An email was leaked the other day. In it, the sender praised the police, and wrote that people protesting in honor of George Floyd were involved in a “terrorist movement.” I repeat, the writer wrote that the protesters were involved in a terrorist movement. The person responsible was the president of the Minneapolis Federation of Police — Lieutenant Bob Kroll. The same Kroll who was accused by four Black officers of openly wearing a “White Power badge” on his motorcycle jacket.
For eight minutes and 46 seconds we watched. For eight minutes and 46 fucking seconds we were forced to fix our eyes on George Floyd’s face buried into the asphalt, gasping for air, crying out for his deceased mother’s help — but no help came. We watched a dying man scream, “Tell my kids I love them,” to whomever was willing to listen. We watched Floyd bawl, “Please let me stand,” while two policemen pinned his handcuffed body to the ground. We watched as Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck until he could no longer cry out, “I can’t breathe.”
For eight minutes and 46 seconds…
We watched an act of terror.
We watched a man being terrorized.
We watched four officers, on camera, for eight minutes and 46 seconds, commit an anti-Black
act of domestic police-terrorism.
I was not an eyewitness, but I know what I witnessed.
What I saw, with my water-filled eyes, was not a case of mere excessive force. Nor was it simply an act of police brutality. There was something so much more precious than Floyd’s civil rights being violated. That language did not fit what I watched for eight minutes and 46 seconds. There was something morbidly perverse about how unbothered Officer Derek Chauvin was as he took Floyd’s life. There was no struggle. No sense of danger. Chauvin appeared to be at peace with his decision to lynch George Floyd.
I am calling the lynching of George Floyd an anti-Black act of domestic police-terrorism because that is what I witnessed. And I am doing so by employing the framing provided by the government of the land of the (un)free, home of the enslaved to make such a proclamation.
Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act defines domestic terrorism as an act that occurs…