It is a sad testament to the depth of the partisan and racial divide in this country that the flagrant murder of a Black man on video inspires people to mock the victim and not stand in solidarity with yet another victim of America’s state-sponsored violence.
Spanaway, Washington wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck sparked outrage this week after posting an image of himself caricaturing the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to social media.
In the image, he holds his thumb up and smiles while another man places his knee on his neck, arguing that this proves that George Floyd didn’t die from the police officer’s actions despite the video showing Floyd moaning that he “couldn’t breathe” and then clearly losing consciousness in the video and having to have been taken away in a stretcher.
“Not dead yet…I’m doing this for Are [sic] police officers the media is a race baiting machine and I’m tired of it I’m going to speak out every time if you don’t like that I’m sorry but I love All people..Wake up America” wrote the coach on social media.
When reached for comment, Hollenbeck claimed that he “wasn’t racist” and that being a wrestling coach qualified him to say whether or not the knee on the neck could have killed Floyd.
Parents at the local high school are outraged. Parent of two George-Jean Edwards told KOMO it was “unacceptable and outrageous…When this happened, I was completely blown. Disbelief and really quite frankly sick to know that someone that people trust with their kids was speaking and interpreting such a horrifying situation in the manner that he did.”
The school district has launched an investigation into the matter.
The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin and the three police officers who were present has once again exposed the ugly state of race relations in America and the shocking, dehumanized cruelty that police officers treat Black Americans.
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