WARNING: This clip contains graphic footage of the murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner.
In this remix, director Spike Lee has edited together three scenes: the fictional murder of Radio Raheem – where a police officer chokes him with his baton – from Lee’s 1989 movie Do The Right Thing; the murder of Eric Garner on July 17, 2014, where police officer Daniel Pantaleo held him in a chokehold and with his head against the ground while Garner called out that he could not breathe; and the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 where police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 7 minutes and 46 seconds. In the video we hear some of Raheem’s, Garner’s, and Floyd’s last words, as well comments from onlookers, an emergency medical worker, and police officers.
What role does violence play in these three examples? Who perpetuates the violence, and who is subject to it?
What role do onlookers play in these three examples? How do they differ between the fictional (Radio Raheem) and the real (Eric Garner and George Floyd)?
Why do you think Spike Lee chose to put these three scenes together (one fictional, two real)? What is the potential impact of the remix?
All three events resulted in protest – Raheem in an immediate on screen revolt, and Garner and Floyd in global protests linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. Why do you think these specific murders (out of the many people killed by police every year– 1039 in 2014 and 751 people in the first eight months of 2020) led to protests?