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I Can't Breathe

Rusty Leffel | United States

"I Can't Breathe, man, Please" - George Floyd

I was horrified watching CBS morning news to see a man dying by a knee to the neck from a Minneapolis Police Department officer choking off the man's breath. 

While the man cries out "I Can't Breathe, Man, Please", the officer doesn't budge, yet stayed situated with his weight on this victim's neck while the officer's own right hand rest comfortably in his pocket.  Another officer just walks around seemingly ignoring this tragedy unfolding.

I was and am still shocked - - - how can it be that police officers be so callous to other humans that they could cavalierly prompt the death of this victim?

I saw and was a witness to this killing.  Our nation saw and was a witness to this killing.  

WHAT NOW???   As witnesses we can't just ignore and walk away from what we saw happen to our fellow human.  But we CAN walk FORWARD to fix our broken selves, broken system and systemic racism that led to this death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.

These photographs are part of that walk.



These photographs were taken during a protest and rally in Kansas City on Sunday, May 31, 2020, organized by Black Lives Matter / Kansas City.

SOCIAL DISTANCING.  As a note, with the Coronavirus Pandemic, almost everyone was wearing masks - realizing that "your mask helps protect me and my mask helps protect you".  

To help me keep my own social distance while distantly engaging with people and taking photographs, I carried my camera with a telephoto lens.  The closest I could even be for a photograph was about 25' - 30'. 

PHOTOGRAPH CAPTIONS. I did my captions in somewhat the cadence of the rally and protest.  There was a rhythm to the rally and I tried to pick up on that.   

So I grouped images somewhat into categories and topics that I added such as "TO DO".  I generally would just let the photograph speak for itself.  But, this is all a huge emotional experience to me watching George Floyd getting killed even as he is saying "please".  I just can't step back.   This is my protest, too.

Rusty Leffel

E: rcleffel@aol.com

C: 816 806 7753

6408 Willow Lane; Mission Hills, KS 66208


www.socialdocumentary.net (search box: rusty leffel)

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