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George Floyd's tragedy exposes tense polarization between Americans

Uploaded: May 28, 2020
“Please, I can’t breathe.”

George Floyd, nicknamed the “gentle giant” by family and friends, was a 46 year old black man who passed away on May 25th after a white police officer kneeled on his neck, blocking his airway. His repeated pleas to the officer were ignored, and his story has shocked and saddened the entire nation.

A shopkeeper called the Minnesota police to report a potential counterfeit bill on Monday, May 25th. The man in question, Floyd, was in his car, unarmed, when he was approached by four police officers. In recently released surveillance footage, it is unclear of whether or not Floyd resisted arrest before being put in handcuffs. Afterwards, video shows that Floyd complied with police, and posed no threat as police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck, causing suffocation that eventually led to Floyd’s death. Floyd’s voice was heard begging for help in a bystander’s video, but was ignored; after eight minutes and 46 seconds, when an ambulance arrived, Chauvin finally removed his knee and Floyd was limp and unconscious. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, and the cause of death has not yet been released.

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo fired the four officers on the scene after realizing that the official police report did not match surveillance footage of what actually happened. We have yet to see if the ex-officers will face criminal charges.

The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, who has long been an avid speaker against police brutality during his political career, condemns Chauvin and petitions for charges to be brought against him. “If most people, particularly people of color, had done what a police officer did late Monday, they’d already be behind bars,” Frey tweeted on May 27. “That’s why today I’m calling on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to charge the arresting officer in this case.”

In addition to Floyd’s case, the many recent cases of police brutality and crimes against people of color spark outrage across America. From Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man shot by a white father-son duo while jogging, to Breonna Taylor, a medical technician shot 8 times by police in her home. Floyd’s case, to many, is saddening but not wholly surprising.

In Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Memphis, Americans took to the streets to protest police brutality against people of color, especially Black Americans. As protestors stormed the city of Minneapolis, buildings were wrecked, stores were looted, and the protestors themselves were attacked with rubber bullets and tear gas by police. Now, the city is in a state of destruction as roughly 30 fires ravage different areas of Minneapolis.

Floyd and his story have shed light on institutional racism and injustice in the American law enforcement system that can no longer be ignored. It has exposed deep flaws in the justice system, as well as the gaping divide that separates Americans. What happened to George Floyd should serve as a reminder that racism against African Americans did not end with slavery; it has been prevalent for hundreds of years and lives today in the heartbreaking stories of people like Floyd. The numerous times where police brutality and misconduct go unpunished make it clear that these are not isolated incidents. Time and time again, we see the same tragedies repeat and no action taken to end the cycle. In America, all criminals should be held accountable for their crimes, no more and no less. No citizen should be killed for forgery, and no officer should get away with murder.




George Floyd.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   18 people like this
Posted by A Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on May 29, 2020 at 12:36 pm

It is extremely sad and disturbing to see what happened to Mr. Floyd, when a man who posed no immediate threat to a police officer pleaded for his life and was ignored and denied. It is also sad to see what is happening in America today on the race front. Twelve years ago, when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, I was so happy to see that our country elevated itself to new height in terms of racial equality. Look at where we are today.

I agree that racial polarization is dangerous and sometimes tragic to minorities. It is unproductive to our society as a whole. We should learn to be more tolerant and inclusive while being different.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Sometimes? Or everyday?, a resident of St. Claire Gardens,
on May 30, 2020 at 9:10 am

> I agree that racial polarization is dangerous and sometimes tragic to minorities.

"Sometimes" tragic? Look at education, income and health disparities, just to start.

"Sometimes" tragic? Just tragic on paydays, or just on days their bodies are suffering? Or just the days that their children's health is suffering?

Sometimes? The word only accurately applies in a different context. As in:

"I only *sometimes* notice how tragic racial polarization can be to OUR ENTIRE SOCIETY."





 +   16 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 30, 2020 at 10:09 am

What happened yesterday in San Jose and Oakland were not protests. Blocking highways, causing damage to cars stopped by the protests on 101, damage to businesses, looting, injuring police officers and the killing of a security guard and seriously injuring another is not the way to protest.

I am also upset about what happened to George Floyd. But tell me please how did what has been happening around the country honor his life and protest his death?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 30, 2020 at 11:22 am

"passed away" ??

