By Mataeo Smith
There are parallels between the George Floyd case and the Daniel Prude case. Has anyone noticed how both men died in an abnormally outrageous fashion?
Let’s take a look at George Floyd who was arrested and killed May 25 over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill. Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes despite having the man handcuffed. Floyd pleaded with Chauvin to lift his knee off his neck to no avail. The confrontation attracted a lot of attention from bystanders who recorded Chauvin quietly pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck. Unlike Floyd, Prude’s death only ignite protests in Rochester. It happened in the middle of the night when no one was around.
Daniel Prude’s death was awfully similar to Floyd’s, however.
Prude’s arrest was pretty tame before an unexpected turn occured. Officers found the man running in the middle of the street naked at 3:16 a.m. with blood on his arm. Bodycam footage shows Prude complying with officers to the fullest extent until they placed a bag over his head. With Prude under the influence of angel dust, aka PCP, he went ballistic yelling, “the officers are trying to kill me.”
Later, he was placed on a gurney and sent to a Rochester hospital where he was declared braindead. Prude died a week later on March 30.
It’s worth noting the idiocy of the officer’s decision given their knowledge of the drug Prude was influenced by. Angel dust is a powerful drug capable of stripping one of every basic bodily function. It may render the user immobile for several hours. For all we know, Prude could have forgotten to breathe with the bag over his head.
One cannot fathom the reasoning behind covering his head with a bag. Maybe it was some kind of gag for the officers. Maybe it was a new tactic they wanted to try out on the night shift. Whatever the case may be, there is no article, press release or public statement of any of the seven officers explaining the purpose of the bag.
Black men are killed because of peculiar acts of police brutality that are extremely unnecessary. These events are strange because explosive confrontations between white officers and black men are prevalent in the media. To see Floyd and Prude die so slowly by callous law enforcement officials is infuriating.
There’s something much more sadistic about Prude’s death though. This man was killed in March and the footage was released about two weeks ago at the request of the Prude family’s attorneys. The officers must have known their actions were disgusting because the mayor was ignorant of these actions. It’s like the Rochester police thought less of him because he was dealing with drug abuse problems with PCP. Officers are becoming more heartless in these types of situations. It’s one thing to shoot an unarmed black man and claim self defense. It’s another when one is knowingly cutting off oxygen to another human being and ignores their cries for help.
These officers watched the light of Prude’s soul flicker until it blew out. Chauvin was the last face Floyd saw before he died.
These officers deserve acute punishments far beyond suspension with pay. However, this is the same old song we’ve all heard a million times before.
It’s been more than 100 days since Breonna Taylor was fatally shot due to a botched police raid with zero charges against the officers. It’s such a desolant time we live in. Unarmed African Americans can be killed at the fault of the officers with no ramifications. The five nights of protests have only managed to get the officers suspended with pay.
If you think getting fired is a sufficient consequence for the death of another human being, please re-evaluate your sense of humanity and morality.