Jump to content

MNA and Nurses Respond to the Killing of George Floyd by Police

Updated | Published

As a nurse, what is your first reaction as you hear those words?

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

I Can't Breathe!

MNA and Nurses Respond to the Killing of George Floyd by Police

We have all seen on the news the terrible scene that played out in the streets in Minnesota when George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black male, was arrested by the Minnesota Police for attempted forgery at a convenience store. The action was caught on video as George Floyd, handcuffed and pinned to the ground face down by an officer who pressed with his full weight with his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes. We watched and heard George Floyd crying out that he couldn't breathe. We heard him calling for "Mama". We watched as his body went limp with the officer still holding him down. This will be a scene I shall never forget.

The following are quotes from the Minnesota Nurses Association's response to this heinous crime.

Quote

As nurses, we see the horrific effects of racism in our hospitals and community every day. We cannot remain silent as yet another black man has died at the hands of police...

Quote

George Floyd’s last words were “I can’t breathe.” George Floyd died shortly after arriving at the hospital."

Nurses jump into action when they hear someone say "I can't breathe", instead of standing there watching them die. Their goal is to save lives, not kill people

Quote

In the case of George Floyd, Minneapolis Police took no care or life-saving measures. Instead, they left him pinned down to the ground until paramedics arrived. Police ignored the pleas of George Floyd and he died.

Nurses care for all patients, regardless of their gender, race, religion or other status. We expect the same from the police. Unfortunately, nurses continue to see the devastating effects of systematic racism and oppression targeting people of color in our communities. We demand justice for George Floyd and a stop to the unnecessary death of black men at the hands of those who should protect them.

As a nurse, or as a compassionate human, how has this horrific event affected you? We have seen protests (some peaceful and some that have erupted into riots), vandalism, looting, and more. What is going on in your community? What actions can nurses take?

Let us stand together and let our voices be heard. Post your comments below.

As the Community Director, I'm here to help make your time here enjoyable. Please contact me if I can help you. I'd love to hear from you.

148 Articles   5,813 Posts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

609 Comment(s)

Joe V

Specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development. Has 25 years experience.

WOW! All this for a pack of cigarettes?

George Floyd allegedly tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. Did he create it? Was it passed to him by another? We will never know.

Joe V

Specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development. Has 25 years experience.

LIVE video on protesters

Joe V

Specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development. Has 25 years experience.

Nurses supporting protesters in New York..

Healthcare workers taking a knee #BlackLivesMatter...

This isn't just about Floyd, hence why things have gone as far as they have (1 of the reasons).

Edited by Workitinurfava

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

I just wish there was more outrage regarding non-black police killings that happen much more than you think (actually the majority). I can think of several egregious episodes over the last few years that barely made the news. Selective outrage in any situation just doesn't sit well with me, and its concerning that it takes something like this for the public to be concerned en masse.

Edited by Numenor

7 hours ago, Numenor said:

I just wish there was more outrage regarding non-black police killings that happen much more than you think (actually the majority). I can think of several egregious episodes over the last few years that barely made the news. Selective outrage in any situation just doesn't sit well with me, and its concerning that it takes something like this for the public to be concerned en masse.

Society always focuses on blk and white issues, makes it seem like these are the only races that exist at times.

Iluvboba

Has 1 years experience.

Riots cured covid

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

2 hours ago, Iluvboba said:

Riots cured covid

Is this supposed to be funny?

I commend you for bravery in talking about a very difficult topic. I believe it is so necessary to take this seriously and look at the racism still happening in our culture today. However, the quotes in the post seem to paint nurses as angels and police officers as the problem. Sure, we take care of patients of all races everyday. But we need to have the courage to look harder at ourselves: am I more likely to stereotype the young black man in the ER? am I more likely to call security on black patients? Maybe the answer is no, but the point is, we need to listen and take the opportunity to grown on a personal level rather than just point at others. I'm not suggesting that you are blaming others or not taking responsibility, I don't know what is in your heart or mind. Just wanted to say that the quotes used in the post made me feel like the nurse's union was avoiding looking at their own prejudices.

Julie

Specializes in Sm Bus Mgmt, Operations, Planning, HR, Coaching. Has 39 years experience.

I just hope and pray that change comes about and solutions are found to bridge the gap. More opportunities are needed for all races to achieve success. This has to start with change in thinking from average Americans, and not just the minorities. How about housing that the average American can afford, lets start there.

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

1 hour ago, SunshineANDgiggles said:

I commend you for bravery in talking about a very difficult topic. I believe it is so necessary to take this seriously and look at the racism still happening in our culture today. However, the quotes in the post seem to paint nurses as angels and police officers as the problem. Sure, we take care of patients of all races everyday. But we need to have the courage to look harder at ourselves: am I more likely to stereotype the young black man in the ER? am I more likely to call security on black patients? Maybe the answer is no, but the point is, we need to listen and take the opportunity to grown on a personal level rather than just point at others. I'm not suggesting that you are blaming others or not taking responsibility, I don't know what is in your heart or mind. Just wanted to say that the quotes used in the post made me feel like the nurse's union was avoiding looking at their own prejudices.

I agree with your assessment of the quotes. That's why they were included.... to get input from other nurses. We all need to address our own prejudices before we can address the prejudices of others.

I am reminded of the song I learned many years ago as a child:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world

And...Jesus continues to love the children when they are grown up - red and yellow, black and white...

Unfortunately, I think events like what happened to George Floyd happen more than we know. We only see a fraction of them that happened to get recorded. A simple Google/Youtube search will show hundreds, if not thousands, of videos of police lying to people regarding the law, harassing people, physically and verbally assaulting people, etc. The problem is the police feel they are above the law and control people however they want. That's not the case though. They are beholden to us, not our masters. I sincerely hope changes in policing come about because of this.
I don't want to come off as anti-police. There are plenty of good cops. But the officers standing around participated in the death of George Floyd by doing nothing. The cops have to make each other better or the citizens will have to legislate it.

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

All four police officers in the killing of George Floyd now will face charges, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Wednesday.

"Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers. This is another important step for justice," the Democratic senator tweeted.

2nd degree charges carry proof of intention to affect the death of.

Awaiting the details of charges against the other 3 officers.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/03/george-floyd-death-charges-derek-chauvin-police/3134766001/

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Confirmation of the other 3 officers charged with aiding and abetting 2nd degree murder.

This is very significant.

Will the current protests now stop?

Is this enough?

Iluvboba

Has 1 years experience.

Of course not, you are delusional if you think all these organized protests are about Floyd.

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

25 minutes ago, Iluvboba said:

Of course not, you are delusional if you think all these organized protests are about Floyd.

If you are addressing me...no it is not what I think. But I am interested in hearing what others think about actions that need to be taken.

What are your thoughts?