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What did or did not justify this act of deadly force from the police officer’s, media, and court’s perspective?

November 24, 2022
Christopher R. Teeple

When is deviance considered to be a disease when it stems from resisting or evading law enforcement? Recurring between people of color and police officers are these ongoing incidents of excessive and/or deadly force. Most blacks are victims with officers proclaiming these suspects actions to be threatening thus calling for a greater magnitude of restraint.

Take George Floyd an African American restrained by Minneapolis Police Officer Derick Chauvin who placed his knee to the back of Floyd’s neck. Presuming him to be inebriated ( under the influence) and a physical threat given his stature, Officer Chauvin applied the coke hold obstructing the victim’s airway. He shouted ” I can’t breathe ” with no physical resistance on his part in which Chauvin did not release but applied more knee pressure to his neck. Floyd soon lapsed into a state of unconsciousness and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Criminal charges did follow with a jury of the court finding Chauvin guilty of attempted murder, and manslaughter. He is currently serving a prison sentence.

What did or did not justify this act of deadly force from the police officer’s, media, and court’s perspective? In medicalizing or demedicalizing deviance, did Chauvin view Floyd’s skin color based on ( racial profiling), physical stature( physiognomy) and inebriated appearance, as signals he may resist and/or flee? Is this reaction linked to the history of slavery in the diagnosis of drapetomania to today’s police practices in their encounters with people of color? To address this define the terms: medicalization and demedicalization of deviance; racial profiling; physiognomy; slavery, and drapetomania.

Must use these terms in the paper correlating to these definitions.

Slavery: the most extreme form of social stratification, based on the legal ownership of people.

Physiognomy: Correlating outside appearances with inner virtues.

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