Hardly.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Greenmeadow,
on May 30, 2020 at 12:12 pm

I support peaceful protest. I think it takes the whole nation with social movement to fight against social injustice. I am also glad to see our young generation of Americans start to participate and make their impact in this cause. Hope our youth carry on the fight for justice and change the world for the better.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Asian Woman, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 30, 2020 at 12:30 pm

I am an Asian immigrant living in Menlo Park. I am darker compared to other Asians and constantly get judged by residents of Menlo Park. My neighbors don't talk to me, they set up play dates for their kids with other neighbors kids but never invite me. All of them happily attended my child's birthday party last year, ate the cake, took the party favors home but never invited me and my family for their children's birthday party. This racial discrimination is not just from the police but also from the society. A bunch of people now will leap on me saying something must be wrong with me or I must be mean. No, I am not. I am an educated, polite and kind woman but I still get a lot of hate from this mostly white community of people. Frankly, this country is no longer what it used to be. Its a huge mess and haters who were living in a crawl space are now all out with their hate. This is a miserable country


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on May 30, 2020 at 3:09 pm

There is no right way of protesting.

"Looting is extremely dangerous to the rich (and most white people) because it reveals, with an immediacy that has to be moralized away, that the idea of of private property is just that: an idea, a tenuous and contingent structure of consent, backed up by the lethal force of the state." (by Vicky Osterweil)

If you're more uncomfortable seeing the looting and the protesters than what is happening to Black Americans, please continue to educate yourself.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Hold On, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 30, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Please don't pre-judge the situation before you've heard the whole story.

1. Floyd said he couldn't breathe several times while standing, in the minutes before the popular video that everyone is so quick to pre-judge from. He actively resisted being handcuffed. He stood there saying he couldn't breathe, fell down multiple times (apparently intentionally), resisting getting into the police car. Are those who are protesting or pre-judging saying they know he was lying about not being able to breathe then, but telling the truth during the viral video?

2. The coroner's preliminary report found no evidence of strangulation or asphyxiation. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. He was apparently also very drunk.

3. Thank God we live in a country where “social justice" i.e. mob rule isn't the law of the land, and we actually have a process whereby the whole story, the context, is heard and examined, and, yes, we want to hear the defendant's side of things, and don't just judge and condemn based on limited evidence or our own ideology.

4. Note: I have no opinion to express here on whether the officer was using excessive violence or not, or on whether Floyd was wise or not to struggle and resist getting into the police car. I'm here to point out exactly what I've written above. I hope it's helpful as we ponder the times when others may be quick to pre-judge *us*, without looking at context or giving us a chance to express our side of the story.

References:
- Web Link
- Web Link

Peace.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sometimes? Or everyday?, a resident of St. Claire Gardens,
on May 30, 2020 at 4:35 pm

> damage to businesses, looting

Ever hear of a certain Tea Party?

> I am also upset about what happened to George Floyd. But

Uh-huh. Using "But" completely negates the preceding comment.

Thanks for sharing. Now we know.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by A Palo Alto Resident, a resident of Midtown,
on May 30, 2020 at 5:43 pm

"There is no need to see more video. There no need to wait to see how "it plays out". There is no need to put a knee on someone's neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don't have an issue with (George Floyd's death)...turn it in."

- David Roddy, Chattanooga Police Department Chief


 +   5 people like this
Posted by It should happen to his family, a resident of Community Center,
on May 30, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Hold on- the gestapo member had his knee on mr Floyd's neck for an extended period of time, during which mr.
Floyd continued to claim he could not breathe. New video may indicate that at least 3 officers had knees on him while he was on the ground, at that point the gestapo member should have let up. Period . End of story.
The drum claim comes from the 911 call. There is no evidence yet that mr Floyd was drunk. But again that is not an excuse.
How much have you donated to the gestapo officers defense fund? Are you a former police officer? You know blue wall of silence . Close ranks and protect a brother officer when he breaks the law. I am sure he will claim that he was afraid for his life. Will he introduce his stained underwear as evidence of that???


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Edie S., a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm

Edie S. is a registered user.

Let us all reflect on the last several or so months - Floyd's death, Ahmaud Arbery's death, the Central Park incident, and the rise in anti-Asian sentiment related to COVID-19. These are stark reminders of the hatred and injustice within our society.

In Palo Alto, we don't have white cops murdering blacks. We have insidious conscious and unconscious racial biases that permeate our neighborhoods, tech companies, and so forth. People of color are marginalized.

