Bob Peele, American Renaissance, August 6, 2020
Body cams have given the public an intimate look at police work. Many people now think they are experts in police tactics, and love to play “Monday morning quarterbacks.” Except, it’s not a game. It’s a matter of life and death and is “played” in fractions of seconds. Also, no video can give a 100 percent accurate depiction of what happened. Even after 25 years on the street, I watch footage cautiously. If I wasn’t there, I can’t fully understand the situation. There’s always more to the story, and there’s certainly more to the George Floyd story. I have taken a careful look at the recently leaked, approximately 20-minute video of the arrest that you can watch here. But, as we will see, there is perhaps an even more important piece of evidence hiding in plain site in Floyd’s official autopsy report. It strongly suggests that Floyd was an overdose death just waiting to happen.
What started this incident is the fundamental fact that George Floyd had just committed the felony of passing counterfeit US currency. The normal procedures for this crime is that local police detain the suspect, recover the bill, and notify the Secret Service. The federal government has jurisdiction. Depending on local policy, the suspect may be arrested for fraud. Drug users often try to pass counterfeit bills at convenience stores, because the clerks handle a lot of cash and may not notice a fake. The drug user buys something cheap and hopes to get a lot of genuine US currency in change. If he tried to buy drugs with a fake bill, the dealer might kill him.
Floyd passed the bill, the store clerk saw it was fake, and called the police. The officers briefly met with the clerk, who went outside and pointed to Floyd and the vehicle he was sitting in. Floyd was legally detained by the officers. He was not free to leave, nor were his passengers.
At first contact with Floyd, the officer says, “Let me see your hands.” That is what every officer in the country would have said. Officers are taught from day one that it’s a suspect’s hands that kill you. He can’t kill you with his eyes or with his voice; verifying empty hands is the number-one priority at every stop. The front-seat passenger has his door open and his feet are on the ground. This is a danger sign. It usually means someone is getting ready to fight or run away, or he’s trying to hide something inside the vehicle by turning his body to block the officer’s view.
When the primary officer knocks on the driver’s side window, Floyd is startled. He appears to reach under the seat or near the center console. He then opens the door. These are more warning signs. Suspects use furtive movements to conceal evidence, distract the officer, or get a weapon. It’s not normal to open the door, and the officer was certainly worried that Floyd would try to escape or attack. Floyd then shows only his left hand, and this is when the officer draws his firearm. The suspect is very nervous, makes furtive movements, refuses to show both hands after several commands, and opens the door. There is not a police officer in the country who wouldn’t draw his weapon or at least have his hand on it.
It is clear that Floyd is on drugs. Based on the first 30 seconds, I could confidently say he is on methamphetamines or some other stimulant. I have seen this a thousand times — though usually in whites, who are more likely than blacks to use meth. Floyd’s furtive back-and-forth movements, rapid speech, failure to comply with commands, and complaints about being detained are signs of two things: drug use and typical behavior from a suspect who is thinking of either running or fighting. I’m sure the officers noticed that Floyd was big and muscular. It is important for officers to control the scene with an authoritative and confident presence to discourage attack.
When Floyd finally puts his hands on the steering wheel, the officer re-holsters his weapon. Because the officers were there for a felony and Floyd was obviously intoxicated, the officer decides to handcuff Floyd as a safety precaution. This is acceptable, common, and legal. Floyd begins saying, “Please don’t shoot me, mister officer,” and “I just lost my mom.” Floyd’s mother died in 2018. Blacks say this sort of thing all the time, whether it is true or not: “My baby just died.” “I just been shot.” This is to distract the officer and try to gain sympathy. It is to make the officer wonder whether he should be detaining a poor, innocent black man. The crying and saying, “I din’ do nothin'” are now practically obligatory for blacks stopped by the police. With the current national hysteria, officers hesitate to deal with a black person for any reason. And hesitation can get you killed.
The second officer, who had been on the passenger side, comes to the driver’s side to help his partner control Floyd. The other two passengers, one male and one female, then get out of the car. This is not normal behavior, and at that point the situation has become very dangerous. The officers can’t take their focus off Floyd because he is resisting their attempt to handcuff him. But now the officers have two additional unsearched suspects who were probably aware of the counterfeit bill or were actual participants in the crime. The officers must split their attention between Floyd and the other two. Whether the public wants to believe it or not, this is a potentially life-or-death situation.
