A lot of the commentary on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody treats it primarily as a racial issue: Floyd was black, the officer whose knee was on his neck appears to have been white, and therefore the main interpretive framework that applies is racism.
But there's another way to look at it, which is through the framework of government error. The police officer wasn't a private security guard. He was a unionized government employee. So there's a certain logical inconsistency in that the same liberals who are painfully and accurately aware of the frequency and durability of police misconduct also want government to play an even larger role in so many other aspects of our society, from health care to education to finance. Is the idea that government in areas other than policing is somehow less error-prone, less afflicted by bias? If so, why?
Conservatives in these situations have a reflex to defend the police. In situations where facts are unclear or required split-second self-defense decisionmaking, that is sometimes warranted. But imagine the potential troublemaking if some influential Republican came out and said, you know what, the Minneapolis police were incompetent or corrupt or out of control. And so were the FBI guys who went after Mike Flynn. And the prosecutors who keep getting overturned by judges when they try to criminalize politics or create new theories of insider trading. And so were the New York officials who ordered Covid-19 patients into nursing homes. So are a lot of government officials and agencies who lack the discipline imposed by market competition, choice, and voluntary exchange. So let's try to minimize the areas of our economy that are served by government monopolies, and maximize the areas where there is competition, choice, and voluntary exchange. That doesn't mean eliminating police, but it does mean trying to avoid, where possible, giving government officials arbitrary power.