And, this is an utterly disappointing statement -- "...we actually have a process whereby the whole story, the context, is heard and examined."

Do you genuinely believe the justice system is fair? That we all have access to equal representation? That all evidence is obtained and examined/heard? Really? Perhaps, this evening, watch Jeffery Epstein: Filthy Rich on Netflix.

It is this inability to acknowledge privilege that prohibits us from evolving into a more equitable society.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Hold On, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 30, 2020 at 9:20 pm

Edie S wrote:
>And, this is an utterly disappointing statement -- "...we actually have a process whereby the whole story, the context, is heard and examined."

Yes, our judicial system has limitations. Is there a better one out there? What's the alternative you propose, and how do you propose we get there? These are the alternatives that the Left/progressives have proposed:

- Physical mob rule (looting, rioting)
- Twitter mob rule (online shaming leading to real-world canceling)
- "Believe Women" (except for Tara Reade or when your presidential candidate of choice is accused)
- Kangaroo courts of students and faculty at a campus judging sexual assault allegations, with Federal mandate (executed by Biden) to actually *lower* standards of proof.
- Tribal justice, aka "white cop bad, black man good"

Sure, our current system has flaws. Propose a better one.

>Do you genuinely believe... That all evidence is obtained and examined/heard?

Definitely not by the crowds that have pre-judged the cop without first waiting for the evidence/trial. You totally make my point. But I'm not sure what your proposal is: that evidence be dispensed with?

You suggest to start by "acknowledging privilege"... are you saying Floyd's attorney is to start his case by acknowledging that Floyd owned his privilege as a man in a deeply sexist society, or something like that?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Sam, a resident of Triple El,
on May 30, 2020 at 9:36 pm

"Believe Women except for Tara Reade"

Do you believe any of Tara Reid's versions of her story? Which one?

Her own lawyer didn't believe any of them, and quit. You need better examples.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Alejandro, a resident of Stanford,
on May 30, 2020 at 10:59 pm

I visited Palo Alto bar called el Patio last December, it was sad to see the extreme caution that white police officers had to detain Latin people suspected of drunkenness and also allowed verbal abuse from a group of white guys towards an Asian girl. So bad her boyfriend stood to defend her all in front of police officers who did nothing. I hope this event around George Floyd helps to heal racial tensions, with the understanding that white Protestants are a minority, and within that minority/ethnic group there are only a few creating/causing trouble.
And I do believe the community should hold them accountable for abusing their power. They live off of your tax payer dollars and our children live in the midst of all this.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Asian Woman, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 30, 2020 at 11:20 pm

Username "Hold On" This cop murdered a man in cold blood and you want to hear this cop's side of the story? do you really?? What side of the story do you want to hear to "justify" this cop murdering a black man to death? Wow what a great excuse you privileged racists make. No wonder I face so much bias and prejudice in Menlo Park where I live as well as Palo Alto. You say "What's the alternative you propose, and how do you propose we get there?" You lose me when you engage your small prejudiced brain and say "These are the alternatives that the Left/progressives have proposed" with fake gibberish of your disturbing mindset. People of color are being murdered by this nation's police. That's it. That needs to stop, no matter what. and for that we need to "fight", you need to "fight" for the sake of "human race". Every generation has to fight for their rights. Whatever ground we gained from the Civil Rights Movement has been lost and we need to fight that same fight again... Every other minority community, religion, race, color need to learn. fight for your rights, fight to be treated equally instead of shoving it under the rug & pretending everything is great in la la land saying "you" are not treated like that by "anyone" - trying to imply something is wrong with the person who stands up & fights for their rights. Fighting for your rights takes courage, resilience & grit. Freedom doesn't come without fight. Unfortunately the DNA of majority humans is not advanced enough to move beyond race, religion, color at this moment, esp a particular race that has been conditioned for years being told they are a "superior" race. You know what race I am talking about username "Hold On" - superficial nonsense that even the most educated brains have no capacity to comprehend. Under the garb of wanting something in "common" with others its a convenient excuse for "subconscious" racists to live behind this disturbing mentality. People like you, your claim to being non-racist is "I have friends who are black / brown / muslim / asian / blah blah blah" - same nonsense have heard since I moved here.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by It should happen to his family, a resident of Community Center,
on May 31, 2020 at 9:33 am

Well stated, Asian woman. Hold up n is a clear supporter of this kind of police brutality.
Even if Floyd had had a weapon, which he did not. The officer had his knee on his knock for 3-4 minutes, while mr Floyd said he could not breath. They clearly had Floyd under control. No excuse to continue to put pressure on his neck.
I guess hold on is waiting for the cop to say that he was afraid for his life. Then hold on will say “you see, there was justification for what he did to mr Floyd".


