The Chauvin verdict is in, after only a small amount of deliberation for such a significant case. The result was foreordained. I don’t write to defend Chauvin’s conduct, I don’t understand it. I write to address the grotesque abuse of the supposed justice system. Does anyone believe that if Chauvin were black he would have been charged by our racist Attorney General, Keith Ellison? Does anyone believe that if Floyd were white or Asian or Hispanic, Chauvin would have been charged? We saw the massive power of the state when it is bent for political purposes against an individual. The judge should have insisted from the start that other attorneys be provided for Chauvin. Expecting one lawyer to adequately defend him against the weight of the state is unconscionable. The judge should have moved the case out of the Twin Cities. No one in their right mind believes Chauvin had any chance of getting a fair trial. The judge should now poll each juror individually in private and ascertain the impact of fear and the general public atmosphere on their deliberations and verdict. There is simply no way this verdict in this time was possibly a product of reasoned, considered deliberation. The greatest irony is that this was basically a lynching with a facade. There was no way the system was going to allow Mr. Chauvin to be adjudged innocent.
I would like to say there will be unintended consequences of this prosecution and conviction, but there is no will be, there already have been, and they are hardly unintended. Young black men are hundreds of times more likely to be killed by other young black men than by the police. We have seen in the year since George Floyd’s death, a steep rise in homicides among this population. It will only get worse. In Minnesota those deaths are the direct result of actions by our Governor, by Keith Ellison and by other public officials. We have fewer police and the police we have are not going to do anything that might jeopardize their careers or lives. Criminals are emboldened. Gangs run free and commit crimes of every type, pollute communities with drugs and not only kill each others’ members, but kill innocent children, women and men who just happen to be in the line of fire. It won’t get better, it will get worse.
And African-American police will end up dead too, along with those of every ethnic persuasion. They will be in situations where they are threatened by black men and their white partners and colleagues will be afraid to take action to protect them, afraid to shoot.
But as I have said before, it is easy to talk about systemic racism and police reform and other irrelevant nonsense. It is hard to acknowledge the real problems that cause so many young black men to engage in this behavior and it is even hard to find solutions to those problems. But nobody riots when one black man kills another, it is treated as just another day in the neighborhood. I am astonished by the cavalier dismissal of those lives and deaths, of the complete disregard for the potential good lost to society by every one of those lives that turns down the wrong path. So much for black lives mattering.