I Came To Bear Witness To A Lynching: Part 2 Minneapolis, MN

Garrick McFadden
10 min readAug 17, 2023
Photo taken by the author of the mural that adorns the wall near where George was murdered.

George Floyd was lynched. I was a reluctant witness of his lynching. It was the first lynching I had ever seen.

Sheltered and protected in my home. Surrounded by the amenities and comfort of my dwelling, I watched as members of the Minneapolis Police Department murdered George. One white police officer methodically pressed his knee into the back of George’s neck. He sustained continuous pressure on George. He squeezed the essence that made George, George, out of him.

It was the first lynching that had been broadcast into our homes during my lifetime. We collectively had been traumatized by the Rona, and some of us were not dealing well with the isolation we had been forced into to stop the spread. We had exhausted the television programs and movies that had guided us through the early days of the Rona. We were restless, and we felt death was omnipresent during this time.

This is why so many of us consumed this snuff film with zero reservations. We greedily invaded this man’s most intimate final moments. Many of us cried in anguish as we witnessed a grown man beg for his departed mother to intercede on his behalf, to no avail. We saw a rigid body turn limp. We counted the minutes and studied the white officer’s countenance as the public pleaded with him to get off that man’s neck. Every offer to help George was rebuffed by the police.

In the video, I observed George slowly expiring. I was helpless because I knew the outcome before watching the recording. Yet, I still begged and pleaded with the white male police officer to get off of him. I made promises that I had no power to enforce. I tried to bargain for George’s life. No matter what I did, the outcome was always the same: George was lynched.

I watched the other officers as they allowed their brother-in-blue to lynch this man for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit bill at the corner store. Geroge suffered a humiliating death for this infraction, and none of these officers saw anything untoward about the consequences of this petty offense. None of these officers sought to invoke their community-derived authority and stop this lynching. Instead, they formed a hedge of protection around the officer, with his knee grinding George’s body into the pavement in order for…

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Garrick McFadden

I am a civil-rights attorney. I write about #whiteness, #racism, #hiphop, policing & politics.