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Hold On, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 31, 2020 at 9:34 am

Dear Asian Woman:
?>Username "Hold On" This cop murdered a man in cold blood and you want to hear this cop's side of the story? do you really??

If the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution and the 6th Amendment in particular doesn't mean anything to you, that's fine. Immigrant or not, you are still mantled in its protective embrace in this country.

(Re murdered in cold blood, I don't think you read my first message or glanced at the accompanying links include the NYT article)

> you privileged racists... your small prejudiced brain... "subconscious" racists... People like you, your claim to being non-racist...

I'm OK with you calling me these names in this forum in which we can protect our identities (though this website has its rules for good faith discourse, and libel laws could apply in other situations). I'm OK with you calling me those names for thinking that yes, witnesses (including bystanders) and the science-based findings of coroners' reports and Floyd's known heart disease conditions could indeed be relevant.

You can hurl insults, but name-calling isn't an actual argument against what I'm saying.

> Every generation has to fight for their rights.

If you want to fight against the Bill of Rights of our Constitution, as you appear to want to do, you have the right to do that! If you think the right to a fair trial is unacceptable in certain cases such as for this cop, you can try to fight to get the Constitution changed (there is a process for that!).

In this country you have the freedom to protest, organize, rally, and agitate for change all you want (though get violent or steal someone else's money or property and the full force of the law will come down, as it should).

>No wonder I face so much bias and prejudice in Menlo Park where I live as well as Palo Alto.

I'm sorry about what you're going through. It must be hard. But from the way you've called me awful names just because I said let's wait for the trial, I'm hesitant to ascribe all your woes only to others' biases. I hope things get better for you.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on May 31, 2020 at 10:19 am

mauricio is a registered user.

We don't see it much in Palo Alto, because it is so affluent, and racism here is subtle although well ingrained, but the USA is a very racist nation, and it's getting worse. Since November 2016, law enforcement have received a carte blanche to abuse unarmed civilians, sometime with deadly consequences with no consequences. In many parts of the country police force are well armed militias, more death squads Central America style than law enforcement. As much as looting and setting fires during protest is tragic, regrettable and counter productive, violence begets violence, and built up anger, rage and hoplessness has consequences. If you are violent and discrimanotory against others for so long, don't be surprised if they become violent.

Violence, sometime deadly by Neo Nazis, right wing militias and white supremacists is praised by the current occupier of the White House as "fine people" and is not condemned by his supporters, but rage against police brutality is "mob rule", again, racist double standard against the victims and their supporters.

Colin Caepernick was prevented from continuing his football career for protesting racism and police violence and putting a mirror in from of our faces, and he was right all along.

This country is disintegrating, its own survival as a democracy is in serious doubt, and the tragic thing is that it was so predictable.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 31, 2020 at 12:16 pm

Personally I stopped listening to the protestors' message when the rioting began. Breaking windows, looting, stealing big screen tvs and expensive guitars, have nothing whatsoever to do with protesting George Floyd's death, and everything to do with lawlessness, greed and opportunist crime.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on May 31, 2020 at 12:44 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Every racist will tell us that they stopped listening to the protestors because a small unruly minority of thugs is using the protests to loot and vandalize. Just notice the equivalency of looting and vandalism to a two hundred year culture of lynching, which never seemed to bother them before, and almost surely never even registered on their radar. Racists and lifetime apologists for police brutality and racism need only the flimsiest excuse to "stop listening", as if they ever did.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by It should happen to his family, a resident of Community Center,
on May 31, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Resident- since you are painting all the protestors with the same broad brush, I assume then that you agree all the police are racist murderers


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 31, 2020 at 2:54 pm

There is an African American on a video crying because his business was burned due to the riots. I listen and hear him.

I see police kneeling in prayer. I listen and hear them.

I see people in their homes, afraid to leave their apartments because of what is going on outside. I listen and hear them.

Don't judge me. I won't judge you.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alejandro, a resident of Stanford,
on May 31, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Excessive restraint, Mass incarceration, systemic disenfranchisement, structured racism. These are the issues being discussed behind the Protests. I'm glad to see people from various races, genders, age groups, social status, voicing opinion at a much needed time. Everyone has a stake on this.

