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#George Floyd

During my working time at BP, I began as a clerk but soon moved my way into serving as a scribe for HAZOP studies.  “A hazard and operability study (HAZOP) is a structured and systematic examination of a complex planned or existing process or operation in order to identify and evaluate problems that may represent risks to personnel or equipment.” (Wikipedia, 2020).  These tasks are typically assigned to Engineers, but in lieu of surrendering two engineers for what could be a six-week period to perform these duties, one Engineer and a clerk who could type very fast sounded like a great alternative.  So, there I was!  I attended a several days training in Houston to learn not only how to do this but also the why these are so important to process safety.  The one thing that resonates with me to this day is what they taught me the first day – which was, “For any catastrophe to occur, several things must fail in succession.”  It is never just one thing!  An example of a day to day catastrophe could be a woman is late for work.  She jumps into the car after hurriedly placing her child in the car seat in the back.  The child is strapped in, but the seat is not. (Failure #1) She had moved it back and forth from one vehicle to another and in her haste failed to remember.  She then races down the road trying to make up time as she heads towards the daycare.  The traffic light is turning yellow but she tries to beat it (Failure #2)  As she is speeding through the intersection another car traveling across her path decides they too are in a hurry and they dart out to make a right turn without realizing she is coming (not stopping).(Failure #3)  She swerves, but her coffee spills and she reacts to that simultaneously while trying to avoid the collision.(Failure #4)  They hit.  The child in the back is now hurled forward in the car seat that is not strapped down. (Failure #5) She is then hit with the car seat and the weight of her child in the back of the head. (Failure #6) Not the best scenario, but you get the idea.

With this in the back of my mind, I began thinking about the turmoil that besieges the cities grieving over the unnecessary death of George Floyd  There is much commentary about what should be done, what should have been done, etc.  If “I” were to examine this closely, I would interview three people in addition to Officer Chauvin who, for his own reasons, kept his knee planted in the back of the neck of Mr. Floyd until he expired.  I would very much like to speak to Officer Chauvin’s wife who might be able to provide some insight into his lifestyle and emotional triggers.  I would then like to speak to his watch commander, and first allow him to describe Officer Chauvin’s strengths and weaknesses; followed by providing whatever explanation he could offer into why this officer had “18 prior complaints filed against him with the Minneapolis Police Department’s Internal Affairs, according to the police department.”(CNN, 2020)  Lastly, I would like to speak with Maya Santamaria, former owner of El Nuevo Rodeo, said that both Floyd and Chauvin worked security at the club.  When interviewed, Santmaria stated: “Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open,” Santamaria told KSTP. “They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside.”  Santamaria also told the TV station that Chauvin “had a real short fuse,” adding that he often pulled out mace and pepper spray when she thought it was unwarranted. (Horn, NPR, 2020)

I’m no investigator.  I’m just a writer, woman who raised a family, worked a regular job and now remain in this altered state we have come to know as modified quarantine. But I must ask, “What the hell were these people drinking that they all continued to look the other way with red flags going up right, left and center of this man?

On scene at the time of this incident was an off-duty firefighter.  “About five minutes and 25 seconds into the 10-minute bystander video originally posted on Facebook, a woman can be seen saying she is a Minneapolis firefighter and demanding that officers check Floyd’s pulse. 

“Show me his pulse!” the firefighter says. “Check his pulse right now and tell me what it is. Tell me what his pulse is right now.”

One of the officers orders the firefighter to move onto the sidewalk as another bystander also demands that officers check Floyd’s pulse. 

At about seven minutes and 46 seconds into the video, shortly after an ambulance arrives at the scene, the firefighter says to the officers, “Listen, I’m a first responder from Minneapolis, the fact that you guys aren’t checking his pulse and doing compressions if he needs them, you guys are on another level!” (French, 2020)

Hillary Clinton rarely said or did anything that interested me.  But one thing she did say that I really agree with is It takes a village to raise a child.  She did not coin this phrase.  Rather, it is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. The villagers look out for the children. This does not mean an entire village is responsible for raising a child or the children of a crowd. (Wikipedia, 2020).  George Floyd was a grown man – but he was also someone’s child.  The “village” failed him by looking the other way and it cost him his life. 

A video, while indisputable evidence of what happened, will not bring George Floyd back.  A video is not enough. 

I believe that the circumstances here escalated out of control, in part, because it is almost impossible for a private citizen regardless of background or training, to override a police officer in action.  I am certain it will require more thought that just an utterance from me, but I feel that the solution to this is enact the George Floyd rule – whereby an ordinary citizen can intervene in an instance whereby they whole-heartedly believe that the person being detained has had his/her life placed I imminent danger.  It’s not a ‘citizen’s arrest” but you are invoking George Floyd and calling it in.  You call 911 and state that you have an emergency that you feel the responding officer is endangering the life of someone and you want additional support NOW!

If there is any hope of communities mending after this – something must change.  You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.  Which one are you?

R-O-A-R!!!

References:  Dakin Andone, Hollie Silverman and Melissa Alonso, CNN, updated May 29, 2020 retrieved from the world wide web on May 30, 2020 from https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/28/us/minneapolis-officer-complaints-george-floyd/index.html

French, Laura, FireRescue1, retrieved from the world wide web on May 30, 2020 from https://www.firerescue1.com/off-duty/articles/video-off-duty-ff-pleads-with-minneapolis-police-to-assess-george-floyd-qpHAGleuOb2wnlB4/

Horn, Austin, NPR, May 29, 2020 retrieved from the world wide web on May 30, 2020 from https://www.npr.org/2020/05/29/865803157/george-floyd-and-derek-chauvin-were-co-workers-says-former-club-owner

Wikipdedia, retrieved from the world wide web on May 30, 2020 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazard_and_operability_study

Wikipedia, retrieved from the world wide web on May 30, 2020 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_takes_a_village

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4 Comments

  1. Katie on May 30, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Well said, and I agree. #George Floyd Act!!



  2. Maureen WILTSEE on May 30, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    perfect! I agree 10000%



  3. Cathy Trainor on May 31, 2020 at 1:49 am

    Damn girl, you know how to write!!!! Count me in!!



    • the Roaring Ellie on May 31, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks for reading! Welcome to the party 🙂