The trial of Derek Chauvin is a mixed blessing for our country.
On the one hand, the death of George Floyd, a black man, caused by a rogue cop is a tragedy. And the violent action by protesters leading up to the trial was America at its worst.
In the end, a guilty verdict that was based upon facts depicted in a video of Floyd’s death was justice being done at its highest level. It was a great victory for our legal system.
Now Americans and our lawmakers must do the really hard work. Coming to agreement about the size and authority of the police throughout the country is now up for discussion. Everyone agrees that deadly force should not be used unless there is an existential risk to anyone including the cops themselves.
How does this become a reality and a law? What is the definition of deadly force (kneeling on someone’s neck and suffocating him certainly qualifies)? How do you train the police to follow the rules? Are there too many cops? Should there be more black officers on the force?
There is, of course, another side to this sordid affair. It is the protest that always precedes and sometimes follows the adjudication of “racially motivated” actions by the police. Protest is legal and beneficial if it is not violent. Bad behavior by all criminals must be rooted out and accused individuals must face a jury. If protest is violent, Pandora’s box opens, and societal strife occurs.
Looting, fighting and incitement of strong emotion are not productive. Calling out antisocial behavior is totally acceptable if no one is hurt in the process. Many Americans are tired of rogue mobs disturbing the peace and destroying their neighbors’ homes and businesses. And by the way, the police have responsibility to keep the peace. So, the funding for cops is directly related to cops accomplishing their mission.
I hope that those who say there is no justice for victims of hate crimes remember this day. A guilty white man was easily convicted by the facts of killing a black man. A diverse group of our peers caucused and found the defendant guilty in about 10 hours. When the facts are undeniable and proven, guilty people go to prison.
When the emotional intensity of improper police actions is taken to an even higher level that is fraught with racial innuendo and often labeled as a hate crime, it does not improve our society.
The liberal media and misguided politicians are fanning the flames of hatred in this country. We don’t need reporters, senators or congresspeople trying to stir up violent behavior with inappropriate rhetoric. Consider Maxine Waters’ outrageous comments.
It’s time to settle down and finish the excellent job that George Floyd’s jurors started in Minneapolis.