ROOT CAUSE
There are people that want to turn this country into an “authoritarian regime ran by the few racist white Protestants" sabotaging the democratic ideals which the vast majority of Americans aspire to. Thankfully, it is not a sole-ethno-culture to accommodate the next Phase of authoritarianism, which would be ethno-cleansing! Based on social acclamation and mainstream trends, this will just stop at existentialism and nihilism. This means poor white mechanisms to cope with change and for richer whites to control their poor whites.

SOLUTION
Far from patronizing, inducing fear and completing sentences to pretend mastery of topics, the paradigm has to shift to innovate on policies that benefit the majority. Not likely to come from the current president. He has proved extremely incompetent in leading in time of crisis. Otherwise he would be proactively curbing: COVID19 deaths, inhumane immigration reform, record unemployment levels and domestic terrorism.

Most change will have to start local from municipal/state jurisdictions indifferent to alt right, neo-nazi de-framers of justice.

The last being the “true looters" of our way of life as Americans and world leaders.

The way I see it is that the discourse leading to reforms is here to stay even after a new President is elected.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alejandro, a resident of Stanford,
on May 31, 2020 at 3:09 pm

Excessive restraint, Mass incarceration, systemic disenfranchisement, structured racism. These are the issues being discussed behind the Protests. I'm glad to see people from various races, genders, age groups, social status, voicing opinion at a much needed time. Everyone has a stake on this.

ROOT CAUSE
There are people that want to turn this country into an “authoritarian regime ran by the few racist white Protestants" sabotaging the democratic ideals which the vast majority of Americans aspire to. Thankfully, it is not a sole-ethno-culture to accommodate the next Phase of authoritarianism, which would be ethno-cleansing! Based on social acclamation and mainstream trends, this will just stop at existentialism and nihilism. This means poor white mechanisms to cope with change and for richer whites to control their poor whites.

SOLUTION
Far from patronizing, inducing fear and completing sentences to pretend mastery of topics, the paradigm has to shift to innovate on policies that benefit the majority. Not likely to come from the current president. He has proved extremely incompetent in leading in time of crisis. Otherwise he would be proactively curbing: COVID19 deaths, inhumane immigration reform, record unemployment levels and domestic terrorism.

Most change will have to start local from municipal/state jurisdictions indifferent to alt right, neo-nazi de-framers of justice.

The last being the “true looters" of our way of life as Americans and world leaders.

The way I see it is that the discourse leading to reforms is here to stay even after a new President is elected.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by BLM, a resident of Palo Alto High School,
on May 31, 2020 at 3:20 pm

As a young child, I've always seen racism everywhere. sure in PA its really subtle but it is there no matter what. I am not black but I am part of a minority and people think the worst of us without knowing us. It's bad that we can't learn from our mistakes even though it has been repeated several times. As for the rioting, sure it may have gone overboard but I feel as if people re doing that so that the government will actually pay attention. Again this is my opinion and I'm not asking anyone to go by theses ideas but just know that this has always been an important matter to people.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by BLM, a resident of Palo Alto High School,
on May 31, 2020 at 3:20 pm

As a young child, I've always seen racism everywhere. sure in PA its really subtle but it is there no matter what. I am not black but I am part of a minority and people think the worst of us without knowing us. It's bad that we can't learn from our mistakes even though it has been repeated several times. As for the rioting, sure it may have gone overboard but I feel as if people re doing that so that the government will actually pay attention. Again this is my opinion and I'm not asking anyone to go by theses ideas but just know that this has always been an important matter to people.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Midtown Dad, a resident of Midtown,
on May 31, 2020 at 3:25 pm

Unfortunately, there are crooked, lying, racist cops even here in Palo Alto. Crooked cops and their leaders that support their evil behavior need to be held accountable. Anyone that looks at that video and thinks people need to stop rushing to judgment is protecting crooked, racist cops.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on May 31, 2020 at 3:43 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Media reporters doing their job peacefully were targeted by police. They were arrested and beaten up by police for no reason, and one female reporter in Minnesota lost an eye as a result of the police shooting rubber bullets at protestors, NOT looters. This police behavior is classic fascist police state behavior. Of course, there are many decent cops, but there are far too many racist, violent cops who have no problem being egged on by the current "president" and express racism through vicious and sometime deadly acts of violence against the civilians they are supposed to serve and protect.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 31, 2020 at 11:28 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Kudos to Jessica Zang for covering this important issue.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by DTNResident , a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 12:24 am

I guess reading the coroner's report would have been too much of an inconvenience.

