Throw the Book at Killer Cops
Derek Chauvin is a convicted murderer, and he needs to be treated as such.
He should not be shown any leniency because he used to be a police officer. He should not be given any special treatment because he killed a man in the line of duty. In fact, he should be punished more severely, because he broke the public’s trust.
Law enforcement officers are supposed to protect and serve the people of their communities. Murdering those very people is the opposite of protecting them. It is the opposite of serving them.
Ordinary citizens are defenseless when faced with overly aggressive cops. We can’t fight back. We’re not allowed. They are armed and we are not. If we physically defend ourselves, there are two possible scenarios, and neither have good outcomes.
In the best-case scenario, we get beaten and prosecutors pile on charges for resisting arrest. In the worst-case scenario, we give cops legal justification to kill us. The only thing we can do is take our lumps, beg for our lives, cross our fingers and hope we don’t die.
That’s pretty much what George Floyd tried, and the entire nation saw what happened. Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, as numerous onlookers pleaded with the officer to stop and recorded his horrific actions. Chauvin, a man who had 17 previous complaints against him, believed he was above the law, because cops are allowed to kill civilians with impunity 99.9 percent of the time.
But not this time.
Derek Chauvin’s actions stunned the nation, but only because it was caught on video. Had it not been, he would still be a police officer, and he would still be patrolling the streets of Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Police Department initially reported to the media that George Floyd died as a result of a medical incident.
Even after the shocking video exposed the truth, days passed before Chauvin was arrested, as anger grew across the country. Let’s not forget, it wasn’t until furious demonstrators in Minnesota razed a police precinct before the state finally took action.
There are three phases when it comes to imprisoning a killer. First, prosecutors must charge an individual with a crime. When it comes to our nation’s killer cops, that alone has traditionally been a near impossible hurdle to overcome, since officers are given such wide latitude. All a cop has to do is say they feared for their life, and they are usually let off the hook, no matter how ridiculous and suspect that claim may be.
In the rare instances in which an officer is charged and brought to trial, they then need to be convicted. This has proven nearly impossible over the years, even when there has been irrefutable video evidence of wrongdoing. One need only recollect the Los Angeles Police Department officers who were acquitted of brutally beating Rodney King in 1992 to understand how much leeway juries give cops.
Today, the Chauvin case presents a truly unusual circumstance. A killer cop who was charged and convicted by the jury. Now, we enter phase three. The sentencing phase. Here is where the judge needs to send a message, not just to Chauvin but to every skittish cop who otherwise wouldn’t think twice about taking a person’s life.
Chauvin deserves the maximum sentence. He is facing up to 40 years in prison. He deserves 40 years in prison. At age 45, that would pretty much be a life sentence, and that is exactly what this shocking crime merits.
Cops who break the public’s trust, like Chauvin, cannot be shown one scintilla of mercy. Men like Chauvin have no place in our nation’s police force, and they have no place in our society. They must be made pariahs and punished like any other murderer.
Throw the book at him.