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Derek Chauvin Trial: Three Questions America Needs to Ask About Seeking Racial Justice in Court

Demonstrations outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on March 29, 2021, when Derek Chauvin’s trial began on suspicion of killing George Floyd. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images There is a difference between law enforcement and law. The world is now witnessing something else in the long history of the struggle for racial justice where this distinction may be ignored. Derek Chauvin, a 45-year-old white former Minneapolis police officer, was tried on May 25, 2020 for the death of 46-year-old George Floyd on two murders, three murders, and two manslaughter charges. Has been done. -African-American old man. As the trial unfolds, there are three questions that I find important to consider. These questions address the legal, moral, and political justification of verdicts in court. I offer them from my point of view as an Afro-Jewish philosopher and political thinker who studies oppression, justice and freedom. They were also raised by how the trial was conducted, which rules governed it, and the death of George Floyd after Derek Chauvin pressed his knees against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Talk about the differences between the bigger issues of racial justice. These are the questions you need to ask. 1. Can Chauvin be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt? Presumption of innocence in criminal justice is a hallmark of the US criminal justice system. The prosecutor must then prove the defendant’s guilt to a fellow jury of the defendant beyond reasonable doubt. However, US history reveals that these two conditions apply primarily to white citizens. Black defendants tend to be convicted until they prove to be innocent. Racism often leads to presumptions of rationality and good faith when the accused and witnesses are white, and irrationality and malice when the accused, witnesses, and even victims are black. .. Activists are monitoring the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on March 30, 2021. Via Kerem Yousel / AFP / Getty Images In addition, the race influences the selection of judges. The history of pure white juries for black defendants and the rare history of black juries for whites are evidence of the validity of white judgments against black Americans. In situations where a black defendant is rejected, a white defendant can be suspicious. Therefore, Chauvin, as a white man, could be admitted to his relentless suspicion, despite the evidence shared in front of millions of viewers in a livestreamed trial. 2. What is the difference between force and violence? The customary question to police officers who harm people focuses on the use of so-called “excessive force”. This presupposes the legal legitimacy of using force first in certain situations. But violence is an illegal use of force. As a result of racism, blacks are often described as preemptively guilty and dangerous. Therefore, when police officers claim to prevent violence, the appropriate explanation is “forced” when the threat of danger is recognized. This understanding makes it difficult to find police officers convicted of violence. Calling this act “violence” is to admit that it is inappropriate and therefore, in the case of physical violence, is within the scope of criminal law. If it is presumed that their use of force is legal, a matter of degree makes it nearly impossible for a jury to convict a police officer. Floyd, suspected of buying goods from a store with counterfeit banknotes, complained that Chauvin was handcuffed and unable to breathe when he pulled him from a police car and fell to the ground. Video of the incident revealed that Chauvin pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Floyd didn’t move in a few minutes, and when one of the police officers, Alexander Quen, checked, he had no pulse. Chauvin kept his knees until the rescue workers arrived and asked him to get off Floyd and see the patient who was stuck. If the force under the circumstances is unjustified, its use constitutes violence in both legal and moral sense. If the power is legitimate but things go wrong (for example, to prevent violence), it is presumed that a mistake has occurred rather than intentional cheating. An important relevant distinction lies between justification and excuses. Violence is not justified if the behavior is illegal. However, if justified, it can be overpowered. The question at that point is whether a rational person can understand the excess. That understanding makes behavior morally excuseable. Minneapolis Police Chief Medallia Aradondo testified, Court Television via Associated Press, Pool 3. Is there any excuse for police violence? Police are allowed to use their power to prevent violence. But at what point does power become violent? If its use is illegal. Under US law, its power is illegal when done “in the process of committing a crime.” Sgt. Former Chauvin coach David Preoger said in a trial: Minneapolis Police Chief Medallia Aradondo said, “Keep applying that level of force to those who are tired of being handcuffed behind their backs. He said,” It’s with the use of proper force. I strongly oppose what happened. ” The prosecutor’s view of the act as violent is a necessary conclusion on charges of murder and manslaughter. Both require malicious intent, or, legally speaking, intentional (“malicious”). The lack of reasonable excuses affects the legal interpretation of the law. The act was not to prevent violence, but to commit it instead, making it unforgivable. The Chauvin case, like many other cases, leads to the following question: What is the difference between enforcing the law and imagining it? Enforcing the law means acting within the scope of the law. It makes the action legal. Being a law forces others, even those who comply with the law, to be the subject of their actions under the enforcement. If no one is more than an enforcer, the enforcer will be raised beyond the law. Such people will only be responsible for themselves. Police officers and state officials who believe they are the law are on the law, not the enforcers or enforcers of the law. Legal justice requires that such personnel be brought back under the jurisdiction of the law. The purpose of the trial is, in principle, to make the accused obey the law rather than put it on the law. Where the accused is placed on the law, there is an unjustified judicial system. This article has been updated to correct the allegations facing Chauvin. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article has been republished by The Conversation, a non-profit news site aimed at sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by Luis R. Gordon of the University of Connecticut. Read more: The Derek Chauvin trial begins with the George Floyd murder: Five important readings on police violence against black men Police officers accused of brutal violence often have a history of civil complaints I will. Gordon does not work, consult, own shares, or receive funding for companies or organizations that benefit from this article, and discloses affiliations other than academic appointments. not.