|Joined: ||Sun Sep 4th, 2011|
|Location: || |
The death of George Floyd was appalling. Seeing the footage definitely made me wonder how often this happens when no one is around to record and spread the footage as well as when the cop lays off and the victim survives. The four police officers involved were summarily fired the next day and it is a given that all will be arrested and charged with the cop who knelt on top of the guy doing time for sure. An MPD cop was sentenced to prison for shooting a person by mistake about a year or so ago and the aftermath of that incident had far fewer eyeballs on it and public unrest than this one. The officer is going to do time. It is hard to say what will become of the other three.
There were two phases to what happened. There has been legitimate protesting and demonstrating. The damage to the third police precinct building, whether one approves or disapproves of such action, can be put into that context. However, the rioting and looting beyond that particular location is mainly opportunists of various types taking advantage of this guy's death to push their own agendas.
There were poor people cleaning out Target and other stores to get their hands on consumer goods they either couldn't afford or just didn't want to pay for. The guy wheeling three flat screen TVs out of Target and the people who took all the display phones at the AT&T wireless store (the non display phones were locked up too well to be taken) certainly weren't seeking justice for anyone.
There were people who treated the whole thing like a party and took the opportunity to burn buildings and smash windows because it was a riot and that's what people do at these things. Being lost in a massive crowd makes it easier for people to do things they would not do if they were out alone.
There is a pretty big anarchist/punk type faction in the Twin Cities. I didn't have to see much footage to see them out in force, striking against the capitalist machine or whatever. The Autozone fire seems to have stemmed from one of its members.
For that matter, there is absolutely a good sized white supremacist faction around here too and I saw a report of at least one instance of someone who appeared to be part of this group doing Charlottesville type high speed drive throughs in a pickup with no plates. There have been charges, minus verifiable information, of this ilk infiltrating the crowds to stir things up.
That someone could drive through the riot zone was in no small part due to the Minneapolis Police Department completely losing any semblance of control. They didn't even bother to close the roads on Lake Street and the cross street feeders for a long time after things completely went nuts. From what I can tell, they were so improperly and unevenly deployed that entire securable areas were surrendered to people bent on destroying them long after this ceased to be a protest about a cop killing a man who'd been cuffed and seemed to be no real threat.
I would love to know how many of the people who destroyed the Target, Aldi, and Cub Foods (large local supermarket chain) actually live and work in that neighborhood which has a range of very poor to working class to lower middle class people. A lot of jobs were jeopardized and now a great amount of people have no full service supermarket to shop at in a convenient location.
There will be more rioting tonight, although the amount is uncertain. It will also spill out of the initial riot zone. There have been some incidents on and off today and last I checked there was a shopping center in St. Paul that seemed on the brink of things going over the edge. The sad part is now so many people are using George Floyd for their own purposes. Al Sharpton came to town! Floyd is a symbol, but his plight is getting overlooked by people with other concerns but who won't admit it.
Took the family up to Minneapolis last summer and took the Blue Line downtown from the airport. I happened to Google the locations of the parties last night, and that Target was right off the Blue Line. I kinda remember that stop on the ride downtown and when we went out to the Mall of America. How were things in downtown proper? Was most of this nonsense happening about ten minutes from the city?
"Well, maybe I like the nightlife just a little bit more than I like the damn gym, jack! And when you're makin' $500,000 a year, there ain't no reason to change what you're doing." - Dusty Rhodes, 1/4/1986