OFFICER CHAUVIN’S CHOKING MURDER: WHAT WAS THE MOTIVE.

Does anyone really believe that Minnesota Officer Derek Chauvin strangled George Floyd to death because he happened to be a black man? If so, I’ve got some palm trees to sell you in Fairbanks. 

     Old timers remember Paul Harvey as a famous talk-show host (and author) from 20th century best known for his alluring come-on, “Now, here’s the rest of the story.” There surely is more to the story of George Floyd’s untimely and torturous death on May 25th at the hands of Officer Derek Chauvin, that we yet know about.

     We all witnessed the horrendous violence that followed across the nation, which makes no sense because rioters were destroying their own neighborhoods where citizens had nothing whatsoever to do with the killing. Violent protesters gained nothing but non-stop media attention focusing exclusively on a single entity: Racism.

     Racism sells. It stokes the fires of discourse, valid or not.

     Such were the reasons for mega-millions of dollars worth of destruction in over seventy-five cities and nearly two dozen people killed, for nothing. Floyd’s killing exploded mass anger, demonstrations and attacks by rioters on city streets and neighborhoods all over America. People were led to believe Derek Chauvin’s motive was “racism,” pure and simple. According to news sources, at least twenty-one people have died in the riots, including 77 year-old David Dorn, a black Philadelphia retired cop, shot by burglars breaking in to a pawn shop. At least 55 businesses were invaded just in Philadelphia alone.

In all murder cases brought to court, proving motive is very important. So what was the motive in Mr. Floyd’s killing? Racism?

     I think not.

     All the actions (and inactions) of the people involved tell us that the killer and the victim knew each other because they had worked on and off for years at a local bar and restaurant, one as  a bouncer the other a security person. Interviews with some of the patrons acknowledged that the two knew each other.

     Officer Derek Chauvin did not make the arrest (passing counterfeit money). Chauvin was not on the scene until two rookie cops already had Floyd cuffed and subdued outside on the street. It was in this period that Chauvin took over Floyd settling on the street and began applying the deadly knee-to-neck on Floyd for over eight minutes. That’s no accident.

     For what purpose? Because George Floyd was black? I seriously doubt that. The crime clearly occurred in the presence of witnesses. Chauvin knew that. Through experience and background, Chauvin had to know that strangle-holds are deadly, especially after 60 seconds, yet eight minutes. Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck at least six minutes while alive, then two more after he was dead. That scenario tells me,( a thirty-year police veteran), the killing was deliberate.

     George Floyd was no saint. In this instance, he allegedly had tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. He had a number of run-ins with the law in his past, including a five year period in prison for armed robbery in Houston. Before that, Floyd had been arrested numerous times, with lesser sentences in jail, mostly drug crimes. According to the autopsy, Floyd was under the influence of drugs; Fentanyl and methamphetamine.  

     Meanwhile, Chauvin’s seventeen years on the force taught him the rights, wrongs and nuances of violent policing. During those eight long minutes, Floyd was pleading, “I can’t breathe.” Chauvin clearly had to hear that.

     I don’t know if Chauvin’s motive stemmed from very personal issues between the two. Perhaps Floyd had something on Chauvin. Perhaps, it had something to do with counterfeiting. Perhaps Chauvin was high. Floyd was certainly neutralized. The excessive force was unnecessary. A veteran seventeen-year cop isn’t going to risk his pension by arbitrarily deciding to kill another man already in restraints, in the presence of witnesses and cameras, just because he was black. Makes no sense.

     Decrying “racism” is to be expected. But I don’t believe “racism” had anything to do with this crime. We still need to know, “the rest of the story”

     Paul Harvey, where are you?

 

(Marshall Frank, is a retired police captain from Miami-Dade, serving 30 years,including 16 years in Homicide. He has authored 15 books fiction and non-fiction. Visit amazon.com or order direct from author for signed copies, at www.marshallfrank.com