George Floyd Victim of American Police Culture
The death of George Floyd and the subsequent trial of the police officer who a jury later decided is responsible for Floyd’s death does not address what police culture which really is at the heart of this issue. The officer who appeared in court was like a lamb led to slaughter. He was the scapegoat.
One just wonders how many times the officer held down others in the same way as Floyd was held.
As for the trial, the officer was charged with second and third degree murder and manslaughter.
I can understand the manslaughter charge because there was nothing intentional about Floyd’s death; but why charge him with murder. The officer may be responsible for Floyd’s death but that does not necessarily mean it was murder if it was not intentional.
It seems to me that the officer concerned has been made the scapegoat for everything that is wrong with police culture in certain areas of the US. It is easier to make individual officers pay the price for their mistakes rather than the police organisation. People make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes cause the death of another person.
Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every year as they have to deal with some real ratbags and on top of that run the risk of ending up in prison if they make a mistake. Young men and women who are contemplating a career in law enforcement may want to think twice before entering this profession.
In the trial of Derek Chauvin the defence tried to put forth the argument that Floyd’s death was caused by something other than the force applied to the victim’s neck while the officer was holding him down. I would have thought that argument was irrelevant since the officer had no intention to kill Floyd in the first place.
It is more of a case of death by misadventure rather than murder?
There was another case in Minnesota where a law enforcement officer accidentally shot a young man. She went to grab her taser and pulled out her gun by mistake. The result of this mistake was that the young man died. In that case, the officer was charged as well.
It was a simple mistake. just like a deer hunter who accidentally shoots and kills another deer hunter. It happens every year in New Zealand. As with the police officers in Minnesota, each case is treated on its merits with charges laid accordingly, but a deer hunter who accidentally kills another is certainly not charged with murder.
What I am trying to say is that the bar for charging someone with murder in America seems to be quite low.
In Florida around 2010 or 2011, nineteen-year-old Jennifer Mee agreed to go on a date with a young man she had contacted on Facebook with the intention of robbing him. Her two male friends attempted to rob him and it was during this process the victim was fatally shot. Under Florida law all participants in a fatal robbery are equally guilty of murder whether the were directly involved in the fatality or not.
Jennifer was advised to defend the charges but was unsuccessful and she was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. How does one justify such a severe sentence when there are so many cruel murders committed that received the same sentence; in some cases a lighter sentence.
Is this justice?
When people talk about justice for the victim what they really mean is to take revenge on behalf of the victim. Revenge or retribution as it is sometimes called is just another form of hate which at the end of does not achieve anything.