Most of America, as we “opened up” over the Memorial Day weekend, was shocked and horrified at the image and video of a Minneapolis policeman, Derek Chauvin, keeping his knee on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes while Floyd – in a heartbreaking callback to Eric Garner – repeatedly gasped out “I can’t breathe.” Floyd eventually passed out and later died from the trauma, and the video and photo went viral, as they should have.
There is a lot to say about this, including juxtaposing images of the way police treated the protesters in Michigan who stormed the capital on May 15 armed to the teeth, versus the way Minnesota cops treated people protesting George Floyd’s murder by one of their own, but that deserves its own post. And also the way American reacts to a wealthy black quarterback taking a knee in peaceful protest versus the way we react to a white cop taking a knee on a black man’s neck until he is dead.
But what deserves highlighting here is the excellent work done by independent journalists and the activist community in Minnesota, for remembering that recently-vetted-for-Veep Amy Klobuchar made her bones as a “tough-on-crime” prosecutor in Minnesota from 1999-2007, and that during that time, she repeatedly declined to prosecute police officers for attacks – even fatal ones – on black men.
And then the other shoe drops: one of the cops Klobuchar declined to prosecute was none other than Derek Chauvin, who would go on to kill more people while in uniform, even before George Floyd.
I think the Veepstakes might have just gotten smaller. Hopefully, anyway.