In the wake of Derek Chauvin’s trial, and the rumor of Black Live’s Matter (BLM) expecting to riot if the trial doesn’t turn out with a guilty verdict, I wanted to weigh in on officer trials a little. First and foremost, the fair application of the rule of law is vital to the succes of our nation and that includes the right to a fair trial. A trial not based off emotions or threats of chaos, but one based off of evidence, testimony, and established case law. It seems as if the public jury, social justice warriors, and the threats of violence, are now used in a way to greatly influence a specific outcome of a so called “fair trial”. Sectors of the public and groups that create chaos in the United States, have been given a lot of power and influence, just ask Darrin Wilson.
With the deeply slanted media coverage of George Floyd’s death, and a multi-million dollar pay out, it’s easy to argue that finding an impartial jury of Chauvin’s peers, would be nearly impossible. With the social justice warriors holding a TV remote in one hand, and a Moltov Cocktail in the other, I would expect most everyone at the Minneapolis Police Department to kick into self-preservation mode when called to testify.
Speaking of peers, it refers to someone being of your level or on par with you. In the military, if someone gets into a bind while they are performing their duties and it’s deemed criminal, they will be court-martialed, and they will face an actual jury of their peers, with other military personnel. It would be very difficult for regular citizens to sit on a court martial jury and pass fair and impartial judgment on a military man or women. A citizen doesn’t understand their complex job, and the vast amounts of rules and regulations that they must abide by. I argue the same should go for a police officer. I also don’t think civil proceedings should be allowed to occur prior to any pending criminal jury proceedings because 27 million dollars paid out to George Floyd’s family, sends a slanted message to the public, who would be potential jurors.
Over my 20 plus year career, I have been involved in many Citizen Police Academy’s. Often when the citizens are provided some education, and they are placed in similiar scenario’s police are routinely faced with, and given mere seconds to make a decision, almost 100% of the time, the citizen quickly jumps straight to deadly force. Even if it should have been simply a hands-on encounter. They usually don’t even try to de-escalate, use lower levels of force or call the new flavor of the day, a social worker. It’s straight to the gun as soon as something goes wrong and fear kicks in. In the end, they often walk away with a completely different understanding regarding police use of force, and they comment about how difficult it is for others to judge a profession, whose job is so foreign to most of the public.
If you have never been involved in a use of force encounter, where you have had to sort though supreme court case law, department policy, evaluate any dangers to the public, all while analyzing the suspect’s actions, and doing it all in a matter of 2 seconds or less, well your career might be a little less exciting than mine. It should however make you think twice prior to passing judgment on someone’s actions based off the biased media and pure emotions. Afterall, does your job have the ability to destroy you and your family’s life, even if you have done nothing legally wrong?
Prior to joining the public jury and deeming an officer should be sentenced to death or spend the rest of their life in prison, do some in depth research and educate yourself, wouldn’t you want the same if it were you who were on trial?