had access to the officers and they him. Yeah, he could have kicked out a window. So what, that’s why patrol cars have cages.
  • The city of Minneapolis didn’t do itself any favors. Firing the officers may be the right thing to do. However, doing it so quickly smacks of a rush to judgment.
  • There is a segment of the community that will never be happy with any action the city takes. These are the folks that see the firing as part of a cover-up. If the officers were fired, why weren’t the charged?
  • The reality is that had the mayor personally put a bullet in the back of the head of each officer, film at eleven, the gainsayers would not be happy. They would complain that the mayor should have had the officers drawn and quartered.
  • The news makes it seem that the riots that followed are somehow justified. What the riots signify is that the mentality that allowed Floyd to pass fake $20 bills is shared. There is no law.

I am reminded of an arrest I participated in shortly after being assigned to the narcotics task force. An undercover (UC) officer had made a series of purchases of crack cocaine from a street level dealer.

The UC decided to buy bust the dealer and set up one more purchase. They met, the deal went down, the UC gave the bust signal and the arrest team swooped in and made the arrest.

I handcuffed the dealer, a middle aged black guy. As I rolled him over to help to his feet, he was all innocence. He couldn’t understand why we were arresting him. I explained that he had sold dope to the police.

He got this surprised expression on his face and exclaimed, ” I didn’t sell no dope to the po-lice. Everybody know it be illegal to sell dope to the po-lice.”

There it is, the urban equivalent to that age old question: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”

George Floyd needed to go to jail. He didn’t deserve a trip to the morgue. He set the stage and initiated a chain of events. It didn’t turn out the way he had planned. He is not a hero. He is not a martyr. He didn’t die for a cause. He was simply a thief who miscalculated and ran into some cops not much brighter than he was.

On the plus side, his mama stands to make millions from the city of Minneapolis.

The black community blames cops every time a black suspect dies in a confrontation. The events leading to the death are of no consequence to these folks. There is something twisted in that mentality and it isn’t healthy for individuals or society.