I’m glad I wasn’t a member of the jury in the Derek Chauvin case. I don’t want to be a juror in a criminal case, for one reason: Unless I witnessed the incident, I cannot, and will not, find in either direction. I have to sleep at night and live with myself , and that’s more important than following the rules of an imperfect judicial system. I wonder if a juror can take the Fifth?
With that said, I think it would be very difficult to find Chauvin guilty of anything worse than involuntary manslaughter. Too many elements necessary for a higher charge are missing. There is no premeditation or intent, and even if there was it can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Chauvin may have racial biases, be a bigot, an idiot and a criminally negligent fool, but none of that proves he murdered George Floyd. Second, there seems to be professional disagreement as what actually caused Floyd to die. Was it the restraint, his physical condition, the combination of drugs he had taken? Was it all of the above? How much of a role did each of those elements play in his death? Nobody can say for certain.
Only one thing is for certain, and that is that George Floyd died at the hands (or knee) of Derek Chauvin.
Now, if a certain segment of the public decides it wants to disregard the law and the judicial process, and make an example of Chauvin by whatever means, so be it. If that segment doesn’t get its “blood” and wants to punish as many people as possible by rioting, burning and looting, so be that as well. But know this: That segment of the population is not after justice because neither of the scenarios I described amounts to justice.
I do not believe justice is possible anymore — not with us, at least. I think that train left the station ages ago, and we are left with a festering malignancy, a spiritual rot that cannot be cured or treated. There isn’t enough blood that can spilled or police officers to be jailed to rectify the situation. Perhaps, if we are lucky, future generations, our great-grandchildren perhaps, will gradually evolve out of the never-ending cycle of pain that grips us. As time distances us from the older, angrier generations, and the older generations are finally laid to rest, maybe then we will finally have a chance to breath clean air. Consider this quote by Sidney Poitier from the movie “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?”:
“You are 30 years older than I am. You and your whole lousy generation believes the way it was for you is the way it’s got to be. And not until your whole generation has lain down and died will the dead weight of you be off our backs!… You think of yourself as a colored man, but I think of myself as a man.”