Comments by Sanwar Ali:
It does seem surprising that it has taken about four months to provide details of Government security for the George Floyd funeral that took place on 9 June 2020. The extent to which immigration enforcement agencies are involved in security in areas that have little or nothing to do with immigration, and the apparent need for large numbers of armed CBP agents, is also surprising. Another controversial aspect of the funeral was that apparently the “racist” Nation of Islam was also providing security.
Other countries also have serious race problems, with the UK being an example of a country which has numerous problems with ongoing discrimination. There have been complaints by a black female barrister that she was repeatedly mistaken for being a defendant in court recently. Another female barrister said that it had been repeatedly suggested that she should charge less money because she was black. An agency that is supposed to be helping migrants and that works closely with the Home Office, is desperately trying to make sure that minority groups that they have power over, are not allowed to make discrimination claims against them in the employment tribunal.
An elite US immigration border patrol unit, six snipers and an FBI surveillance aircraft were reportedly in attendance at George Floyd’s funeral in Texas. 66 elite US immigration Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents were part of a team authorized to use deadly force for a ‘quick response to rioting and looting.’
The service took place in Pearland in June, with details of the service only just emerging. 46-year-old African-American, Floyd, was killed by police officer, Dereck Chauvin, in Minneapolis on May 25 while in police custody. The officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes, despite Floyd already being handcuffed and lying face down.
Chauvin, along with three other officers on the scene, were dismissed by the police force a day after Floyd’s death. Chauvin has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, with an additional charge of second-degree murder later added.
The other three officers were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Government records confirm snipers in the rooftops
According to official government records, snipers had been positioned on rooftops for Floyd’s burial, while 66 members of the CBP’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) were also deployed.
The BORTAC teams are understood to be heavily armed units, carrying similar fire power to police SWAT teams. They go through an intense training program, which is designed to ‘mirror aspects’ of US Special Ops Forces courses, according to details published on the CBP website.
BORTAC was launched in 1984 to combat increased rioting in US immigration detention facilities.
Deadly force if necessary at George Floyd funeral
During Floyd’s funeral, the US immigration CBP BORTAC team was given orders to use deadly force in the event of aggressive behavior, according to public record documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.
The records indicate that the unit was ‘prepared to take up positions in Pearland to prevent property loss or damage, should non-peaceful protesting breakout.’
Houston church service
The presence of such heavy-handed law enforcement has been considered insensitive, given the circumstances under which Floyd died. More than 500 mourners packed a church service in Houston to pay their respects.
Following the service, Floyd’s golden casket was taken by hearse to a cemetery in the Houston suburb of Pearland, where he was laid to rest next to his mother for whom Floyd had cried out as he lay dying. A mile from his final resting place, Floyd’s casket was transferred to a glass-sided carriage that was drawn by a pair of white horses.
Family not informed about snipers being in attendance
According to Floyd’s attorney, Ben Crump, his family had not been informed that sniper units or US immigration CBP agents would be in attendance.
A Pearland city official said: “The mission of all personnel was to provide a safe environment for the Floyd family to conduct their service in peace. Just because nothing happened doesn't mean there weren’t credible threats. We plan for a variety of potential outcomes to be as prepared as possible.”
In a statement, the Houston division of the FBI said: “FBI assistance was provided to the Pearland Police Department, at the request of that agency, for the purpose of maintaining and ensuring the safety of the participants and the general public.”
Floyd’s funeral signified six days of mourning across three cities, including Raeford in North Carolina, near where Floyd was born; Houston in Texas where he grew up; and Minneapolis in Minnesota, where he died.
The service lasted four hours, with dozens of his family members taking part in the service, and a whole host of celebrity names in attendance including R&B artist Ne-Yo – who was among those who sang, actors Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, J.J. Watt of the NFL’s Houston Texans, and rapper Trae tha Truth.
A number of local and federal government officials were also in attendance including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Turner brought the gathering crowd to their feet when announcing that he would sign an executive order banning chokeholds in the city.
Details of US immigration CBP agents in attendance at Floyd’s funeral comes after US immigration agents were also deployed to help stifle protests across the country following Mr Floyd’s death
Up to 40 years in prison if convicted
Chauvin, along with the other officers on the scene, including Alexander Keung, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, could get up to 40 years in prison following events on that fateful day.
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