A video that shows residents from Merrick, Long Island, screaming at Black Lives Matter protesters has gone viral. While the protesters tried to peacefully walk on June 2, residents shouted obscenities and told them to get out of their town.
“You’re not coming this way. Go three blocks that way,” one person can be heard saying. “Get them the hell out of here,” another person says.
Merrick Residents Said George Floyd’s Death Had Nothing to Do With Protests
Another viral video shows a woman, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, explaining why she thought BLM protesters shouldn’t be allowed in Merrick. She says the protest had nothing to do with the killing of George Floyd, who died after Derek Chauvin and three other now-former officers from the Minneapolis Police Department had their knees on him — including his neck — for more than eight minutes.
Chauvin and the three other officers — Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao — were fired, and Chauvin is facing charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other officers were arrested the day after the protest, being charged with aiding and abetting murder, the Star Tribune reported on June 3.
When questioned by the person filming her about activists honoring Floyd, the blonde woman in the video remained adamant. “Don’t be a fool,” she told the person holding the camera.
The Merrick resident then brought up the police officers who have been injured during the protests. Since Floyd’s death, hundreds of BLM protesters have been arrested and dozens of New York Police Department officers have been injured, NBC New York reported.
“You’re a coward. You’re an idiot,” she said to the person filming. She said it was “their right,” meaning the people of Merrick, to prevent BLM activists from protesting.
The video, filmed by Long Island resident Kevin McKenna, has been viewed nearly 70,000 times. “I am so disappointed with my hometown of Merrick, NY right now,” a netizen who shared the viral video wrote. “Absolutely disgusted with this lady from last night, and I’m sure she wasn’t the only person either. They were there to peacefully protest and your ignorance hindered their right to do so.”
McKenna, 63, told Heavy he witnessed unparalleled racism in Merrick. “I know there are lots of great people in Merrick who are disgusted by the behavior of the anti-protester Merrick residents that showed up last night. Truthfully, before this, I can’t even say I fully understood the meaning of these rallies,” he said. “But last night in Merrick I got it.
I saw racism like I had never seen before. My grandson is black, my daughter is the mother of a black son. Hearing these residents screaming at the Black Lives Matter protesters to get out of their town, and trying to stop them from working respectfully with the Nassau County Police Department to have a rally, made it very clear that something is very wrong. What happened is these residents proved the protesters’ point. The system needs to change.
Billy Baldwin Responded to the Video
Merrick became a top-trending topic on Twitter on June 3 as people discussed the videos. It caught the attention of actor Billy Baldwin, who grew up near Merrick.
“Grew up near #Merrick Lots of good people there but like many other towns on Long Island… far too many ignorant, intolerant pricks. #BlackLivesMatter,” he tweeted. “Long Island should plan their next march straight thru Merrick. PS… please identify this racist Karen.”
Floyd’s Cause of Death Was Asphyxia
An independent autopsy found that Floyd’s death was caused by asphyxia “from sustained forceful pressure” by Minneapolis police officers, Floyd family attorneys said in a press release on June 2.
“The knee to the neck and the knees to his back both contributed to him not being able to get a breath,” Ben Crump, one of the Floyd family attorneys said. “And what those officers did, that we see on the video, is the cause of his death, not some underlying, unknown health condition.”
“George Floyd was a healthy young man. We see in the video he was walking, breathing; he was alive,” he continued. “His cause of death medically was mechanical asphyxiation. The legal determination is homicide. That is it in a nutshell.”
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner, however, said differently. Floyd’s cause of death was “Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression. Manner of death: Homicide,” they said.
The county medical examiner added there were significant conditions, such as “Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.”