You cannot turn on the television now without hearing about the death of George Floyd and the riots and protests that have followed it. Legally, it seems that it was acceptable for Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who was in the process of apprehending Floyd, to use a chokehold. Ethically, it was not, particularly after Floyd began saying that he could not breathe. (Lack of oxygen is known as hypoxia and is accompanied with an inability to cough or talk.) Now, it is for a jury to decide if Officer Chauvin acted inappropriately, as he has been charged with second-degree murder.
Whatever comes of this case is irrelevant to this article, as this website focuses on brain injury. Though a well-known enforcement tactic, the chokehold is not often used in the field and is banned in many cities. The result of such an police enforcement action is the oxygen in cut off from the body. A lack of oxygen kills brain cells causing a brain injury. On Friday, June 5, Minneapolis joined the majority of large cities to put a ban on chokeholds. (Unfortunately, it cannot be fully known how this ban has affected the crime rate thus far.)
Following the Floyd incident, though, public outrage has resulted in new traumas. Hatred of the police continues to escalate, resulting in protests, most of which have been peaceful, but also riots, looting and even assaults. These actions have resulted in exactly what the protesters’ aim to eliminate – violence, as there have been assaults on the protesters, police and even bystanders – and has resulted in terrible injury, to the body and brain. For example, it was reported on Tuesday, that a member of the NYPD was charged with 3rd-degree assault and other crimes for pushing a protester to the curb. According to a headline on the WHSV site, “Richmond police won’t say how many officers face discipline for attacking protesters.”
Most of the news appears to be about police officers attacking protesters. Lest it is thought that it is only civilian protesters who face harm, WMAC in Baltimore reported, “Protesters attack police captain marching with them.” In Boston, ABC News noted that the FBI field office, “received credible intelligence that rioters are looking for officers’ home addresses.” In Portland, two teen protesters punched a bystander in the head while he was straightening an American flag.
Those are just a few of the attacks that have occurred in the past few weeks. It the following weeks, it seems that many other anti-police attacks will occur, resulting in harm on all sides. It just should be remembered by everyone that police hatred does not need to mean harm.