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How do we think about the George Floyd murder? Show more Show less
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On May 25 2020, George Floyd was suffocated to death by the police. Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. In chilling footage that would go viral within 24 hours, officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes ignoring Floyd's repeated pleas for him to move. The asphyxiation led to his cardiac arrest. Floyd's death has so far inspired protests across more than 75 US cities, calling for an end to police brutality and institutional racism. The responses to these riots have included state-wide curfews, the threat of military intervention, attacks on the media and civilian arrests. The situation has given rise to a complex debate with commentators arguing over what precisely it has exposed about contemporary America. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

The murder is simply a murder: It is not representative of wider issues Show more Show less

This approach believes that an isolated murder cannot be used to make broader points about America, its society, and politics.
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George Floyd's murder was justified

The role of the police is to prevent crime and to protect society from dangerous individuals. The police were responding to a call from a concerned shopkeeper when they dealt with George Floyd. While the situation might have spiralled out of control, Derek Chauvin was doing his job. Unfortunately, accidental deaths stemming from police intervention are part and parcel of American society. This is a necessary sacrifice for social stability and functioning democracy.
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Rejecting the premises

In the statement "George Floyd's murder was justified", the statement itself is a contradiction in ideas. Murder is a crime. In essence, it's a killing deemed to be of a criminal nature. Conversely, if the killing of another is justified, then it wouldn't be a crime, and hence wouldn't be murder. A better phrasing would be, "George Floyd's killing was justified". Although even that language is flawed in that it presumes that George Floyd died by homicide, which, at this point (7/2/20) is not certain. He could have just as well- and I would argue, probably did- die of natural cause and/or overdose of narcotics.

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    This page was last edited on Thursday, 2 Jul 2020 at 13:39 UTC

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