Saturday, June 13, 2020

Small: Government and government unions killed George Floyd


Government & government unions killed George Floyd
By Jonathan Small

The death of George Floyd has been much discussed, yet some aspects of this incident have not received sufficient attention.

For example, news reports indicate Floyd was among the millions left unemployed by government-ordered shutdown of “non-essential” businesses—an act of government overreach. When he was killed, Floyd was being arrested for passing a fake $20 bill. If it were not for government action that deprived Floyd of his job and income, his alleged crime may have never been conceived. Instead, he could have continued to work and provide for himself and his family.

That’s just one way big government killed George Floyd. Another is the role played by government employee unions and their political supporters.

The Minneapolis police officer who effectively choked Floyd to death by kneeling on Floyd’s neck had a history of complaints. But thanks to government unions who funnel money to politicians and then “negotiate” with those same politicians, the police officer had little reason to fear loss of his job.

Government robbed Floyd of his income, may have incentivized his alleged non-violent crime, and then emboldened some on the Minneapolis police force to abuse their power.

Government and government unions killed George Floyd.


I keep thinking about Breonna Taylor, Daniel Shaver, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Tony Timpa, Floyd, and others. They all suffered death or harm at the hands of individuals who should have been removed from police forces.

In recent weeks, we have seen governments send law-enforcement and/or armored vehicles to enforce “social-distancing” mandates or prevent the opening of salons and churches. Citizens of all races were targeted. The threat of dying with a knee on your neck exists not only for an African American knowingly or unknowingly passing a counterfeit bill, but for white barbers, Hispanic pastors and American Indian congregants simply trying to live their lives. Many city officials who now give speeches at anti-racism protests were threatening their audience with unreasonable edicts enforced by militarized police power only a few weeks ago.

To protect all Americans, such abuses must end. Out-of-control government must be brought to heel.

We must end collective bargaining and end unions for government employees, particularly those who work with our most vulnerable or carry weapons. Most Oklahomans can be fired for unacceptable performance. Government employees should be no different.

The use of force to investigate non-violent offenses should be restricted. Also, the flawed legal doctrine of qualified immunity, which essentially gives government officials broad protections to commit heinous acts that aren’t specifically prohibited by federal law, must be addressed as noted by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Government and government unions killed George Floyd. We must act so others do not suffer the same fate.

Jonathan Small serves as president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

0 comments: