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Vinoo Varghese

By now, almost everyone on the planet has seen the video of George Floyd dying under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. Since then, major U.S. cities have experienced violence and rioting the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 1992 acquittal of the LAPD cops who beat Rodney King. In Minneapolis, Chauvin and his cohorts were fired and the local prosecutor charged Chauvin with third-degree murder and manslaughter. In the wake of nationwide rioting, Minnesota’s governor appointed Attorney General Keith Ellison to take over the case.

As CNN noted, the whole world was watching Ellison and he responded by adding a second-degree murder charge for Chauvin and charging the other three officers as accessories, subjecting all of them to 40-year prison terms. The quick responses by the police and prosecutors to Floyd’s death contrasted dramatically with the death of Eric Garner, who had also mouthed “I can’t breathe” when NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold. Pantaleo was never charged, kept getting paid for five years, and was only fired last year.

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