As I write this post, George Floyd’s killer stands trial. Derek Chauvin’s defense tries to diminish his involvement in Floyd’s death, stating it was drugs or a bad lifestyle that caused it. But evidence is building up against that narrative. Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist, saw things differently by stating: “There’s no evidence to suggest he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement” (NY Times).
Medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker also debunks the defense’s story by stating that drugs and heart disease might have aided in Floyd’s death, they were not the cause of it (Yahoo). While specialist Dr. Martin Tobin stated, “A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died” (KNSI Radio).
But so many people have heard this story before. So many more will continue to live it. A white cop, in the heat of the moment, makes a brash decision that leads to an unarmed, black man’s death. Black Lives Matters seems to have become profanity in the mouths of those who “back the blue.” And these are the same people who turned their backs on the police as the stormed the halls of Congress to overturn the outcome of a fair election.
This is why I have chosen Isacc Nellum’s (aka lebunny) poem, “Mama Said” as the fourteenth poem for National Poetry Month.