George Floyd Verdict Sends Some Important Messages (Opinion)
Today, the world saw three guilty verdicts that sent not just one message, but many messages directed at the country.
First, I want to clarify my stance. Most police officers are public servants who put their lives on the line every time they leave their homes for work. Most police officers leave their doorstep knowing their role is to protect all Americans, no matter their race or religion. And most police officers watched that 9 minute video of George Floyd being killed and saw a horrifying sight that in no way represents them or law enforcement in America.
Sadly, like in every profession, there are police officers around the country who fall into the category of bad. We can not ignore that people who do horrible things exist, and to support those people just because of your loyalty for the noble profession is a grave error in judgement. It's also a grave error in judgment to assume that because one, or a few police officers are bad, that police in general are bad. For the most part, it's generalities that tend to be bad, or at least ill-advised, especially in this very tense world we're currently living in.
The first message sent by this jury today was that if you are one of those bad characters and you abuse your power, there is no protection for you. This case has seen police unions, law enforcement, chiefs and sheriffs come out against the actions of Derek Chauvin. The blatant disregard he showed for human life was indefensible. If you're one of the "bad eggs" be on notice, no-one is going to cover up your bad deeds. Police exist to protect all citizens and should be called upon when people are in danger, no matter their race, economic status, or religion. We have to make sure all citizens know this to be true if we're going to move the country forward.
Another message sent by the jury was how long it took for them to come back with a verdict. It was evident that this was a group of Americans who witnessed testimony of abhorrent behavior and they weren't about to allow anyone to think otherwise. They took a short period of time to come to their guilty verdict, which was impressive and decisive.
This jury also seems to want Americans to know that the system does work. One does not need to take matters into their own hands, instead, in this day and age we can trust that the judicial system will operate with good intentions. We may not always agree with the outcome, but in 2021 we can trust that when handled properly, America's judicial system works. That's not to say that flaws and mistakes are not made, but on this day it was proven that race played no role in the outcome of the trial. Justice was indeed served.
I also think that the jury reminded us that the law is intended to protect every citizen, including the weak and underrepresented. While Floyd was a big guy, in the shadows of a group of police officers, he was actually the weaker being on that day. Sadly, his weakness was exploited by one bad egg who for whatever reason, decided to abuse his power to a point where the unthinkable occurred. While the killing of George Floyd can never be undone, the handcuffing of Derek Chauvin following the verdict, sent an amazingly clear message that no one single person, profession, or race, is above the law.
And for all of the people shouting about defunding police, this ridiculous notion that we can eliminate police or defund the service into oblivion is absurd. This case does prove that we need to do a better job of screening recruits. Being a police officer is a special job and we need to do a much better job weeding out the "bad eggs" before they are placed in a position of power.
We're living in a very special moment in time. It shows that we've evolved to a point where all men and women should be treated equally, despite our differences. Sadly, this philosophy has been the law of the land for a very long time and yet we've done a pretty poor job when it comes to delivery on the promise.
I am a firm believer that this moment in time will change the world for the better. How much better our world will become, remains to be seen and is up to every one of us.