Monday, June 1, 2020


Weekly Opinion Editorial
by Steve Fair

     On Memorial Day evening, an African American man named George Floyd died during an arrest in Minneapolis.  Four police officers were arresting him for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli.  According to police, Floyd resisted arrest and would get into the car.  Ultimately he was cuffed on the ground and Officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee into his neck.  A bystander recorded video on their phone and Floyd is repeatedly heard saying on the video he can’t breathe and begging Chavin to not kill him.  Chavin had his knee in Floyd’s’s neck for nearly nine minutes and did not remove it until the ambulance arrived.  Floyd was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.  Charges of third degree murder have been filed against Chavin, who was fired the next day along with the three other officers.
     On Tuesday, peaceful protests were staged in Minneapolis, but since that time, they have escalated to violent and destructive protests.  Protesters have burned the Minneapolis 3rd police precinct building, looted several businesses, including a Target store and according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, an estimated 255 businesses have been vandalized or entirely destroyed in the Twin Cities area.     On Saturday and Sunday, protests sprang up at more than 100 cities across the world, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa.  In downtown OKC, two restaurants were vandalized.  All stories are like a pancake, there are two sides, but this incident should cause all Americans to be outraged.  Three observations:
     First, overzealous law enforcement should not be tolerated.  The deli manager called 911 and described George Floyd as drunk and trying to pay with a fake bill.  Floyd wasn’t threatening the deli manager, didn’t have a weapon, but it appears the Minneapolis police dispatcher sent four officers to the scene, including one(Chauvin) who has a history of complaints against him for overzealous enforcement.  Law enforcement leadership know there are some in their midst that ‘love the action’ and often will try to create some ‘action.’  Chauvin appears to be one of those and his superiors knew it.  By not dealing with him earlier, they bear some of the blame for Floyd’s death. 
     Second, two wrongs don’t make a right.  Peaceful non-violent protests are sometimes appropriate, but when thugs co-op a tragic event, use it as an excuse to loot and destroy private property, they do the cause harm.  Looting a Target isn’t protesting- it is larceny.  Torching a public building owned by taxpayers isn’t complaining- it is arson.  Tossing a brick through a plate glass window isn’t objecting- it is vandalism.  Destroying other people’s property is not peaceful assembly, it is a riot.
     Third, all Americans should be morally outraged by Floyd’s death.  Righteous indignation is anger fueled by divine or moral law.  Aristotle called righteous indignation a mean between envy and spite.  Believers can and should be angry over the exhibit of depravity and inhumanity on the video, but it should never lead to more violence- it should lead to thoughtful action to punish the evildoers, which in this case includes not only the four officers but those who left an overzealous officer on the street.
     America is a nation of laws and when laws are broken- by an overzealous police officer, a looter or an arsonist, that person should be punished.  God ordained human government to do just that- punish evildoers and reward those who do good.  Violent, destructive protests do nothing but continue the cycle of violence and destruction.  America, we can do better.  Pray God changes hearts.  

1 comment:

Just a woman in Duncan said...

That was so perfectly stated. Plain and simple , I can't believe people cannot think so simply and instead of trying to figure out who they can hurt or what they an get for free and using such a sad tragedy for their benefit should think their actions will come back on them one way or another. At least I pray they do. Its such a shame that people who don't have anything or have the desire to work for anything have no problem taking and/or stealing from people who have the desire. Its a shame and I'm so disappointed in this lazy ass society we live in. BUT it also doesn't help situations when there are so many takers and a lot less earners in this world. Plus so many aids or assistance for the lazy ones. I'm all for help those who need the help, but if you can walk you can work. It sure don't bother a person to take from someone else whos earned it. And that's probably why my faith in humanity is dwindling away.