Black and White Police Brutality

Bill Neinast

Last week was a week of disbelief.  Unbelievable incidents were falling on top of each other so quickly that it was hard to keep track.

First to grab attention was the video of a murder in real time.  This film was of Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin choking George Floyd to death in the presence of three other officers and several onlookers.

Floyd was prone and in handcuffs on the ground.  He had been apprehended on suspicion of attempting to pass a forged counterfeit bill.  For this heinous crime, Chauvin decided to keep him in custody by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes.  

Although Floyd could be heard saying that he could not breathe and onlookers were heard telling Chauvin that Floyd was not breathing, Chauvin and the other officers did noting to give him relief.

When  this video went viral, the only action by Minneapolis authorities was to suspend and then fire the four policemen involved.  Action to indicate that justice would be done was not taken until it became clear that massive protests were underway.

That slow response by the authorities was the next unbelievable event.  The video illustrated serious criminal misconduct. Individuals are routinely arrested and charged on much less evidence than this.

Why the delay?  If charges had been filed promptly, and a more detailed investigation would have developed evidence that Chauvin’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances, the charges could have been downgraded or dismissed.

Then, in quick succession, protests began in Minneapolis.  These quickly spread to cities throughout the country and those, just as quickly, morphed into riots with looting and vandalism.

The widespread, destructive riots are the most unbelievable of the three occurrences.  What is their purpose?  What do they accomplish?

Their basic premise is that all law enforcement personnel are racists.  The rioters are saying the actions and beliefs of one policeman represent the thinking of all wearing the badge.

The rioters holding signs that proclaim “Black Lives Matter” seem to be unaware of the cases where innocent Caucasians are killed by  policemen.

They ignore cases like the very similar one that occurred in Minneapolis three years ago.  A major difference between the older case and the current riots is that the races were reversed.  The policeman who killed a White innocent victim was Black.

According to Wikipedia, “On July 15, 2017, Justine Ruszczyk, also known as Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian-American woman, was fatally shot by Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American Minneapolis Police Department officer, after she had called 9-1-1 to report the possible assault of a woman in an alley behind her house. Noor was ultimately arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder following an eight-month investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. In April 2019, Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter, but acquitted of intentional second-degree murder.  In June 2019, Noor was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.” 

Incidents like this where a Caucasian is the subject or victim of one policeman going rogue are fairly routine.  Where are the protests and riots over those atrocities?

So here’s the perspective.

Regardless of the actions of George Floyd, the action of Derek Chauvin after Floyd was arrested and handcuffed are unjustified and inexcusable. 

There are a  dozen complaints against Derek Chauvin in the police database but they are listed as “non-public” and “no discipline.” The details of the incidents were not clear.

So Chauvin might be labeled a bad cop.  He, however, is only one among many thousands of law enforcement officers in the U.S.  Are they all to be called bad cops because of a few like Chauvin?

What are the riots, including assaults on officers attempting to retain order, going to do to the efforts to recruit more policemen that are already faltering.

That is the major question, or unbelief, of the week.



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