George Floyd vs Faizan: Many Similarities, One Big Difference
Justice for George Floyd in the US, why did India fail to track those who killed Faizan?
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
Video Producer: Hera Khan
Two incidents, two countries, and two videos.
One shot by a bystander in Minneapolis in the United States on 25 May 2020 and another shot at Kardampuri in North East Delhi on 24 February 2020.
First, take a look are some of the striking similarities between the two incidents.
George Floyd, unarmed, pinned to the road by a police officer’s knees on his neck, backed up by three other cops.
Faizan and four others, also unarmed, badly injured, also lying on the road, being kept down by the lathis of five to six policemen gathered around them
George Floyd was heard saying, “I can't breathe,” yet the policeman did not ease the pressure for over eight minutes.
Faizan and the others were heard singing ‘Jana Gana Mana...’ in muffled, scared voices – clearly in pain.
George Floyd was declared dead soon after this brutal assault.
Faizan succumbed to his physical injuries two days after the video was shot.
While George Floyd was an American-African, a community which is often at the receiving end of police brutality in the US.
Faizan was a Muslim, a minority increasingly facing police violence in India.
And, here the similarities end. And differences emerge.
The biggest difference is this – the cop who choked George Floyd to death, officer Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder in the 3rd degree and he and his 3 colleagues dismissed from service within four days of the crime
While in Faizan’s case, the policemen who were caught on camera assaulting and abusing him and the other four men have been charged with: Nothing!
The Delhi Police’s FIR about Faizan’s death lists murder charges against unknown people. Why ‘unknown people’? Why not the policemen who were seen in the video? Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar told The Quint that this was because the policemen in the viral video were not seen beating the men.
So they could not be charged with murder but why have they been charged with nothing at all?
Why have they not been charged under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – causing the death of any person due to a rash or negligent act – the policemen are clearly seen abusing an injured Faizan instead of taking him to hospital. Isn’t that negligence? Wasn't the delay in taking Faizan to hospital partly responsible for his death? Yet, no Section 304A in the FIR. Why? We don’t know.
The cops in the video could also have been charged under Section 341 – for wrongful restraint – but even that is not in the FIR. Why? We don’t know.
They could also have been charged under Section 295A – insulting the religion or religious belief of another person – asking 5 Muslims to sing the ‘Jana Gana Mana...’, was a clear form of communal abuse. Yet no Section 295A in the FIR. Why? We don’t know.
Even today, Faizan’s family does not have a copy of the FIR, nor a copy of his post-mortem report.
Joint CP Alok Kumar did concede to The Quint at the time, saying:
“It was not right for those policemen to make them sing the national anthem when they needed urgent medical attention. Why did the policemen do so, we will know after the departmental inquiry is over.”
While the cops who abused and ultimately killed George Floyd were charged and sacked within days, what did Faizan get? A departmental inquiry. And we all know what that means – kuch nai hoga (nothing will happen). This is what the police in India almost always do and always get away with.
The video hovering right over the five men as they are made to sing ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was probably shot by one of the cops, who then even had the audacity to share it and yet the Delhi Police told The Quint, nine days after the incident that the cops in the viral video had not been identified.
How can we possibly accept this answer?
Firstly, would the local police station not know the names of the cops deployed at Kardampuri Main Road where the incident took place?
Then, there is another video of the same incident, shot from a distance – would enhanced images from this video not reveal the identities of these cops?
Then the voices in the video, wouldn’t colleagues and voice-recognition technology be able to identify the cops?
And of course – the four other men seen in the video with Faizan – surely they could identify the cops who abused them?
Has the police asked them this question? Unlikely.
More Inaccuracies in Police’s Version
There are other inaccuracies in the police’s version of what followed after the filming of this viral video on 24 February – speaking to The Quint four days after Faizan’s death, Joint CP Alok Kumar said the police took Faizan to the hospital on the 24th itself.
But Dr Ritu Saxena, CCMO at Delhi’s LNJP Hospital told The Quint:
“Faizan was admitted to the neurosurgery ward of the hospital on 26 February. He was brought to the hospital by his family members.”
Faizan’s family also told The Quint that they took Faizan to the hospital on the morning of 26 February.
But before that, from 24 February to the night of 25 February, they say Faizan was kept at the Jyoti Nagar police station, denied medical attention for over 24 hours, and this ultimately led to Faizan’s death.
So, why did Joint CP Alok Kumar fail to mention that Faizan was in police custody for over 24 hours? Was it to protect the policemen in charge of Jyoti Nagar police station?
Before publishing this story, we reached out to the concerned Joint CP, DCP, SHO, and PRO of the Delhi Police for an update on their departmental inquiry, but have got no response.
What is completely clear is that Yeh Jo India Hai Na… the police here can get away with anything.
While George Floyd’s death was followed by quick, decisive, and transparent legal action, here in India, the brutal killing of Faizan has been all but forgotten.
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