How Do You Kneel on a Neck for Nine Minutes? 

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

When George Floyd was already subdued and in police custody, officer Derek Chauvin drove his knee into Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. As a result, Floyd is dead, and the world is searching for answers as to how this could have happened yet again.

The Washington Post compiled multiple sources to create a video timeline of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis. I felt myself get physically sick while watching it, but I urge you to see it for yourself as well. It’s a grueling 7 minutes and 44 seconds, and yet that’s still a minute less than the amount of time Chauvin kneeled on Floyd. Small wonder that so many in our country, and around the world, are outraged.

I’ve found myself utterly unable to understand the mindset of Chauvin, and too many others like him. An officer has a suspect utterly subdued, with complete bodily control over them. That suspect pleads, stating “I can’t breathe”. What kind of person doesn’t let up before the suspect winds up dead? How can a human being act this way?

Over at the Atlantic, Graeme Wood put it in simpler terms: How do you kneel on a neck for nine minutes? His conclusion is that at best, to do this, one must be totally indifferent to the person’s survival.


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