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Derek Chauvin ‘Trial: 3 Questions America Must Ask To Achieve Racial Justice in Court

A demonstration outside the Hennepin County government center in Minneapolis on March 29, 2021, the day the trial of Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd began. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images There is a difference between enforcing the law and being the law. The world is now experiencing another in a long history of struggles for racial justice in which this distinction can be ignored. Derek Chauvin, a 45-year-old white former Minneapolis police officer, is on trial for second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter on May 25, 2020, the death of 46-year-old George Floyd -old African American. There are three questions that I need to consider as the process progresses. These questions deal with the legal, moral and political legitimacy of a judgment in the process. I offer it from my point of view as an Afro-Jewish philosopher and political thinker who deals with oppression, justice and freedom. They also talk about the differences between the way a process is conducted, what rules govern it – and the larger issue of racial justice raised by George Floyd’s death after Derek Chauvin got his knee on Floyd’s for more than nine minutes Had squeezed the neck. There are questions that need to be asked: 1. Can chauvin be found unequivocally guilty? The presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings is a feature of the US criminal justice system. And a prosecutor must unequivocally prove the defendant’s guilt to a jury of the defendant’s peers. However, United States history shows that these two conditions apply primarily to white citizens. Black defendants are usually treated as guilty until proven innocent. Racism often leads to presumptions of reasonableness and good intentions when defendants and witnesses are white, and irrationality and malice when defendants, witnesses, and even victims are black. An activist observes the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin outside the Hennepin County government center in Minneapolis on March 30, 2021. Kerem Yucel / AFP / via Getty Images Additionally, the race will affect jury selection. The history of all-white juries for black defendants, and rarely black juries for whites, is evidence of the presumption that the judgment of whites against that of black Americans is valid. A white defendant may be admitted to doubts under circumstances where he would be denied a black defendant. So, as a white, chauvin was able to get that exculpatory doubt despite the evidence shared in front of millions of viewers in a live streaming process. 2. What is the difference between violence and violence? The usual questioning of police officers who cause harm to people focuses on the use of so-called “excessive force”. This presupposes the legal legitimacy of the use of force in the specific situation. However, violence is the use of illegitimate violence. As a result of racism, blacks are often portrayed as preventively guilty and dangerous. It follows that the perceived danger makes “violence” an appropriate description when a police officer claims to prevent violence. This understanding makes it difficult to find police officers guilty of violence. Calling the act “violence” means recognizing that it is inappropriate and therefore falls within the scope of criminal law in the case of physical violence. Once their use of force is deemed legitimate, the degree issue makes it nearly impossible for juries to find officers guilty. Floyd, suspected of buying items from a store with a forged bill, was handcuffed and complaining of being unable to breathe when Chauvin pulled him out of the police vehicle and he fell face down on the floor. Footage of the incident showed that Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd was motionless for a few minutes and had no pulse when Alexander Kueng, one of the officers, checked. Chauvin did not remove his knee until paramedics arrived and asked him to get off Floyd so they could examine the motionless patient. If violence is not justified in the circumstances, its use would constitute both legal and moral violence. Where violence is legitimate (for example to prevent violence) but something goes wrong, it is assumed that a mistake has occurred rather than willful misconduct. An important, related distinction is between justification and excuse. Violence is not justified if the act is unlawful. However, when justified, violence can become excessive. The question at this point is whether a sane person could understand the excess. This understanding makes the act morally excusable. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified, Court TV via AP, Pool 3. Is there ever excusable police violence? The police can use force to prevent violence. But when does power turn into violence? When its use is prohibited. Under US law, the force is illegal if it is committed “in the course of a criminal offense”. Sgt. David Pleoger, Chauvin’s former supervisor, stated at the trial: “When Mr. Floyd stopped resisting the officers, they could have ended their reluctance.” Medaria Arradondo, Minneapolis Police Chief, testified, “To continue using this violence on a person who is handcuffed behind their back, shape or form is in no way political.” He stated, “I strongly disagree that this was an appropriate use of force. ” That an act has been classified as violent by the prosecution, defined as the illegitimate use of force resulting in death, is a necessary inference for the murder and manslaughter charge. Both require bad intentions or, legally speaking, a male reaction (“bad spirit”). The lack of an adequate apology affects the legal interpretation of the law. The fact that the act did not prevent violence but committed it made the act inexcusable. The Chauvin case, like so many others, leads to the question: What is the difference between enforcing the law and the idea of ​​being the law? Enforcing the law means acting within the law. That makes the action legitimate. Being the law forces others, even law abiding people, under the executor, to submit to their actions. If no one is equal to or above the executor, the executor is raised above the law. Such people would only be accountable to themselves. Police officers and all civil servants who believe they are the law, as opposed to implementers or executors of the law, put themselves above the law. Legal justice requires that such officials be withdrawn from under the jurisdiction. The purpose of a trial is, in principle, to bring the accused under the law instead of putting him, her or her over it. Where the accused is placed above the law, there is an unjust judicial system. This article has been updated to correct the fees Chauvin faces. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article was republished by The Conversation, a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Lewis R. Gordon, University of Connecticut. Read more: Derek Chauvin Trial Begins in George Floyd Murder: 5 Key Readings on Police Violence Against Black Men Police officers accused of brutal violence often have complaints from citizens. White supremacy is at the root of all racial violence in the United States. Lewis R. Gordon does not work for any company or organization that would benefit from this article, does not consult any stocks or companies that would benefit from this article, and has not disclosed any relevant affiliations beyond her academic appointment.


Dusty Kennedy