After Floyd is safely cuffed, the officers must now detain and identify the man and woman, who tried to walk away. It is legal and reasonable to detain them as potential co-conspirators in a felony investigation. The officer is again met with, “Me? What’d I do?” The subsequent conversation — “We was just gettin’ a ride,” “I just got my phone fixed,” and “‘dis my ex’s van” — are the kind of objections and distractions officers hear from blacks almost without exception. After about three minutes, the officer says to the police dispatcher, “We’re code four,” which means that no further assistance is necessary. The officer is then subjected to nonsensical and irrelevant comments about the van and is treated to the obligatory, “Oh my gaaawd. We din even do nuttin.”
As the officer identifies the two passengers, the man can be heard talking about George Floyd as if he doesn’t know his name. It is incredibly common for blacks to pretend they don’t know the names of the people they are with. They are covering for the possibility that others will not give their real names. It’s also worth noting that the woman suggests that Floyd is not right in the head — more evidence that he is high.
The video then shows Floyd being escorted to a police vehicle. He is baring and gnashing his teeth with dried spittle at the corners of his mouth. These are both clear signs of meth intoxication. As he is walked to the car in a normal escort position (officers holding his arms), he is constantly complaining, doubling over, screaming and saying, “ouchie.” This is abnormal. As they get to the patrol car, an officer says, “Stop falling down.” Floyd most likely tried to drop to his knees. This is common behavior with meth users and with blacks who will try anything to avoid being put in the back of a police car.
It’s at this point that we first hear Floyd say, “I’m claustrophobic.” The officers search him before putting him in the car. Floyd then begins resisting the officers in earnest. He does not stop talking or moaning for even a moment during this part of the video. He goes from moaning and crying to calm statements such as “I’m not that kinda guy.” These are more signs of meth intoxication. Floyd then stiffens to avoid being put into the car. This is “active resistance.” Floyd has been legally arrested for a felony crime, and it would have been legal and reasonable to use additional force (baton strikes or other pain compliance) to get him into the vehicle. Floyd again says he is claustrophobic and the officers offer to roll the windows down for him. Floyd then says, “Imma die in here,” as he continues to resist being put into the car. He says, “I don’t want y’all to win. I got anxiety,” and “I’m not tryin’ to win. I’ll go on the ground, I’ll do anything.” This babbling suggests that Floyd is suffering from “methamphetamine psychosis,” a condition that causes delusions and hallucinations.
One of the other officers then goes over to the passenger-side rear door to pull Floyd through and into the back seat. At this point, Floyd’s voice becomes more and more raspy and rapid. It is clear that his intoxication and panic are getting worse. His pulse rate and blood pressure are probably rising dangerously. Floyd can then be heard saying over and over, “I wanna go on the ground. I wanna go on the ground.” A person standing outside the car can be heard saying something to the effect of, “You’re gonna have a heart attack, man. Just get in the car.”
At about this time, a third officer arrives. The three officers patiently try to get Floyd into the car. Just because you are claustrophobic does not mean you don’t have to get into a police car. If you’re arrested, you’re going into the police car one way or another. In any case, a really claustrophobic person is not likely to be sitting calmly in a car when the police arrive.
As the officers struggle with Floyd, he is already complaining, “I can’t breathe.” No one is “kneeling on his neck” or compressing his upper body in any way. He is clearly becoming panicked. A bystander tells Floyd, “You can’t win,” and Floyd replies, “I ain’t tryin’ to win.” Floyd continues screaming, “I can’t breathe,” even though both doors to the car are open and none of the officers is doing anything to obstruct his breathing. As Floyd continues screaming and resisting, an officer says, “Right now you’re under arrest for forgery.” Floyd stops screaming, and calmly asks, “Forgery for what?”
