A lawyer for the family of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis in the hands of police, has taken a stand on the mockery of MP Ano Turtiainen (ps).
Turtiainen posted an offensive picture of Floyd on Twitter last week. In Turtiainen's message, Floyd's face, lying on the ground, was colored pink. The title of the picture was Pink Floyd.
Turtiainen wrote in his message: "Have you noticed that the closer you are to 'equality' in welfare areas, the more brawls there are."
Ilta-Sanomat asked Benjamin Crump, Floyd's family lawyer, to comment on Turtiainen's message. Crump responded Monday. According to the response, Floyd's family is aware of the image and text published by Ano Turtiainen, who "brutally mocked George Floyd's death." News of Turtiainen's message has spread around the world and, for example, the Canadian Powerlifting Association has announced that equipment and events of the Turtiainen Metal brand will no longer be used in competitions and events organized by the association. Earlier, the American power company Elitefts also announced that it would end its cooperation with a company owned by Turtiainen.
- Every nation must hold its leader accountable for racist behavior. His message is intended to downplay George Floyd’s life and the fight against the police violence that African Americans face on a daily basis, Crump says.
- The message glorifies police violence and criminal behavior. It seems that this is not the first time MP Turtiainen has published racist messages on social media. We believe that Turtiainen's colleagues in Parliament should be held accountable.
Attorney Ben Crump (right) did the honor at George Floyd’s memorial service alongside Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd (center).
Photo: ADREES LATIF / Reuters
Floyd died on Monday, May 25, after police kept his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes during the arrest. The video of the incident quickly spread across the United States and continued to trigger ongoing protests against racism and police violence.
All four police officers involved in the arrest have been arrested and charged with homicide.
Multiple crime reports
Turtiainen quickly deleted his message. According to him, its image selection was poor.
The basic Finns separated Turtiainen from his parliamentary group. According to Ville Tavio, the group's chairman, the reason was repeated inappropriate comments. According to Tavio, Turtiainen's tweet was offensive to the deceased and also racist.
Turtiainen announced that he did not intend to reapply for membership in the group. He said he intended to set up his own parliamentary group.
According to Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen, several criminal reports have been made about Turtiainen's tweet.
Defamation may be convicted if false information or a hint of a deceased person is presented in such a way that the act is likely to cause suffering to a person close to the deceased.
Defamation is a criminal offense, so in general, its investigation would require a close claim for punishment. However, there is an exception to this.
- The public prosecutor can order the prosecution if a very important public interest requires it and if the crime has been committed using the mass media, Toiviainen said.
George Floyd’s family lawyer did not mention any of the family’s possible punitive claims. Nor does it directly appear from the lawyer's answer whether the family is aware that Turtiainen has been expelled from his parliamentary group.