Jackson, MS — The largest story in the world this week is not COVID-19, nor what President Donald Trump tweeted, it is the death of George Floyd — murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin as three of his fellow cops stood by and watched. The city is quite literally burning as anger spilled out into the streets in response to the murder and the murderers not being immediately charged. While Americans continue to give their much deserved attention to Floyd’s case, other disturbing videos continue to surface.
A Jackson Police Department officer has been placed on administrative leave this week following the release of a video in which he appears to be choking a small shirtless teen.
According to the Clarion Ledger, JPD Chief James Davis said the department has reviewed the video and is piecing together the entire confrontation. He said the department’s internal affairs division is investigating the incident.
“They were in a struggle, a scuffle,” Davis said.
This alleged “scuffle” appears only to be the young man attempting to pull the cop’s massive hands from his neck.
As the video starts out, the massive cop is seen grabbing the teen by the throat as the cop repeats to the teen that “I asked you to leave!”
Onlookers attempt to tell the officer that this area is “public property,” but this did not stop the officer from continuing to tighten his grip around the teens throat.
The young man, half the officer’s size, tries to pull the hands from his throat, repeating those all too familiar words, “I can’t breathe.”
The situation gets to a point which provokes a woman to attempt to physically remove the cop’s hands from the teens throat. But she was unsuccessful as the officer yells, “get off me!”
“I asked you to leave. What did I tell you do?” the officer yells into the teen’s face.
The officer repeatedly yells into the young man’s face, daring him to resist, saying, “Make me. Make me. I said make me.”
“He’s not breathing. He’s not breathing,” the woman says as she begs the officer not to kill the shirtless young man.
“Ma’am. You see my hands? I’m not even choking him,” the officer replies as he presses the man against a car.
But bystanders and the young man disagreed.
Showing the entire unnecessary nature of the interaction and subsequent choking, is the fact that the teen was never charged with a crime. After being choked out and dared to resist in order for the cop to dole out some street justice, the massive cop let the teen go.
“Go on about your business,” the cop says as he appears to shove the teen away from him.
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released a statement concerning the video:
“After being made aware of a video that has surfaced of a Jackson police officer in a confrontation with an individual, the officer involved has been placed under administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.
“This administration is clear that we are trying to build an approach to public safety that is about trust, collaboration, and integrity. Anything actions that do not reflect those principles have no place in the City of Jackson.”
Clearly, this is not how you build nor keep the trust of the community.
As TFTP reported on Thursday, George Floyd’s death came after 400 others who have been killed by police in the first five months of 2020, alone. When police think they can act like this, grabbing teenagers by the throat until they nearly pass out or worse, something needs to change. It is videos like this one that continue to push the wedge further between the police and the policed. Until they stop, we can expect to see Minneapolis-like incidents continue to pop up across the country.