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  • Writer's pictureD. Ellsworth Hoag

Yet Again: George Floyd

I find that I am looking at the belly of the beast. Once again seemingly unfettered bigotry has struck, as a uniformed peace officer. Nine long minutes of pleading met with apparent indifference.

The incident was on Memorial Day and formal notification of arrest was on the following Friday. Long enough to appear that justice is not color blind, but bigoted in favor of blue. When the arrest finally came one of the four officers present was charged. I was left with the question: Were the others not at least abetting?

The official autopsy report mentioned heart disease and hypertension as contributing to the death. Also questioned ingestion of intoxicants —but no toxicology results—why the guesswork? The complaint filed by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office also cited a preliminary autopsy report showing that there were "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."

Redacted body camera footage simply added to the appearance of cover-up. And the question now becomes apparent. Have we learned anything useful from this experience? How do we go forward with hope of more credible outcomes?

There is minimal chance for anonymity now that phones have video capability Somehow we need to deal with reality in a responsible manner.


(CNN) An independent autopsy found that George Floyd's death was a homicide and the unarmed black man died of "asphyxiation from sustained pressure."

The autopsy says compression to Floyd's neck and back led to a lack of blood flow to his brain.

Floyd was essentially "dead on the scene" in Minneapolis on May 25, said Ben Crump, attorney for the Floyd family. Multiple videos of Floyd's death show former police officer Derek Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck, along with other officers kneeling on his back.


I Cannot Breathe

"I cannot breathe," the words a plea

under a choke lock—beneath a knee.

Uniform blue, sign of respect,

transforms to symbol of neglect.

And all filmed for the world to see.

And justice served in what degree,

who is arrested by decree?

And what response should we expect?

"I cannot breathe…."

For when at last this soul is free

death his only release shall be.

And when deed's final box is checked

what will be the social effect?

After the wail of the banshee—

"I cannot breathe….."


Protests are forming in the street

as morose chorus does complain.

It follows the unending verse

of justice slow or incomplete.

Police line, marchers, tear gas, and sign—

protests are forming in the street.

When it seems bigotry won't cease,

attention is the grand design.

When will it change, we cannot tell,

for bigotry is slow to die.

Protests are forming in the street

grief over justice's death knell.

The message will not be discrete,

diplomacy has had its run.

Attention is demanded by—

protests are forming in the street.


Riot and looting in the street,

opportunists join the masses

no one is sure what their intent,

what enemy they would defeat.

With rock, or brick, or spray-paint can,

riot and looting in the street.

they run rampant through the cities

with greed or nefarious plan.

Some may look for confrontation,

to taunt the officers of law—

riot and looting in the street

wreckage and conflagration.

And now the reasons aren’t concrete

for crowds obscure the malfeasance

and thus offenders can elude.

Riot and looting in the street.

These poems are written as a group. If you share please be kind enough to share all of them together.


D. Ellsworth

Solutions need to come with accountability. Action needs to be swift but appropriate. There needs to be no shadow of a hint that police are above the law. Appearance is as damning as actual actions in public opinion.

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