His airway was not blocked, he died of heart disease and possibly drugs that led to a heart attack, along with the stress of being caught and arrested. The toxicology report is still pending.

Although I don't condone the officer's actions, nor those of his partners, let's get the facts straight. The cop didnt kill him, the cop was there when he died.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alejandro, a resident of Stanford,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:51 am

@DTN Resident

That statement is sabotaging the discourse, normalizing nefarious behavior sets a bad precedent.

If we don't learn from history, we're bound to repeat it. There's nothing more annoying than repeating a lessons learned.

Something so ignorant to start the week.
Drink your tea, I'll go with my coffee.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by ALB, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:01 am

ALB is a registered user.

Thank you Jessica Zang for writing this piece about the murder of George Floyd. Where are the mayor and city manager on this soul wrenching story? it takes a young woman to address the topic. Yes there is racial profiling in Palo Alto. Of course there are some good cops and there are those who need to change the culture of racism. Why don't police chiefs change the curriculum in training to include HISTORY? There were signs in shop windows that read, "No blacks, no Irish, no dogs." Those signs could be found in American and in England. So African American, Latinos, Native Americans and Asians are fair game for the white supremacists. Why was Chauvin allowed to remain in the force after infractions? He should have been fired long ago. Kick out the bullies now.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:04 am

mauricio is a registered user.

People ask why would the police treat another human being like this, and the answer must be because they can. There are rarely consequences. US police officers kill about 1,000 people a year (compared with the UK, where in 10 years, law enforcement took a total of 23 lives) and there are rarely consequences. Since 2005, when roughly 15,000 people have been killed by US law enforcement officers, fewer than 150 have been charged with murder.

US law enforcement was never about enforcing the law, but about enforcing white supremacy.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by History Repeating Itself, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:21 am

Going back to the Watts Riots in 1965, the Rodney King riots in 1992 & the present...history is simply repeating itself due to a myriad of unresolved social issues & conflicts.

Simply put...after the embers have died down and somewhere in the future, an unwarranted/unlawful police-related incident will ignite yet another series of protests & rioting.

It's like war...attributable to human nature & ongoing discontent.








 +   13 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 9:06 am

The looting and rioting is maddening. Overcome oppression with education.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by It should happen to his family, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 10:08 am

Any we have another apologist for the gestapo members action, DTNresident.

Not only is he showing his support the murderous gestapo member, he is also making false claims

“ the official cause of death has not yet been released by the medical examiner's office. They say they're awaiting laboratory results."

Web Link

The fact that the gestapo member had his knee on mr Floyd's neck and mr Floyd was saying he could not breath for a long period of time had nothing to do with it, accoarding to DTNresidnet.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:34 am

Knee to neck restraint shouldn't be allowed in any police department, but it's allowed in Minneapolis PD and other departments. George Floyd wasn't a "gentle giant." He was a violent convicted felon who committed home invasion with three other men. He held a gun to a woman's stomach and demanded drugs and cash. He served his time, but if you don't know a horse, look at it's track record. Don't make excuses for him or the police.


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Posted by ALB, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 12:47 pm

ALB is a registered user.

I neglected to mention, where is the Chief of Police regarding George Floyd's murder in my earlier post? Several chiefs throughout the United States have remarked on this tragic event and how protocols do not include pressing down on person's neck. Many want to hear from you, Chief.


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Posted by It should happen to their family, a resident of Community Center,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:29 pm

ALB- you haven't heard from the chief of police in Palo Alto because he probably supports those kind of actions. Look at the recent history- big payout to a victim of gay bashing by the PAPD. A case of an officer uttering a racial slur towards another officer that the chief has tried to hush up. And other incidents.
Oh and BTW independent autopsy says that Mr Floyd died of asphyxiation


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Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:59 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The autopsy results just came out and George Floyd's death was ruled a homicide, this is for the Trump supporters here who insinuate it was not a murder, but somehow the victim's fault. The killing officer has had numerous complaints against him regarding excessive violent conduct and explosive temper in both his police job and when moonlighting as a private security officer in a night club. Cops like him are a homicide waiting to happen, and US law enforcement agencies are inundated with characters like him, which is why, even as a white, law abiding, college educated, affluent person, I am much more worried about police violence than criminals.

