The Rock Comments on George Floyd's Death: 'This Is Our Ongoing Disease'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2020

FILE - In this April 11, 2018, file photo, actor Dwayne Johnson poses for photographers at the premiere of the
Vianney Le Caer/Associated Press

WWE legend and Hollywood acting superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson weighed in on the death of George Floyd in an Instagram post Friday.

Accompanying a photo of an index card with the words, "I can't breathe - George Floyd," Johnson wrote the following caption:

"Past few days I've been stunned trying make sense of George Floyd's death. The video. The plea for breath. The callous response. The racism. The killing. This is our ongoing disease. I've had cops in my family. Good men. And there's a cop code, granting you the authority to use force if your life is in danger.
But when a man is handcuffed, on the ground, no longer a threat, with your brothers in arms standing around watching and he struggles to say, 'Please I can't breathe,' when your knee is on his neck... not his back, but his neck—cutting off his air.

"Cop code must become moral code. Ethics code. HUMANITY code. Knowing that if you don't ease up, then that man is going to die. So when you decide to not ease up, your intention is to kill. And that's what this was. George Floyd, said, 'Officer I can’t breathe' as he struggled for air. He said these words a total of 15 times. Not once. Not twice. 15 times. These officers will be charged, I'm positive of that. Held accountable. But then where's the greater accountability? The leadership to healing. More importantly, the leadership to EQUALITY. We ultimately win when we can normalize equality. I'm so sorry to the Floyd family. My heart breaks for you. Let the process begin now. #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd #normalizeequality"

The 46-year-old Floyd died Monday after getting arrested in Minneapolis, according to CNN. Video surfaced showing a handcuffed Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn't breathe while an officer had his knee pressed against the back of his beck. Floyd, who was unharmed, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

There have been mass protests and riots in Minneapolis in recent days, with stores getting looted and burned down. Demonstrations have taken place in St. Paul as well.

Many celebrities and athletes have since spoken out about police treatment of people of colour. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick—who knelt during the playing of the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality and racial inequality—is among them.

The four officers shown in the video have been fired, though no charges have been filed in the case. Federal prosecutor Erica MacDonald told reporters Thursday, "Our highest priority is that justice will be served."