A Closer Look at the Legacy of George Floyd’s Death

Demonstrators hold signs depicting George Floyd during a protest against police brutality and racial inequality in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 13, 2020. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)
It is right to condemn excessive police force. To turn Floyd into a hero of a racialized morality play is inane.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T oday marks one year since the death of George Floyd in police custody — I can never get used to invoking the term “anniversary” in connection with such dark events. There is, as one has come to expect, no shortage of vaporous talk about Floyd’s “legacy.” We should not, however, conflate the man with the event.

Floyd should not have died as he did. For their complicity in his demise, four former Minneapolis police are being held accountable, beginning with Derek Chauvin, who was convicted last month. Still, a stubborn fact remains: Floyd bore significant responsibility for the tragedy that unfolded.


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