About the author: Jermaine Reed, MFA is a college English professor and writer from Chicago who creates fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. For self-publishers, authors and other writers and Creatives, Jermaine provides proofreading on Fivver. Please join Jermaine’s email list to get notifications on new blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get his recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.
As the Derek Chauvin case draws closer to an end and the defense resting after Chauvin chose not to testify, one thing has become clear: Chauvin, the former officer on trial for the unlawful murder of unarmed Black man George Floyd, will be found guilty of some form of murder. The real question that remains is, how much time will Chauvin receive?
For far too long, police trials for unlawful murdering of unarmed Black men have been purely procedural, a required show for the public in which the officer is let off. Now, with more pressure associated with Black Lives Matters protests, the trials have yielded some small resemblance of justice. Officers like Amber Guyger are being found guilty of killing innocent Black men but are being given comically light sentences and hugs from the judge. What we need is more than a guilty verdict; what we need is life sentences and corporal punishment for officers who willfully take an innocent life in the line of duty.
Though the criminal justice system has been heavy-handed in sentencing Black men, it has been lax in punishing bad law enforcement. In many cases, as a factor to mitigate sentencing, judges note the accused officer’s work as an officer; this is paradoxical. Shouldn’t an officer who breaks his or her oath be punished more harshly because that person was an officer of the law and broke his or her oath to protect?
Moreover, in a case where an officer unlawfully takes an innocent life in the line of duty, the death penalty should be considered. An officer who slays in the line of duty is a menace to society. That officer has demonstrated a willingness to kill, sometimes for racially motivated reasons. Any officer who executes another human being is more dangerous than the innocent person that officer murders.
So, what does this mean for Derrick Chauvin? This former officer intentionally kneeled on an unresisting man’s throat until that man died. This act took nearly ten minutes. If Chauvin did not mean to kill Floyd, he did not care if he did. This is called having a reckless disregard for human life. This is equal to premeditated murder in the eyes of the law and punished as such; killing someone with reckless disregard for life is literally first-degree murder. Chauvin deserves life in prison, since this is what he did.
In closing, Chauvin is on his way to a guilty verdict; he has no defense. Though his lawyer claims Floyd died of a drug overdose and heart problems, every single medical examiner and pathologist that testified said Chauvin murdered Floyd. How much time Chauvin will get depends on the Court. Black people have heard every excuse as to why justice doesn’t serve their side of town. Chauvin should not see the light of day again.
Change is coming, and Black Lives Matter.
UPDATE: As of 04/20/2021, Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of all charges.
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