In the name of George Floyd, Minneapolis rioters have done a huge injustice to George Floyd.
Floyd, 46, is dead. A widely viewed video confirms that he was killed, unarmed, after Police Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, arrested him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill, handcuffed him, pinned him to the asphalt, and then planted his knee on Floyd’s neck.
"His nose is bleeding," one horrified onlooker said off camera. "How long y’all gotta hold him down?"
"He’s human, bro," one man beseeched Chauvin, the subject of 12 unpunished police-misconduct complaints.
This did not continue for a few moments or just long enough to stop Floyd from resisting arrest, which — being cuffed — he didn’t do anyway. Instead, this dragged on for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
"I can’t breathe," Floyd implored. "Don’t kill me."
Chauvin did not relent. Floyd’s plea became a premonition:
Unless something astonishing is hidden on that recording, this is a museum-grade specimen of over-reaction, excessive force, and police brutality.
Citizens rightly assembled, expressed their outrage, and the arrests of Chauvin and the three cops/spectators who let this happen. (Chauvin was apprehended Friday afternoon.)
But then things went too far. The protests — as CNN called them, even after violence erupted — soon became riots.
Locals attacked an elderly lady in a wheelchair and sprayed her with a fire extinguisher. That’s not activism. That’s bedlam.
When those who derided Floyd’s murder smashed police-car windows and lobbed bottles at cops, they began their slide off the moral high ground.
The ski-jump off the moral high ground began when Minnesotans turned this into a 100%-off shopping spree.
Whatever sympathy people may have felt for Black Lives Matter or greater police accountability collapsed when hoodlums looted HDTVs, sneakers, and other merchandise. Stunning images of thieves hammering open cash registers at a picked-clean Target store did not engender empathy for George Floyd or justice for his survivors.
Arsonists turned Auto Zone, Minnehaha Lake Wine and Spirits, and at least 14 other structures into cinders. How many disproportionately black locals now will lose their jobs because these establishments have been torched? Those whose jobs survived the COVID-19 lockdown now likely will join 40 million other Americans on unemployment.
Minneapolis police officers deserted Third Precinct headquarters, which rioters breached, a la America’s Tehran embassy in 1979 or the Bastille in 1789. The flames that leapt from the abandoned police building gave proof of the total anarchy that officials permitted, to let rioters "blow off steam."
The membrane between civilization and savagery is about a millimeter thick. In the Twin Cities, it dissolved like a communion wafer.
Korboi Balla, a black firefighter, plowed his life savings into Scores Sports Bar, which he expected to launch on Monday. Grand opening canceled. Arsonists had other plans for his watering hole.
Even worse, the husband and father of four had no insurance. So, his life is a smoldering ruin. Nice work, thugs!
As Balla explained all of this to a TV crew, looters tiptoed through the embers of his American Dream, as they tried to swipe his safe in broad daylight.
Update: Abundant human decency has peeked through this acrid smoke. Balla launched a GoFundMe page on Friday, hoping to raise $100,000. As of 4:20 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, 23,271 souls had donated $706,572 to his recovery effort. Donations continue to roll in, as should yours.
On the grim side of the ledger once again, rioters also incinerated Midtown Corner, a privately funded, $37 million, 190-unit affordable-housing complex, slated to open next spring. Where’s the social justice in that?
"Waking up this morning to see Minneapolis on fire would be something that would devastate Floyd," his girlfriend, Courtney Ross, told the Star Tribune.
None of this will encourage police officers to behave better. If anything, it will arch their backs.
The rioters body-slammed the spotlight from the torture and murder of George Floyd to the narcissistic, nihilistic destruction of their own city. These barbarians resemble Palestinians who demolish their surroundings, such that they reduce any legitimate grievances into rubble.
Leftists predictably blame President Donald J. Trump. Regardless, he called this “a very shocking sight” and correctly ordered the Justice Department and FBI to"take a very strong look" at what happened.
Trump’s enemies are never satisfied. If he dispatched federal agents to hunt Floyd’s killers and blast them with revolvers, Hate Trump, Inc. would scream, " Why not Glocks? Why not machine guns?"
If President Trump has not done so already, he should contact the Floyd family and express his condolences, and those of the nation. He also should bring burned-out merchants to the White House and ask them to urge people to stop the mayhem that has converted a worthy cause into total chaos.
Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Read Deroy Murdock's Reports — More Here.
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