Just a reminder, in Charlottesville, where peaceful anti fascist demonstrators were attacked by Trump supporting American Nazis, and one of the peaceful demonstrators was murdered when a Nazi ran her over with his SUV, the police stood aside and watched passively while the Nazis were attacking the anti fascist demonstrators, which tells us everything we need to know about US police enforcement, which does not enforce the law, but white supremacy.


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Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 7:48 am

I'm a lot more worried about criminals than I am the police. If you're a law abiding citizen, you have NO CONTACT with the police. Quit committing crimes, and if you are foolish enough to commit a felony, quit resisting arrest. Problem solved. I'm not a Trump supporter. I'm a realist. People who hate the police are pathetic, and so are criminals.


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Posted by ALB, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:11 am

ALB is a registered user.

So last night at the city council meeting I heard Chief Jonson speak regarding the killing of George Floyd. It was sincere but frankly I would have appreciated a statement from him, Ed Shikada the city manager, and mayor Fine earlier. Fine's affect is always flat. Shikada and Jonson at least had some emotion. Still what specifically is the police chief going to implement in terms of training so we do not have abuse like what happened in Barron Park where a female police officer would not permit EMS to come to the aid of a woman in distress (medically) for several minutes. This woman sat on the sidewalk where the naive police woman kept insisting that the woman was on drugs. The police need more education about history in terms of how people of color are treated and they need to learn about medical issues such as neurological issues that impact behavior. The police need an independent auditor.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by History Repeating Itself, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:29 am

> "George Floyd wasn't a "gentle giant." He was a violent convicted felon who committed home invasion with three other men. He held a gun to a woman's stomach and demanded drugs and cash. He served his time, but if you don't know a horse, look at it's track record. Don't make excuses for him or the police."

^ George Floyd did have a prior conviction record of assorted felonies BUT it is the responsibility and duty of law enforcement to practice due diligence. Had the officers simply placed Mr. Floyd in the back of the police vehicle and transferred him to the county jail for booking, then none of this would have happened.

Web Link

>>"If you're a law abiding citizen, you have NO CONTACT with the police."

^ Not true. Many law abiding people of color (especially African Americans & Hispanics) are routinely detained by the police for simply being who they are.

Years ago (around 1988), I witnessed an incident in downtown Palo Alto (near the high rise office complex at 500 University) where a white PAPD officer stopped & questioned a black professional man driving a Porsche with a white, blonde woman on the passenger side. After about 20 minutes of seemingly terse interrogation, the African American man was 'let go' and a few minutes later, he and his stunningly attractive date walked into Henry's for dinner.

Some friends from Stanford and I were in the front bar section of Henry's and wondered...is the PAPD no different than any other police department when it comes to racial profiling with undue cause?

The reasoning...we actually spoke to this professional black man (who turned out to be an MD) about what had occurred outside and he simply shrugged, replying that it happens in every city nationwide.

So in essence, nothing has changed for the better and the current street protests reflect the unresolved issues.

>>> "you haven't heard from the chief of police in Palo Alto because he probably supports those kind of actions. Look at the recent history-"

^ Not to mention a former PAPD chief who supported racial profiling...forgot her name.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:08 am

If George Floyd hadn't showed up drunk and tried to pass a $20 counterfeit bill, this would've never happened. He was driving drunk. He could've killed someone. When are people going to have the guts to tell it like it is.

Fight for the rights of good, hardworking law abiding citizens.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by History Repeating Itself,, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 9:34 am

> "If George Floyd hadn't showed up drunk and tried to pass a $20 counterfeit bill, this would've never happened. He was driving drunk. He could've killed someone. When are people going to have the guts to tell it like it is."

^ Nevertheless, the four Minneapolis PD officers should have set a better example of law enforcement rather than relying on excessive bullying tactics that eventually led to the death of a suspect.

The officer who was arrested is DIRECTLY responsible for igniting the all of social unrest now taking place on the streets.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:57 pm

The people looting and rioting are DIRECTLY responsible for looting and rioting. Take responsibility for your OWN actions. The protesters couldn't care less about George Floyd. It's an excuse for greed and theft, and disruptive behavior.

