Socialist Worker

Racist police system killed George Floyd—not just one bad cop

Issue No. 2749

A sign reading abolish the police pinned to a fence surrounding the building where Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd

A sign reading 'abolish the police' pinned to a fence surrounding the building where Derek Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd (Pic: Chad Davis/Flickr creative commons)


The first week of the trial of Derek Chauvin has underlined that George Floyd’s death was murder by a police officer.

A series of witnesses—black and white—have given voice to the horror and anger at what they saw.

Prosecutors played video showing Floyd pleading with cops. The footage shows police still pinning Floyd to the floor, even after one notes he is unconscious.

The police chief of Minneapolis testified the way that Chauvin pinned George Floyd to the ground was a “violation of policy”.

We can see where this might go.

Chauvin could be sacrificed in an effort to save the institution of the police as a whole. He has to be found guilty, but that won’t change the nature of the cops.

The hold that killed Floyd was part of police training. It has been used by the Minneapolis police at least 237 times since 2015.

And if it were just about a few “bad officers” then why have the US police already killed over 300 people this year?

The cops are trained to hold working class people in utter contempt and with that comes both sexism and racism.

There would be no justice for George Floyd without the Black Lives Matter movement. The millions who took to the streets are the hope of delivering real change.

That means more than an individual cop being jailed, it means abolishing the police.


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