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We All Want Justice

April 21, 2021

The guilt of Police Officer Derek Chauvin had been determined long before the case went to trial and presented before the judge. This case was politicized from the very beginning. So, is justice truly served when there is the continuing threat of more destruction in rioting, looting, and burning of local businesses if a ‘right’ verdict is not given? The jury took only 10 hours to decide the fate of Officer Chauvin, but over a year of jury influencing had a occurred with the constant airing of the videos and a constant nightly episode of initial protesting which eventually escalated to rioting. Pre-trial publicity and the visit by a US Congresswoman encouraging the continuation of “confrontation” if a guilty verdict is not received may be the premise that sets the motions of a mistrial. The validity of justice is questioned when the intimidation factor of more destruction is at hand. The jurors are citizens of the city too and are subject to the continuations of violence if a not guilty verdict is provided. The decision had to be unanimous to be legitimate. Jury tampering of 12 jurors would be one major influence. So, if not an individual manipulation, the fear of continued violence could be the motivating factor to reach such a rapid decision.

The Police lost all control over the crowd some time ago when the Mayor and the Governor bound the hands of the Police to keep them from fulfilling their oath of to “Serve and Protect.” We each must answer for the actions we do. The power of an unruly mob that has been allowed to have control of the streets without legal resistance means justice is not provided to the citizens of the community. No matter the cause of the unrest, actions of burning and looting, destroying the businesses utilized by the local citizens does not justify the actions of the crowd’s protest and nor does it bring justification to the cause for which they protest. The peacefully protesting after the guilty decision was issued is only a confirmation that the decision reached was as they see it and desired. All lives matter but when it comes to the courts, it is justice and seeking the truth that matters. Without true justice then the lives of all are questionable when it comes to the determination of guilt or innocence. We each as citizens of the United States are guaranteed to have justice issued by the courts of the United States.

It is hard to be a part of a celebration, though the verdict in this case is correct, when the outcome of why the verdict was reached is questioned and potentially has been influenced by actions of unruly mobs and political statements made from both the State and Federal levels. In addition, the family of George Floyd had already reached a settlement with the city in this case, and it was made public that they would be receiving $27 million from Minneapolis for his death. This in itself is a cause to question if Derek Chauvin, a 19-year veteran of the force who has been the recipient of multiple commendations for valor for putting his life on the line for justice, would be receiving a fair trial. Of course, you must also weigh in the 18 complaints of his use of excessive force noted in his record over the years as a potential lead to the actions surrounding the death of George Floyd. Also, with no change in venue or jury sequestering, the continuing influences of the crowd over the jury could be a factor for the quick verdict. The overall implication of the issuance of the guilty decision is tainted for the appearance is that a guilty decision based on the publicity of a multi-million-dollar settlement prior to the trial would be rendered no matter what the evidence would show. So, was this trial just the mere actions of going through the motions to solidify the predetermined outcome?

I am not defending Derek Chauvin. On the contrary, what I am defending is the action for justice to be issued without any measure of outside influences to sway any decision for if justice cannot be true in its application and interpretation of the law, then justice is not true and has not been allowed to prevail. It appears the actions of the many influenced the actions of the few. Is that true justice or is it vigilante justice? I cannot say that justice was issued. All I can say is that a verdict in a homicide case was rendered.

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