I was relieved yesterday when Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts. We all watched him murder George Floyd on camera while bystanders pled for Floyd’s life. In the wake of this event, Black Lives Matter protests erupted around the world. Maybe finally enough was enough. Even the Church came out on record saying that black lives matter, although they also gave equal air time (or perhaps more weight) to the idea that property damage was never justified, condemning it in even stronger language than deadly but routine police brutality.
A mission friend of mine who sports a “Back the Blue” flag still, even during the trial, explained his logic moments after the Floyd murder.
We still don’t know what the sentencing will be, although according to maniacally-laughing Tucker Carlson, it’s clearly too long because after all, he only killed a black man, a criminal, a drug user, and now a white cop’s life is ruined. To be clear, I don’t think my conservative friend I’ve quoted in this Tweet nor Tucker Carlson are *reasonable* or well-reasoned people. They don’t reflect, IMO, the majority view of conservatives I know, most of whom believed their eyes and believed that Chauvin probably murdered him (although I did hear occasional strains of the argument that he died from a drug problem or health problem).
There are some conclusions that I hope we aren’t going to hear in the wake of Chauvin’s verdict:
Racism is over; the system works. There was literally another police killing of Daunte Wright an unarmed black man in Minnesota DURING THE TRIAL. Yes, it appears it was an accident, but also a completely unnecessary use of force against a young man whose mother was on the phone trying to help while the overly agressive officer attempted to tase him during a routine traffic stop for an expired car registration. This one may sound far-fetched, but people in my last ward were literally claiming that there was no racism in the US because we have had a black president. Riiight.
Chauvin was just one bad apple. Was he terrible? Yes. Perhaps one of the worst the police force had to offer? Sure. But three other officers watched him commit this murder and did nothing to intervene on Floyd’s behalf. They also backed him up. That’s not an officer problem. That’s a blue wall problem. And as previously mentioned, police are using a whole lot of deadly force.
You can’t blame police for refusing to do their jobs now. Uhm, yes, yes, we can. They are paid for by tax dollars, and they need to do the job they are in until they quit. They can’t just sit in their uniforms sulking and refusing to intervene when needed.
If you “defund the police” these problems will only get worse. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. What we really need is more options than 1) do nothing or 2) call in an armed military. A whole lot of problems need intervention that doesn’t look like modern policing. When we had a strange guy on a bicycle leering through our office window, the police that arrived were literally armed like they were full-on military. Since when did this become normal?? Police in the 80s were just wearing a blue uniform, like no kevlar flak jacket with bulging munitions on their arms and thighs! It was alarming.
There is never justification for looting or destroying property. This just feels like comparing your hang-nail with someone else’s decapitation. Even other small business owners I know were pretty sanguine about the fact that they have insurance that covered damages when there was rioting. We were all less sanguine to discover than one of the looters was a white You Tuber from California using the riots to boost his reach.
We still don’t know the sentencing in this trial, what will happen to the other officers, and what policing reforms to expect in the coming months.
What wrong conclusions do you hope we don’t make in the wake of this verdict?
- How did you feel about the verdict?
- What have you heard from fellow Mormons about the murder, the trial and the verdict?
- What “if/then” scenarios would you add to the Tweet thread above as a counter to the idea that nobody will want to be an officer if they don’t have qualified immunity?