Derek Chauvin guilty, but riots will hurt Minneapolis for generations

"The pre-Chauvin trial/Daunte Wright riots threaten justice longer-term, as well: They discourage anyone from joining the police force. Some 200 officers have quit the Minneapolis Police Department or taken extended leave due to last year’s BLM riots. Who wants a modest-paying, potentially deadly job where you are regularly accused of genocidally 'hunting' black people?" - Acton

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Ken S's picture

Yep, all of the things he listed are terrible and will have lasting negative effects. And so will bad policing, which he left out (I might say, conveniently left out). It's not an either or, it's both. Video is everywhere now, and bad police work will continue to be highlighted. There seems to be an effort by some to focus only on the riots and violence, and to justify bad cops. Both evils need to be recognized and spoken against.

Bert Perry's picture

I'm one who's believed from day one that Chauvin needed to do some time--it's hard to argue that the force he used wasn't excessive when his knee stayed there four minutes after Floyd lost consciousness and two minutes after they couldn't find a pulse on him--but the way they got there has any number of places where we ought to cringe at the handling of the trial, at the handling of evidence, and more.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

What I find funny is that the conservatives will look at these liberal approaches and ignore highlighting the injustice but focus on the rioting.  You saw this top down from Trump all the way down through the ranks.  But when the conservatives look at their approaches, they focus on the injustice (stolen election) and ignore highlighting the problems of the rioting.  Liberal rioting will focus on the evils of Antifa and the damage the rioting does.  Conservative rioting will focus on how calm everyone was and downplay white supremacy as people of the heartland.

Bert Perry's picture

What liberal approaches are you talking about, David?  Defunding the police--possibly including doing so altogether, as Rashida Tlaib demanded?  Not punishing certain crimes?

It strikes me that in a manner of speaking, the situation we're in is the result of these liberal policies.  Big cities run by Democrats have decided not to aggressively arrest and punish Antifa protesters--hence we get a lot more of their riots, and they've gotten more destructive.  Big cities make a fair number of "affirmative action hires" , and we're getting more hideous errors with officers who may not be qualified.  They skimp on the number of officers, and then we wonder why those overworked officers are making mistakes they'd not have made if they'd had a reasonable workload.

The net result is that a lot of people in those cities are needlessly dying because the criminal justice structure is reeling and is not capable of doing what it needs to do.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joel Shaffer's picture

Bert, you realize that defunding the police is not part of the democratic platform? The Rashida Tlaib's are still a minority within their own party. It is only wealthy, Master and Doctor-Level Elites among liberals where Defunding is popular. Almost 80% of African Americans across the country are not in favor of it either. Although, what's interesting is I know a few moderate conservative urban ministers in Chicago that are leaning in favor of police defunding in Chicago because they've seen so much corruption and injustices by certain Chicago Precincts that they are beyond the tipping point. There has been so much attempted reform, but the powerful, corrupt police unions block any reform attempts so their only solution is to take away their money to get their attention.  

The city of Grand Rapids is run by liberal Democrats (Mayor, majority of City Commissioners, etc...)for the past 40-50 years and as a city, we have been economically prosperous.  Same for Atlanta GA. They've always been run by liberal democrats, yet they are economically prosperous as well. I mention this so that you do not fall in the trap of Hasty Generalizations. There are multiple reasons why a city does not flourish----much more than liberal policies. 

Interestingly, Grand Rapids is the 2nd worst city in the country for economic prosperity for African-Americans and Atlanta is the #1 best city for economic prosperity for African-Americans. I've had over 1000 of my former students in GR (all African-American) over the past 25 years move to Atlanta because there is more economic opportunity for them there (social networks, and etc...)

dgszweda's picture

Well, what I will say will definitely be controversial, but I am in agreement in defunding the police.  Unfortunately, the term defunding has been used improperly across the spectrum and has been abused by the conservative side of the aisle as a definition to abolish the police.  No I do not think that police should be abolished.  What I do think is that we are stretching police way beyond their capabilities, and frankly beyond the capabilities of anyone.  We have serious issues that drive crime.  It should not be the polices responsibility to eliminate crime.  For example, there are probably better ways to deal with mental illness than to wait until the individual becomes a problem, and then send police in to stop what this individual eventually does.  We need to invest money into the right individuals and right skillsets to address mental illness in our communities.  This is just one example.  And before anyone says, I don't support police, that is wrong.  I do a tremendous amount both monetarily and through fund raising to support police.  I participate and drive extensive fund raising (into the 7-figures) initiatives in my community amongst a broad range of police groups.

