Emotional caller from George Floyd's area: "I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner"

1 June 2020, 16:58

By Fiona Jones

This emotional caller formerly of George Floyd's neighbourhood told LBC her shocking experiences with the Minneapolis police department and explained why she was surprised a death like this hadn't happened sooner.

Attorney Shona Kent is a former resident of the area in Minneapolis, Minnesota where "gentle giant" George Floyd died while in police custody.

A viral video exposed police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes despite pleas from Mr Floyd that he could not breathe - the officer has been charged with murder and manslaughter.

"This sadly is one of many black men in particular who have been specifically killed by Minnesota Minneapolis Police Department. But this one hit me really hard because I lived...three blocks away. I used to go to that convenience store," Ms Kent said, referencing the shop outside which Mr Floyd was detained.

"In a way I'm not surprised. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner, just given that precinct," she said, "that precinct is well known for sitting at a gas station. They're present but they're not doing much."

Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged for the death of George Floyd
Officer Derek Chauvin has been charged for the death of George Floyd. Picture: PA

She had a personal experience with the department; she witnessed a man strangling his daughter and 911 was called "over and over and over again and I believe I called 911 personally six times and they never showed up."

After she complained about this to the police department, the desk sergeant refused to give her his badge number and "I basically got laughed at and asked what are you going to do about it."

Ms Kent reflected that fear of minorities in this precinct is allowed to persist: "I don't think the officers are well trained...there need to be psych evaluations, there need to be personality evaluations because it's very clear the people who are working at this department.

"They're not going in wanting to help people, they're not going in to policing for the correct reason. It's not helping the community it's helping them feel better, more powerful," she said.