The thing that stands out to me, and that really makes the recorded slaying of George Floyd different from the countless other videos of similar situations that have floated around on the Internet forever now, is that this wasn’t one of those things that just happened so fast, and it wasn’t one of those events where the context mattered. Not to say that force was ever even necessary in the situation that day, but regardless of any possible undocumented extenuating circumstances, after a certain point, physical restraint becomes obviously unnecessary, and what we witnessed in the video of George’s death was not inflicted as the result of a bad split-second decision made by a policeman under immediate attack, or in fear for his life. No, Mr. Floyd was killed while already completely incapacitated, overpowered, and vulnerable…and he was killed very, very slowly.
The fact that this happened has shocked a lot of people. I say some, but not all. You see, there are a lot of Americans who have seen this kind of thing before. They have grown up with this kind of thing. It’s just been a part of their immediate reality, something they’ve had to take for granted, even though it would send the middle class mind spinning if it happened in their community, in front of them. The fact that this time someone had a camera on, at just the right angle, and managed to capture enough of the event to prove the reality of the situation beyond any reasonable doubt, just happened to finally bring a fully documented example of that reality into the living rooms and onto the cell phone screens of many, many millions who could very well have gone the rest of their lives remaining unaware.
These are some of my thoughts on it, anyways.