I do agree that the Minneapolis PD officer(s) should've been fired, and criminally charged. I don't understand why knee to neck restraint is allowed in any department.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:11 pm

We are all the same. We are all treated the same. We are all under curfew for the next 10 days.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by History Repeating Itself, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jun 3, 2020 at 8:52 am

> "The protesters couldn't care less about George Floyd. It's an excuse for greed and theft, and disruptive behavior."

^ All things considered, the social unrest taking place on our nation's streets can be divided into various categories...(1) the lawful protestors, (2) the looters, (3) the rioters, and (4) the 'professional agitators' who are either advocating anarchy or promoting their left-wing agenda.

(3) and (4) could very well be representative the same faction.

Right wing or left wing...it still takes two wings in order to fly and our country needs to be represented by both perspectives in order to have a clearer understanding of what's going on.

Ensuring the safety of both the peaceful protesters & law enforcement is paramount but probably doesn't require U.S. military intervention as advocated by POTUS45.

As for the looting...once a sizeable number of stores have been depleted of their goods, there will probably be fewer venues from which to ransack and this in turn should stem the unlawful breaking and entering of various business establishments.

The dilly-dallying of bringing the arrested Minneapolis PD officer to arraignment is also fanning the flames as the entire hearing process will be very time consuming...
arraignment > pre-trial hearing > jury selection process > the trial + any and all discovery > closing statements > verdict > sentencing.

So much for a speedy trial as the entire court process could drag on for what seems to be an eternity.

The entire nation along with the protesters will be watching closely & expediency of the judicial process is highly warranted as well as recommended.


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Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 3, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

This is a minor point -- but I wrote it elsewhere on PAW/TS:
The City of Palo Alto issued a "Message of Hope" signed by four leaders including the chief of police and the city manager and the head of the Human Relations Commission:
Web Link

I was a journalist and an English major plus I have a blog, plus I post here, alot, and I care how words are used.
It troubled me that the "Message of Hope" was so poorly written.
Maybe going forward the City could hire JZ this writer, though she is in high school, to help write future official utterances.
(There's something in the council packet from a citizen asking Council to retain the current police spokesperson, who is not sworn and a recent hire, a woman of color...that's a related point).


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Posted by Emotions or logic..., a resident of Palo Alto High School,
on Jun 3, 2020 at 10:32 pm

I prefer to get the facts and proceed logically. It's not that I don't acknowledge emotions, it's that critical thinking is what is needed to proceed in an adult manner. There is a need to effect change.
The state of Minnesota has state laws, and outsiders “demanding" a charge of first degree murder on the cop may NOT be logical. Why? The facts necessary to convict! Due process.
Outsiders including a non-Minnesota attorney grandstand, appear “representing the family," as in offering to rep them for a cut of what they hope to get from MN taxpayers. Deep pockets. Cynical.
Meanwhile, public figures like Keith Ellison of MN are placed in an uncomfortable position as he hands off prosecuting (whew!) as he knows convicting third degree likely in MN, but *not* higher charges. Never mind outsiders screeching for murder in the first.
Or is a lynch mob appropriate for the charged cop and his accessory cop subordinates!?
Ok, strong evidence should have left to swifter filing of charges against all the four cops. They shuffled their feet uncomfortably as prosecutors delayed and passed the buck of responsibility for prosecution.
Most here likely support unions. I am guessing the police union demands certain procedures (delays, generally!) if/when police are reported for musconduct and/or charged with crimes.
Next, the notion that all cops are racist is illogical.
Planning to contact elected representatives, protest at government power centers, speak out and vote, create organizations to further one's thoughts all are great concrete actions I recommend at this sad time.
Blocking highway traffic (to make others “feel the pain") may lead to: drivers have no idea why freeway is blocked; delay to crucial medical appointment (actual situation); having one's windshield randomly and senselessly smashed, or actual annoyance. I truly doubt this is the correct way to educate people, if that is the goal.
I have been the object of racism from Asians. Fact. I don't look like most people here and am not from here.
Silicon Valley hiring, esp.in legacy industries, is notorious for two non-white racial groups favoring their ethnic groups.
ALL should strive to do better in our interactions and read and learn from from good, strong, true leaders like Martin Luther King.
Equal treatment under the Law should always be our goal, and advance polite, considerate society, willing to grow, will benefit the U.S.
A constant whine of victimization doesn't ring true here.



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Posted by Michael D, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 21, 2020 at 12:03 am

I hope this update is not true, that poor dog Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Michael D, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 21, 2020 at 12:03 am

I hope this update is not true, that poor dog Web Link


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