On May 25th, a 46 year-old black man named George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis. The cop, Derek Chauvin, choked Floyd against the pavement with his knee for over eight minutes until he died. In full view of cell phone cameras. While other officers looked on and did nothing.
Without that cell phone camera, George Floyd’s story would have ended there. Not only was Chauvin not fired immediately, it was only after nationwide protests in nearly every major city — protests that police have uniformly and predictably escalated into brazen violence — that he and other officers were finally charged with Floyd’s murder.
And through all of this, the police have done everything in their power to deflect blame, avoid accountability, and provoke an already tense situation into a violent one. So far, we have seen police:
- attack journalists with pepper spray, and throwing one into a fire
- spray mace into the face of peaceful protestors on their knees, or sometimes even pulling their masks off to spray them.
- or simply grabbing them and assaulting them without provocation
- shooting pepper pellets at people for filming them
- kicking them in the face, or throwing an elderly man with a cane to the ground
- attack even non-protesters, sometimes even pulling them out of their cars and assaulting them.
- forcing weapons into the hands of subdued protesters to give their violence pretense
- brutally beaten medics leaving their shift at a hospital
- smashing the windows of a Seattle business, and shop windows, presumably to blame protesters and rationalize their actions.
- cops flashing “white power” hand signs to people filming them.
- cops in Seattle even assaulted one man with the same “knee on neck” choke that killed George Floyd.
- armored cops open fire on a family with pepper pellets simply standing on the porch of their own home, filming them.
- The Mayor of Seattle even had the audacity to claim that police were turning off their body cameras out of respect for the privacy of the people they abuse.
- We’ve also learned that Derek Chauvin has been the subject of over a dozen complaints for execessive force, but has never been charged.
We wish it ended there.This is just over the past nine days.
Policing is utterly broken and is entrenched in an oppressive and racist system that has rarely gotten more than a finger-wagging and empty moralizing from politicians in either political party. George Floyd’s murder is part of a pattern of racially targeted abuse and murder that goes back over a century. The cops act with brutal impunity because they know they will not be held accountable. They do it again, and again, and again. And it needs to stop NOW.
Radio vs. the Martians! stands unequivocally with the protestors who are putting their bodies and freedom at risk in the heart of a global pandemic to counter the racist murder of George Floyd, and all of the murders and assaults that preceded it. We reject the police violence that transcends this one killing, and call for the entire institution to be rebuilt. The police unions to be busted down, their leadership fired and prosecuted for their part in the escalating violence and assault on protestors. They need to be made fully accountable to the communities they operate in.
We also have no time for the hand-waving and pearl clutching of those who have more anger for a burned police station or a looted store than they do for the dehumanizing and unrepentant racist violence against human beings. Stuff can be replaced. Human lives cannot. If you want to scold someone about violence, tell it to the cops.
As director James Cameron once said when he explained why he made the villainous T-1000 an L.A. police officer in Terminator 2:
Cops think of all non-cops as less than they are — stupid, weak, and evil. They dehumanize the people they are sworn to protect and desensitize themselves in order to do that job.
“A riot is the language of the unheard,” another man once said. And people have been unheard for a long, long time.
To that end, our show is making a $500.00 donation to the Freedom Fund of Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. This will be used to bail out those arrested during the protests in Seattle. The cash bail system is an inhumane way for the police to keep people who have not been convicted of a crime locked up if they don’t have the economic privilege to afford their own freedom.
We ask that you make a donation of your own, to this or another organization fighting for racial justice. Take a screenshot of your donation confirmation, post it to social media, and then link to it in the comment below.
Stay safe. Take care of each other. And fuck the police.