Selin Hekimoglu/Edge reporter
In May 2020, George Floyd was murdered after Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police kneeled on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Today, April 19th, 2021, Chauvin is now on trial for the murder of George Floyd. One prosecutor argued that Chauvin’s actions were due to his ego. In response to this statement, Eric Nelson, a defense attorney claimed that Chauvin actions were reasonable due to the stressful situation. “You have to look at it from the reasonable police officer standard. You have to take into account that officers are human beings, capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations.” Nelson says.
If this is the case, why are we not considering that humans mistakes must come with consequences? Especially if you are a police officer who is required to know how to properly handle these types of situations. Police spend a lot of time training for such things, therefore there is no excuse for Chauvin’s actions. We must also keep in mind that as “stressful” as it was for Chauvin, it does not change the fact that George Floyd was the one who was fighting for his life, while Chauvin was the one who took it from him.
The topic of George Floyds drug use was also brought up in the testimony. Many people claimed that fentanyl is the cause behind his death, which simply is not true. A report found methamphetamine and fentanyl in George Floyd’s system. A lot of people argued that these drugs are the root cause behind his loss of oxygen, however, Dr. Tobin, a critical care physician says otherwise. He says, “Mr. Floyd’s breathing did not slow down enough for the painkiller to have been a factor in his total loss of oxygen.” Daniel Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist backed up this statement by proving that some of fentanyl was metabolized, which makes it even less likely to overdose.
Chauvin’s actions were racially motivated and ignorant. No matter how many times Floyd repeated that he could not breathe, he continued to choke him by pressing his knee onto his neck. He was completely aware of how much pressure he was applying, instead he chose to ignore him. There is no space for ignorance when it comes to someone’s life. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher brought up a very great point in court that Minneapolis police take an oath to “protect with courage.” We can clearly understand that Chauvin’s intentions were not to protect, but instead to harm. Someone like this does not deserve forgiveness, and it only makes sense for Derek Chauvin to face punishments for what he has done. If he was declared not guilty, it would only prove that as a society we value the reputation of a white man more than an innocent human being’s life.
- “Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd for over 9 minutes because of ex-officer’s pride and ego” by Eric Levenson
- “George Floyd died from lack of oxygen, not fentanyl, says expert”
- “Derek Chauvin heard George Floyd ask for help, ‘he just didn’t listen’: prosecutor” by Amy Forliti and Tammy Webber