The fact that Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes on a public street while at least 15 people stood by, complained, recorded it or watched in horror is a testament to his disregard for George Floyd's life. pic.twitter.com/oe6ECQm4Ki— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 29, 2021
The fact that Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes on a public street while at least 15 people stood by, complained, recorded it or watched in horror is a testament to his disregard for George Floyd's life.
Viewing the shot of the apparent response of the response of onlookers to this murder, a reasonable reaction would not be tho cry out in anguish at Chauvin's disregard for George Floyd's life. Rather, it would be "why are so many people standing around and recording a horrid event when they could be intervening and possibly saving someone's life?"
As a group, the individuals should have done more than they did, perhaps storm Officer Tou Thao, who was standing ground against the small crowd as the other three officers were more actively involved in the killing. However, the response of Thao would have been unpredictable, and common human instinct is not to rush a guy with a gun.
Boykin seems to believe- erroneously- that the individuals are responding passively. He finds that a "testament," presumably because they were taking photos and recording a crime, activities currently celebrated but in the past properly condemned.
However, as the video below indicates, the spectators did not merely complain, record, and watch in horror as a gruesome killing was taking place. Had that been their only response, Chauvin's defense posture would have been strengthened because his attorneys could argue that their client's behavior was not so egregious as to prompt a response. Moreover, responsibility for the act could have been somewhat dispersed.
Keith Boykin received a law degree from Harvard University in 1992. There is a propensity to appoint as judges graduates of Ivy League law schools and otherwise hold them in particularly high regard. That is a bad practice Boykin illustrates.