To The Daily Sun,

In response to Ben Shapiro’s editorial, "No, the Derek Chauvin trial isn’t a referendum on American racism," on April 2, in The Daily Sun, we have some concerns. The definition of an existential threat is, "a threat to people’s existence or survival." There is little question that George Floyd was killed by the policeman applying his knee to the neck for 9 minutes, 29 seconds. Expert witnesses corroborated that the policeman used unnecessary force. White supremacy and racism have existed since this country was founded. Systemic racism has been more subtle. Clearly, this was an issue when some of the police responded to George Floyd as a dangerous, Black male as evidenced by the policeman drawing his gun as they approached the car. Officer Chauvin applied his knee way too long after Mr. Floyd was under control. Could this be systemic racism? Many shreds of evidence have been documented through the video taken on cell phones that have been presented in the trial. There is lots of evidence although the author denies any, including the video documentation of the perpetrator of pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for excessive amount of time 9:29. There is an assumption that Floyd was violent and out of control when the police approached the car. This is clearly demonstrated by a gun being aimed directly at Mr. Floyd as he is calmly sitting in the driver’s side. CNN reported that he became extremely nervous as the police have violence toward Black people. This could be profiling of Mr. Floyd. One wonders if he were a white man, would the same approach be repeated? This exemplifies how systemic racism works with profiling a Black suspect. Mr. Floyd was handcuffed, being no threat to the police, he couldn’t breathe as he pleaded several times. An off duty EMT offered assistance as the rescue squad had not come yet. She was denied because the policeman doubted her credentials. It seems this could have been quickly remedied by a quick call to the fire department. Then her expertise and help could have been utilized. Once Mr. Floyd stopped breathing, no assistance was evident until the fire rescue squad arrived. Shapiro, the author of the editorial, makes a weak case for white supremacy, racism, and systemic racism denying that it happened. All professions have those who have good and bad people. We are not singling out the police with prejudice. Officer Chauvin appeared to have made bad choices. We worked with the Laconia Police when we volunteered with River Crew Art & Creative Recovery. The police were caring, concerned about the community and the residents of Laconia.

Elaine Morrison Smith and Dick Smith


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