A failure in law enforcement

The video was shocking. It was a video that showed callous disregard for life.

The Facebook Live was recorded Monday evening on a Minneapolis street by a bystander using his smart phone.

It captures an African-American man laying on his stomach in a Minneapolis street pleading for his life as a police officer’s knee forcefully presses on his neck.

“Please, please … I can’t breathe,” George Floyd cries out. The video continues for 7-8 minutes, as Officer Derek Chauvin puts his hands on his pockets and appears to ignore the pleas from onlookers to stop. As the minutes go by, the man stops pleading — he’s motionless and silent. At this point, the onlookers plead for Chauvin and the other officers at the scene to check the man’s pulse. But the officers again ignore those pleas. The officer only stopped his brutal tactic when paramedics rolled onto the scene.

At that point, it appears it’s too late — as the victim looks to be unconscious. He was declared dead at the hospital.

“The lack of humanity in this disturbing video is sickening. We will seek answers and seek justice,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a released statement in reaction to the video.

There’s no mistake that the officer’s actions were disturbing and sickening. It’s a step in the right direction to hear public officials and law enforcement leaders vow that justice will be served.

However, it’s important that the actions of one officer not be a reflection of law enforcement as a whole. The majority in the law enforcement profession serve with honor. They take their training seriously. They generally take an oath of honor that affirms their standards of integrity, bravery and honor to the community and the law – to protect and serve.

Officer Chauvin failed to protect and serve with dignity. He and the other three officers were deservingly fired. They don’t belong in the honorable profession of law enforcement.


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