The national protests have arisen again in response to the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minnesota. Footage shows the officer keeping his knee pressed on Floyd’s neck for just under 9 minutes while Floyd indicates he cannot breathe and pleads for his dead mother. Floyd is soon pronounced dead. Subsequent footage reveals that Floyd did not resist arrest.
Protesters also have in mind the more recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, the latter also by police. Additionally, footage of Amy Cooper’s confrontation with Christian Cooper circulated widely these last couple of weeks. In that episode, Christian Cooper, a black man in his late 50’s was bird-watching in a section of New York City’s Central Park that required dogs to be leashed. Amy Cooper (no relation), a white woman in her mid-40’s arrived with her dog off leash. Christian Cooper asked her to leash her dog, to which she responded by declining to adhere to the rule and letting him know that she was going to call the cops and “tell them there’s an African American threatening my life.”
These protests represent a continuation of the response to a wave of deaths of black Americans at the hands of police.