I feel I should be permitted to protest the treatment of police officers in the same manner – as protestors are able to demonstrate against the mistreatment and subsequent death of George Floyd
Some people will say that I am crazy to write this article. Some people will tell me I will get death threats. Well in the same way the protestors want to be heard I am going to stick up for a few of the officers who have been charged in the George Floyd death.
I am tired of listening to CEO after CEO speak about racial equality and how ‘things have to change’ – and then try to guess which ones are sincere and which ones are just using this whole situation as leverage to further their corporate interests. CNBC is a long run ‘talk show’ which seems to be just one commercial after another staging executives spouting politically correct things about racial equality – when many of them have never shown any previous interest in the subject matter in their entire career(s).
I am asking people to consider a few facts before this group of officers is convicted – without a fair trial.
I see these officers as sacrificial lambs with no chance of a fair trial. I think the Power Brokers across the USA, (who think what is coming will make the Rodney King Los Angeles Riots seem small) will push hard for convictions in the case(s) of these officers.
Here are a few facts to consider before you rush to judgment on all the officers:
Officer J. Alexander Kueng had not yet completed his third full shift as a police officer. That is right his third night on the job! During the arrest he said the words, “You shouldn’t be doing that”.
He along with officers Tou Thao and Thomas Lane are charged with aiding and abetting murder, as well as aiding and abetting manslaughter.
Lane was also new to the job, only on the force for four days when the incident occurred. On the video you can hear Lane saying, “Shall we roll him over” in his concern that Floyd may be in delirium. He seemed to think things were not being done properly.
Lane, prior to his arrest, worked as a volunteer at the Somali Youth Center helping to tutor disadvantaged kids with science and math activities. I mention this to put a human face to this officer.
Two of these officers were new on the job and following the direction of the senior officer Derek Chauvin who worked on the force for more than 18 years. Chauvin had 18 prior complaints against him. Tou Thao, who was also involved in Floyd’s arrest, had six complaints filed and five were closed without discipline. Keung and Lane had no complaints filed.
Kueng and Lane were new on the job and it reasonable to expect that they would follow the lead of a veteran of 18 years.
Each of these officers is now facing up to 40 years in prison and if convicted would likely be put into solitary confinement as there is no way they could be put in the general prison population given the circumstances and high profile of this case.
Yes, these officers used excessive force but one consideration is Floyd had underlying conditions including hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.
In large part I believe Chauvin can be held accountable but before the entire country rushes to judgement let’s give these police officers a fair trial.
From a personal perspective, when I went down to the Las Vegas Strip to witness the protest marches I noticed that a large majority of the protestors were white – in their teens and early twenties. I had expected to see a large section of African Americans between 30 to 70 years old. Some people seemed sincere and some seemed as though they were just excited to have something to do. It really made me question that, other than possibly showing support, what these young white kids were doing was filling in time without any understanding of what was going on. Again, some were genuine, but many seemed not to be.
I will speak my truth and people may not like my position but I am sure I am saying what many people are thinking.
You might say I am likely a white privileged male. Well I am 55 and white but grew up in a house with 6 kids where both parents worked 2 jobs each to provide. There were no perks, and nothing ever ‘handed’ to is – in any form. I certainly did not grow up in an environment of entitlement.
The most intense personal example that I had, on the front lines of racial discrimination, was when I was in grade 12. I was a disc jockey and had a gig at the Derby Night Club on Gottingen Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was told not to play “hip hop” music and only “white” music. The owner said he wanted a “more white” clientele.
As the night progressed & as I played music, I did not think this was right and so reverted to playing a cross section of music in order to play for everyone. At the end of the shift was fired.
I believe that there are times when officers use inappropriate force – especially when making arrests on warrants for nonviolent crimes (with implementation first thing in the morning) with many officers – guns drawn – kicking down doors. In such cases ‘excessive’ seems to cover these procedures.
Police; however, deal with difficult situations and, with the current pressure on them, they are going to think twice about what they are doing – which will likely lead to unintended consequences – where force may be merited and not utilized resulting in perhaps even more deaths.
We did not know George Floyd and I certainly believe he did not deserve to die this way; however, let’s not convict these officers without knowing all the facts.
It looks bad for Derek Chauvin and on the face of it hard to defend him in this article but again let’s let the proper judicial process happen.
One final important point is the media’s coverage of the Corona Virus as – the worst thing to hit humanity in 100 years – resulting in television ratings being off the charts with viewership. Now the racial protests are getting even more viewership than corona virus and the virus is barely mentioned and it makes me wonder – is it just about the ratings?
I believe the nonstop media coverage of the Floyd story is counter indicated as, in many respects, it tends to feedthe protests.
I really wonder if stations like CNN and MSNBC help to mobilize the protestors by glorifying their actions as guest after guest comes on these channels in support of what they are doing. I think any rational person will think the looting in some cities was out of control but any discussion on a tougher crackdown is generally being met with widespread condemnation or at least seen as being “politically incorrect”.
The media has helped feed the protests and thus the consequences.
Many people are questioning the sincerity of a large number of those protesting.
In conclusion, people are afraid to speak the truth; however, I will stand and state for anyone who will listen
These officers deserve a fair trial.