One Reason Why, Tragically, the Death of George Floyd Isn’t Surprising

It’s tragic, but I’m not surprised that George Floyd is dead.

After all, I am a white man but still had somewhat similar treatment levied at me by those hired to “keep the peace.”

George died after Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George’s neck. Officer J. Alexander Kueng stayed on George’s back while Officer Thomas K. Lane held George’s legs, according to The New York Times.

George Floyd died after Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George’s neck. Officer J. Alexander Kueng stayed on George’s back while Officer Thomas K. Lane held George’s legs, according to The New York Times. (photo credit: Offices of Ben Crump Law via The New York Times)

In my case, an LDS Hospital guard named Garrett pushed his finger into my temple on two occasions on a concrete floor as I pleaded that I couldn’t breathe. (It must have been Garrett on both occasions as the guards didn’t change positions.) The lack of oxygen started after he started pushing his finger into my temple.

Previously, other guards held my legs and arms.

Each occasion of Garrett pushing his finger into my temple was for 10 to 15 seconds at a time.

I have never felt so much physical pain.

Near the end of each instance, I was unsure if I would survive.

This guard was among five others who shoved me down against the concrete floor of a cell of a hospital unit. They did so after immobilizing and carrying me.

The hospital was LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City. I had asked to leave the hospital after two days. (I and anyone have the right to leave a hospital whenever they want.) Hospital staffer Ginger wanted me to go to a more intensive part of the hospital. I gave them the opportunity to provide a real reason for that. They didn’t have one, so I asked to leave, as they were providing an option to stay in the unit I was.

What made Garrett think that his behavior was OK is beyond me. A police officer said the next day that Garrett’s behavior is a misdemeanor, when I could report the incident.

Before this, Garrett pinned my head against the wooden, solid piece of my bed, as part of all guards pinning my body against the bed. (I didn’t even report this.) I had said that I would leave the hospital. Then they forced me to the other level of the hospital and concrete floor. If it wasn’t clear given that they seized my limbs, I made it clear that they were doing so against my will. Someone at the hospital did pause and question what was going on before hospital staff, I believe, told them they didn’t need to worry about the circumstance.

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Rhett Wilkinson has won 12 journalism awards over 4 years of applying for them. Work in USA TODAY, ESPN, Pew, MSN. Also been a successful pro se litigant.

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