By Nathan Wayne
The citizens of African-American communities have long-asked for police body cameras (also known as police cams and bodycams). Police excuses include the following; “their too expensive”, “mine was turned off”, and “it ran out of battery”. To the detriment of justice-seeking George Floyd protestors; this time that was definitely not the case. Police cam footage was released from one of the police officers who arrived at the George Floyd scene. The problem that people have with this was that after reviewing the footage, the final decision was to charge former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin with Manslaughter and Third-Degree murder. Third-Degree Murder is basically classified as involuntary/accidental, but many people wish Derek Chauvin to be charged with First-Degree Murder because in the footage you see George Floyd pleading for air.
A former Minneapolis club-owner stated that Derek Chauvin and George Floyd were once co-workers, bringing hope to George Floyd’s family for a possible First-Degree Murder Charge. If proven that they had previous encounters, the murder of George Floyd could have possibly been on purpose.
Usually if a police cam is not in use, police forces rely on bystanders to relay events. According to the Minneapolis Police Department: “disciplinary action would be taken if a police officer does not have [their body cam] on when arriving at a scene”. So in the George Floyd case, bystander reliance was not needed. Something that would have been helpful, though, would have been intervention by the Minneapolis Police Department itself, as Derek Chauvin had 18 prior complaints against him.
Aside from the George Floyd case we can see how justice has more recently been brought to two students who, as shown in bodycam footage, were allegedly pulled from their car at a protest on Saturday. This incident resulted in six Atlanta Police Officers being charged earlier today.