Sunday, August 30, 2020

Racial Animus+

As can be seen and heard in the video below, sports journalist Jason Whitlock has little sympathy for George Floyd or Jacob Blake. He criticizes NBA players for following the "Just Do It" slogan, inspired by mass murderer Gary Gilmore, and having no actual plan for what they want to accomplish.

That's a controversial opinion which leads Whitlock down a controversial and questionable road.  More significantly, though, he argues (at 12:38)

There's no proof that Derek Chauvin was driven by any racial animus. He was a cop behaving inappropriately. Race likely had nothing to do with it. That doesn't mean he wasn't criminal, potentially criminal, but there's no proof that it was driven by racism.


Race played a role in the killing of a black man by a white police officer,  who held his knee against the suspect's neck for 7 minutes and 46 seconds (originally thought to be 8 minutes, 46 sections). Moreover, the conviction that the act was an obscene act of racial animus obviously motivated  the peaceful demonstrations this spring by of over a million individuals across the nation.

The protests were sparked, additionally, by the conviction that Chauvin's act demonstrated that racism pervades police departments in all parts of the country.

There are undoubtedly racially biased, even grossly racially biased, law enforcement officers in the USA And yet, there has been no indication of any action that rivals the cruelty and viciousness exhibited by Chauvin.  Especially, then, it should be of more than passing interest that

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with killing Floyd, worked security at the same local club for much of the year before their fatal encounter on a Minneapolis street last week. The owner of El Nuevo Rodeo said the two were in close proximity once a week for their Tuesday night shifts, though she did not know if they ever actually met while working at the club.

Maya Santamaria said she had been paying Chauvin, when he was off-duty, to sit in his squad car outside El Nuevo Rodeo for 17 years. She said Floyd worked as a security guard inside the club frequently in the last year. In particular, they both worked on Tuesday nights, when the club had a popular weekly dance competition. 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension contacted Santamaria soon after Floyd was killed, and family attorney Benjamin Crump believed the association between the deceased and the defendant indicates charges should be upgraded (as they since have been).

Whatever the relationship was between the two individuals, it is not inconsequential and  it would be enlightening to find out whether the information would sustain our conclusions.

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