On May 25, a 46-year-old ‘black’ man, George Floyd was murdered by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on the former’s neck for 7 long minutes until his body became unresponsive. A shopkeeper had called the cops on Floyd for allegedly trying to pass a ‘potential counterfeit bill’. On being taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, he was pronounced dead.
The viral cell phone video captured by a pedestrian, who repeatedly objected to the action of Chauvin shows the cop trying to choke the black man with his knee. Despite the victim complaining about not being able to breathe, coupled with verbal protest from onlookers, the said officer was unmoved.
The incident provoked widespread protests and riots across several parts of the United States of America. The worst-hit was Minneapolis, where the death of George Floyd took place.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protestors hit the streets to protest against the killing of George Floyd. The demonstration continued outside the nearby police precinct. Soon, the protest took a violent turn. On Wednesday night, Police cars were vandalised and pelted with rocks. To pacify the situation, the cops resorted to firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the frenzied mob.
Windows of unmanned stores were broken. Shops were raided and looted, all in the garb of a peaceful protest. Home goods such as rugs and coffee makers were stolen and stores were set ablaze. Amidst the chaos, a ‘looter’ was also shot dead by the police. The mob also breached the security and reached for the police precinct in the neighbourhood where Floyd died. The building was set on fire by the unruly mob, amidst slogans demanding justice for the victim.
While the death of George Floyd was condemned even by President Donald Trump and strict action against the perpetrators was ordered to be taken, the Left media, as in India, did not stop indulging in petty politics. While the death of George Floyd was tragic, the ‘protests’ had taken a violent turn with rampant looting, arson and violence. Under no circumstances could the rioting, arson and looting should be justified especially by responsible media.
However, MSNBC, which is known to have a Left-leaning bias went ahead to justify the violent riots. An MSNBC anchor, while standing smack in front of a burning building amidst violent riots, said, “I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly”. He followed this statement up by saying that though the riots were ‘generally not unruly’, ‘fires had been started’.
MSNBC reporter just now: "I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly."— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 29, 2020
The guy is literally standing in front of a burning building in the middle of a riot. pic.twitter.com/IzCV6On4sF
It is entirely possible to condemn, in no uncertain terms, the brutality heaped on George Floyd and also the riots and looting that have followed his death. However, as in India, the Left media often assumes that to condemn any sort of injustice, and equally violent and unjust response at the community level has to be justified too.