Frederick Douglass is a towering figure in American history. The most-photographed man of the 19th century, Douglass, who passed away in 1895, made his mark as a passionate orator, writer, abolitionist, social reformer, statesman, and civil rights trailblazer.
Fast forward 125 years to 2020, when another black American made his mark in history and is arguably more well-known to young generations around the world than Frederick Douglass is. Career criminal and substance abuser George Perry Floyd, who died in an infamous confrontation with Minneapolis police that year, became the emblem of the Left’s literally incendiary claims that America is nowhere more systemically racist than in our nation’s police departments, which purportedly are waging a genocidal war against black people.
The Left predictably exploited what was later judged to be Floyd’s murder while restrained by white police officer Derek Chauvin, to make the suspect a martyred saint for their social justice agenda. “Thank you, George Floyd,” a shameless Nancy Pelosi mumbled through her pointless COVID mask after Chauvin’s murder conviction, “for sacrificing your life for justice.”
The Minneapolis intersection where Floyd died has been officially designated “George Perry Floyd Square.” A 6-foot bust of Floyd sits on a marble base in New York City’s Union Square. A 700-lb. statue of a tank-topped Floyd sprawls on a park bench outside City Hall in Newark, New Jersey. Floyd’s image, often crowned with a halo, abounds on everything from t-shirts and bumper stickers to artwork and murals from Minneapolis to Berlin to Kenya to Syria. Apart from Barack Obama and Michael Jackson, Floyd may be the most recognizable black man worldwide of the 21st century.
In a sad irony, during the 2020 “summer of Floyd” when rioting over his death consumed the nation, a statue of Frederick Douglass was torn down in Rochester, New York where the most recognizable black man of his century had helped shuttle slaves to freedom in the Underground Railroad. What a tragic commentary on how far the Left has dragged down role models for blacks from the proud, self-made icon Douglass to a drug-addicted criminal whom the Left holds up as an idol solely because he was “victimized” by “white supremacy.”
Recently I wrote at FrontPage Mag about six must-see documentaries to help conservatives understand various threats to our civilization from the radical Left and their allies among the globalist elites. Since then a brand new film has been released which I highly recommend. The crowdfunded movie The Fall of Minneapolis, written and directed by Dr. JC Chaix and produced by multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter Liz Collin, is based on her gripping book They’re Lying: The Media, The Left, and the Death of George Floyd. Like that book, the film exposes the gaping holes in the prevailing narrative constructed around George Floyd’s death and the trial of officer Chauvin, and the devastating consequences for the city of Minneapolis in particular and America in general. The Fall of Minneapolis is now streaming for free on Rumble.
Featuring extensive police bodycam footage of Floyd’s arrest, clips from the trials of the officers, and more than a dozen interviews with the people directly involved, the film includes exclusive interviews with former officers Derek Chauvin and Alexander Kueng, who spoke to Ms. Collin from prison. The families of Chauvin and Kueng also speak out publicly for the first time.
The documentary features current and former Minneapolis police officers who tell their harrowing stories from the subsequent riots that turned the city into what more than one officer called a “war zone.” They describe the surrender of the city’s Third Precinct to a raging, looting mob which swarmed the evacuating officers who had not been allowed even to wear riot gear. In a heartbreaking concluding segment titled “The Aftermath and the Right Side of History,” these men and women of courage and integrity, who had once been passionate about serving in law enforcement, explain very emotionally why they felt compelled to leave the careers they loved in the wake of the riots.
They weren’t the only ones. The film notes that in the three years since the riots, the Minneapolis Police Department – demoralized by lack of support from government officials, targeted for violence by a community taught to hate the police, and fearful of risking prison like Chauvin for engaging with black suspects – has lost 380 officers.
Those of us who from the beginning were skeptical of the official George Floyd narrative, and of the accompanying rush-to-judgment about the four police officers who went to prison, have since had our doubts confirmed as new details and facts leaked out. As the film shows, we now know that despite telling officers he wasn’t on any drugs, Floyd was later determined by an autopsy to have over three times the lethal level of fentanyl in his system at the time of his arrest, in addition to pre-existing medical conditions like coronary disease and untreated hypertension that put him at high risk of death under certain circumstances. The doctor who conducted the initial autopsy stated that if Floyd had simply been found dead at home instead of in police custody, his death could legitimately be described as an overdose. If Floyd had admitted to police officers that he was on fentanyl, they could have acted accordingly and the career criminal would still be alive – or in any case, would not have died that day.
But the leftist media and a whole race-hustling industry led by such despicable hate-mongers as Al Sharpton zeroed in on this opportunity to fashion a false narrative that racist white cops (one of the four was actually black, and another one Asian) cruelly and intentionally murdered a healthy, innocent black man as he repeatedly shouted “I can’t breathe!” The Left needed an incident like this to confirm their ugly accusation that America is a systemically racist nation, and that police departments are riddled with racism and should be defunded and dismantled.
“They were going to use this incident for a political narrative – and they did,” one officer told Ms. Collin.
The film recaps how, as the news media coordinated to inflame racial tensions in the city and across America, Minnesota’s pro-crime, Antifa-supporting Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has a long history of defending gang members (whom he has described as “misunderstood victims”), charged Chauvin with 2nd-degree murder and had the other officers arrested too.
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump, a notorious racial ambulance chaser, described the substance abuser as “a healthy young man.” Crump and the family hired a doctor who conducted an “independent review” of the autopsy; he falsely declared that Floyd had “no underlying medical condition that caused or contributed to” his death.
The officers’ bodycam videos were withheld from the public for months after the incident while politicians, the media, and perennial race hustlers like Sharpton painted a racial narrative that swiftly began tearing the city apart. Liz Collin’s film allows those previously suppressed perspectives to blow that narrative wide open.
Like much of America, the officers in this film no longer have any trust in our so-called justice system. One told Collin, “I think unfortunately, we’ve come to the point now where the justice system has been controlled by mob mentality. Social media, news outlets, peer pressure now control the outcome of trials, investigations.”
The officers to a man (and woman) blame the city’s rioting on a total absence of leadership and support from state and city officials, especially: cowardly Governor Tim Walz, who threw the police department under the bus, describing Floyd’s death to the media as “tragic and senseless” while calling the rioting (which actually was tragic and senseless) “righteous anger” exhibited by “people of conscience”; woke Mayor Jacob Frey, who gave the order for police to evacuate the Precinct (at one point in the film he is shown kneeling beside Floyd’s coffin, sobbing into his virtue-signaling COVID mask); and then-Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who told the media bald-faced lies about not having trained his officers in the restraint technique Chauvin employed to subdue a resisting Floyd.
The Fall of Minneapolis, produced by and featuring investigative reporter Liz Collin, is a must-watch film for blasting through the shaky structure of the Left’s George Floyd myth and getting to the truth about one of the most devastating blows to American unity in our modern history. In the process, it is also a long-overdue tribute to, and defense of, actual victims in this ugly episode: the men and women of Minneapolis law enforcement, demonized by the pro-crime Left, targeted for violent assault, and forced out of their mission to serve and protect.
Epilogue: This week the Supreme Court struck down Derek Chauvin’s appeal to review his murder conviction.
Follow Mark Tapson at Culture Warrior