In the final part of the video, the officers give up trying to get Floyd into the car. They gently put him in a prone position, and discuss the use of a “hobble.” This is a piece of equipment that immobilizes the legs in a bent position and then attaches to handcuffs. The latest versions have handles so you can lift a restrained suspect off the ground, in a seated position, and put him a police car. You use these if someone is putting up so much resistance you can’t even get him into the car, or if he’s in the back seat trying to kick the windows out. Police don’t have to use these very often, so not every officer carries a hobble. It appears that one of the men goes off to get one. You keep a man face down on the ground to prepare him for hobbling.
The next part of the video has already been seen by millions; an officer kneels on Floyd’s upper back/neck area. This is an acceptable suspect-control method taught in police academies across the country. Floyd continues saying, “I can’t breathe.” The fact that he keeps saying it would not have alerted officers that anything they were doing was preventing him from breathing. He does not stop talking or crying, which suggests he is getting enough oxygen. The officers can also be heard saying, “EMS is on the way” meaning that an ambulance has been called to check Floyd out. He then says, “I’m ’bout ta die in this bitch.” He continues to be agitated and resisting, in the same delusional, stimulant-intoxicated way, just as he did from the moment the officers contacted him. He calls for his mother, even though his mother is dead.
A bystander says, “Get up and get in the car, man.” Officers are trying to determine what drugs Floyd might be on. One says, “He had a weed pipe on him.” They discuss the symptoms of PCP intoxication and mention that they had noticed Floyd’s eyes darting back and forth. An officer asks, “Roll him on his side? I’m just worried about excited delirium or whatever.”
By this time, the inevitable crowd of obnoxious blacks has gathered. People are advancing on the officers, and one says, “I ain’t scared of you, bro,” referring to an officer. They begin berating the officers, and this is the point at which George Floyd loses consciousness and dies.
I am not a doctor. I don’t know Floyd’s medical history, but he had taken illegal drugs. Methamphetamine is a stimulant so powerful, it can cause a heart rate of over 160 beats per minute and raise blood pressure to dangerous levels. Floyd also had taken fentanyl, which is a powerful narcotic. Even for a healthy person, this combination of drugs can be lethal.
This is the Hennepin County autopsy report, which lists the cause of death as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restrain, and neck compression.” It does not say “strangulation.” It also says Floyd had “arteriosclerotic heart disease,” which was “multifocal, severe,” and that he had “hypertensive heart disease,” and that he was Covid-19 positive. The toxicology reports says he had Fentanyl, Norfentanyl, Methamphetamine, Morphine, and various forms of THC (the intoxicant in marijuana) in his body. You can see the full list below. The most important finding is Fentanyl, which Floyd had at 11ng/mL. Later in the toxicology report, we find this crucial sentence: “Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotens
The Floyd family hired the medical examiner Michael Baden — prominent for going after police officers for misconduct — to do his own autopsy. Dr. Baden claims that Floyd died from pressure on his neck and back, which interfered with his blood flow and breathing. It will be up to the jury to decide which report is more convincing. My own view is that George Floyd died from a drug-induced panic or overdose coupled with his violent resistance, which caused a fatal medical reaction.
From start to finish, the officers acted professionally and calmly. They did not use force other than handcuffing Floyd and trying to get him into the car by using soft, empty-hand control. There were no baton strikes. It was reasonable and legal to take Floyd out of the car and put him in the prone position with the intent of hobbling him. It appears that they were waiting for the hobble to come.
It may look bad that Officer Derek Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd’s upper back and neck. But what were the officers supposed to do? Not restrain him? He would have gotten up and tried to escape. Put him in the back of the car? Four officers already tried to do that. Call an ambulance? They did that.
Could the officers have done things differently? Perhaps they should have rolled him on his side or begun CPR. There is always room for improvement. But the idea that four Minneapolis police officers — only two of whom were white — somehow intentionally killed Floyd because of “racism” is as absurd as it is dangerous. I feel sure that the officers would have acted in exactly the same way if Floyd been Hispanic, Asian, or white.
Unless you have put on a uniform and a gun belt and tried to arrest a violent, powerful black man, don’t tell the world what the officers should have done. If you think you know how to arrest a large, uncooperative black man on illegal stimulants, well, just try it. Many cities are talking about sending unarmed civilian teams instead of police officers to handle people like Floyd. I say, good luck to them.