Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Justice

 I got home today from my visit with my son, daughter-in-law, and grand daughter. I pulled in about 3PM and did a quick tidy up of the house and dropped on the couch. When Tim got home, we ordered a pizza. 

The evening news had just begun when it was interrupted by a news break. There was a verdict in the Derek Chauvin case. 

In my heart, I felt the decision was going to be the right decision. The evidence and the testimony seemed pretty cut and dried to me. It just seemed auspicious that the decision had been reached in fairly short order. 

George Clooney said it best. 'If Derek Chauvin is so sure that drugs killed George Floyd, he should volunteer to go down on the floor and let someone kneel on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds to see if he can survive it.' Sounds fair enough to me. 

Tim came in with the pizza and stopped to stare at the television. I told him what was going on. He sat down and we waited for the verdict right along with the rest of America. Finally it came.

We watched Derek Chauvin's eyes above his mask as the verdicts were read. His own neck was on the line today, and his stare was no different than that day when George Floyd's neck was on the line.

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. 

I cried. I know that I was not the only person in the world who did. Tim watched closely as he ate his pizza and he said, "Good!" (He's a man of few words.)

I don't think Chauvin will receive the 75 year maximum sentence that everyone is talking about, but with a minimum sentence of 12.5 years for each of the murder charges and 4 for the manslaughter charge, we can be assured that he will not get a slap on the wrist. 

Say what you will, have whatever opinions you want, but I will remind you of one thing: Derek Chauvin was convicted in large part by the testimony of other police officers who testified for the prosecution. They thought his actions were inappropriate. 

So did I.


22 comments:

Joan (Devon) said...

I agree with you as it was blatantly obvious he was guilty, but what I can't understand is why didn't the other police officers stop him?

thelma said...

It was the right action by the jurors but I think it was only a drop in the sea as to the overall changing of the police's attitude towards the black community. Looking forward it was a start and will go on and I am sure there is blessed relief about the verdict.

Andrew said...

I agree with Joan and not following the evidence really, I didn't know about his fellow police officers giving evidence against him. It was an appropriate verdict and I should think 15 years in the clink might be about right.

kjsutcliffe - artist said...

We watched in the UK. We noticed his eyes too. How the flickered back and forth as the guilty verdict came through. We too said.....Good

Debby said...

One of the officers was new and being trained. An officer in training has no authority to question the actions of a superior officer. The other was charged originally. He did question chauvin. I think he will be charged but has been offered a plea deal in exchange for his testimony. Just my opinion. He will never be a cop again though.

Bob said...

The American justice system, though imperfect, works. The evidence was overwhelming, beyond a reasonable doubt. It didn’t matter what the other police officers “thought.” Rather, it mattered what they saw: one man killing another.

Steve Reed said...

It was absolutely the right verdict and I'm so glad it went the way it did. I think Chauvin probably expected it. I wonder where they're going to put him to serve his sentence. I can't imagine he'd be safe in a general prison population.

Debby said...

Bob, their opinion mattered a great deal. They saw the exact same thing we saw. Giving their opinion from a professional opinion on whether the level of force was necessary decided the outcome.

Anvilcloud said...

I agree with Tim. :)

Debby said...

Thelma, historically, police officers haven't been very eager to step forward and testify against their fellow officer. Just the fact that they did so sends a clear message to others. What will happen to the others: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/george-floyd/officers-charged-in-george-floyd-death-derek-chauvin-verdict/89-47acae02-c196-4e7d-85fc-6ef7cee7d272

Joan (Devon\) said...

I'm sorry, I still don't understand. Whether one was a trainee or not he was of an age when he would have known what was going on and that George Floyd was in distress. Surely he and the other one (I thought there was more than three) had enough common sense and decency to stop it. Because of their 'stepping back' a man lost his life. They must be guilty of something, surely.

Ed said...

Although I don't feel like I can judge Chauvin having only witnessed maybe 5 minutes out of a nearly three week trial, I do trust that a jury of his peers, who did sit through the entire three weeks, found the right verdict. I'm glad that justice has been rendered and perhaps we will benefit from this tragedy. However, I think all of this would have been prevented had George Floyd made better choices about committing fraud, doing drugs and resisting arrest. None of those should mean his death but had he not been doing the first two, he would still be alive.

Debby said...

Ed. I worked in a store. Sometimes (rarely) we could not accept a bill (we tested w/ a marker). In 100% of the cases, the customer had no clue. We could have seen him as a forger or as the innocent victim. We advised them to take the bill to their bank. You see this as strictly a legal matter. I do not. It is a moral issue, a social issue, a collective one that defines our nation. Does America justify this behavior from our law enforcement? We each need to make a judgement. Once we all agree that it was wrong, we have the opportunity to right that wrong.

Redneck Geologist said...

I don't know anyone that thinks what Chauvin did was right or justified. We shouldn't base our feelings about law enforcement officers on a few bad ones. People who support the blue are being considered racists, even in my small town. Sorry, I support the police and I am not a racist. George Floyd made some very bad choices so he shares in some of the blame. We need to bring back personal responsibility.

Debby said...

I support the police. I do not however, believe that this is incompatible with holding the bad ones accountable.

Ed said...

Definitely understandable. For the sake of argument, assume George Floyd didn't know it was a fake bill. Did he not know that drug use might impair judgement? Did he not know that resisting arrest (after all these videos over the years) might get him killed? Had he known these things and did things differently, he would still be alive. Again, I'm not condoning Chauvin's actions. After George Floyd was handcuffed and on the ground, the kneeling should have immediately stopped but didn't. Chauvin is paying for his actions. George Floyd already paid for his.

Joanne Noragon said...

So much justice left hanging. So much of society is unjust, from stock traders salaries and bonuses down to schools and housing.

Debby said...

Joanne, every journey starts with a single step.

Ed said...

Debby - Do you think this will be a first step to something greater? I'm guessing there will be a lot of police officers perhaps evaluating their profession. That's good if we weed out some of the bad apples but could be really bad if it ends up in a shortage of police officers. Already there is video of a girl shot and killed in mid swing of a stabbing of another girl. Already there are protests of the killing of this "sweet and nice" girl. Another death and another career probably finished if not charged and convicted for more.

I hope it leads to something greater but I feel as if we are only making a bad problem worse. We aren't trying to solve the problem of why these incidents become violent and deadly and instead are trying to muddle through what the rules of engagement are after the incident has already turned violent.

I guess I don't really have a point other than I just don't know where all this is heading.

Joared said...

I thought the outcome was obvious but uncertain as to what conclusion a jury would reach. I hope this is a beginning to bring true equality across our nation but will likely take a few more generations.

Debby said...

seeing injustice is always the first step Ed. If police officers are looking at the Chauvin case and seeing a cause to re-evaluate their career choices, I'm going to say it out loud: they need to go. A good cop would never have to worry about it. We can argue about it all day, but I'm not going to Ed. I respect you as a thoughtful person who tries to be fair. Sometimes, we are called to pick a side.

The bike shed said...

It is interesting reading and seeing the transatlantic perspectives on this in our respective media - which (rarely) are very similar. {for various work reasons I read quite a lot of the US press) Clearly, the case gets more airtime in the US but the public sentiments are shared - our values much the same. That's a good thing to be reminded of every so often