I can tell you that an overwhelming amount of the police teams and agencies that I have interacted with agree with my assessment above.  This is not about cutting police and making them do more or the same with less.  It is about focusing them on what they are good at and moving some funds to other groups that are better at doing other things.  You can just search on Google, "Are we asking police to do too much" and you will get many results back from law enforcement agencies.  Here is a great video from David Brown the chief of the Dallas police department.  And no, it is not in reaction to recent events.  This video is from many years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RtnQ2GqBeg

We have somehow taken some weird kind of approach in this country, which is focused on not fixing the root of the issues, but in spending more and more money on police forces on enforcement through fines and incarceration and to protect others from these people.  Our focus is not on fixing the drug problem, but in hiring more officers to chase down drug dealers and lock them up.  It is a weird model.

Don Johnson's picture

dgszweda wrote:

For example, there are probably better ways to deal with mental illness than to wait until the individual becomes a problem, and then send police in to stop what this individual eventually does.  We need to invest money into the right individuals and right skillsets to address mental illness in our communities. 

I don't know about American law on this point, but in Canada, liberal policies shut down facilities that cared for the mentally ill and reversed the policy that mentally ill people could be held against their will. The consequence is a rise of mentally ill people on the street, often compounded by drug addiction (because its available on the street). This isn't to day that these folks should just be locked up, but it is easy to say "police shouldn't handle mental health." Sure. But who will handle it? How will they handle it.

Most so called "defunding the police" patter is thoughtless drivel. Unless someone has real comprehensive ideas as an alternative, simply defunding the police is madness.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

M. Osborne's picture

Don, I read this article in World magazine late last year:

https://wng.org/articles/slipping-through-the-cracks-1617695108

The under-the-headline text summarizes it well: "Five decades ago the United States’ mental health system shifted to protect patients’ civil liberties. But those protections leave few options to help people who don’t realize they need psychiatric care."

I can't say that I constantly work with drug addicts and mentally ill people (or even dementia patients), but I've come away with the impression that outside of God's work to completely transform a heart, it seems well nigh impossible to work for a person's objective good and preserve their autonomy.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Bert Perry's picture

David, no doubt there are things we could do better, but what I've seen here in MN is along the lines of what most people would see as the meaning of "defund the police"; reduce or terminate funding altogether.   I've heard the argument that "oh no, that's not what we meant", but reality is that what happened in Minneapolis and a bunch of other cities was precisely the dictionary definition, and Minneapolis is down something like 200 officers from a couple of years back.  Crime is responding accordingly, as anyone who remembers the 1960s and 1970s would have told you.  

Also relevant is that people who are overworked and frazzled tend to make a lot more mistakes than those who have an appropriate workload and support--and this is going to show itself in periodic egregious mistakes.  So my take is that "defund the police" means precisely what the dictionary says it means, and it's getting people killed needlessly because we're forgetting that criminals who are in jail don't commit crimes on the streets.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

Also relevant is that people who are overworked and frazzled tend to make a lot more mistakes than those who have an appropriate workload and support--and this is going to show itself in periodic egregious mistakes.  So my take is that "defund the police" means precisely what the dictionary says it means, and it's getting people killed needlessly because we're forgetting that criminals who are in jail don't commit crimes on the streets.

My view of defund police and what most people mean who I talk to, is to reallocate funds.  I am not in agreement with the approaches taken in places like Portland, although I for sure know that there are those who go as far as to say that we should abolish police.

I do agree that police are overworked, they have to make very hard decisions in a short period of time, their lives are on the line which escalates stress considerably making decisions even harder, and they are asked to do and to solve too many situations.  My view is that we should keep police focused on those activities that add the right kind of value and are aligned to what they can handle.  We should leverage or create other groups.  If we had separate teams that are not focused on protection and enforcement but are focused on de-escalation in non-violent activities, it would take a huge load off of the police.  If we had teams that took care of mental illness, drug use and domestic situations, that would take a huge load off of police.  That would result in police budgets being reduced, but at the same time should take a least a proportional if not greater workload off of them.  It may mean less police, but with a goal of making a more effective police force.

Joeb's picture

Like Bert from the start I knew the Officer used an illegal restraint.  In fact the Prosecution's witness basically said what I was taught for 27 1/2 years.  The neck is a no go zone for a control point period.  Hence the conviction of the Police Officer.  
 

However with the above said my Older Brother who lived and raised his kids in Minneapolis opined that the City Council in Minneapolis is so Liberal that they are going to destroy the city   My Brother further opined that with their restraints and defunding of the Police Department  no one wants to go into Minneapolis from the suburbs anymore.  It's also  due to how the Extreme Left City Council has handled everything   Plus my Brother is saying this and he was and is a never Trumper and all his kids and grand kids live in Minneapolis.  The last Church he Pastored was right next to the old domed stadium.     

 

Jim's picture

Joeb wrote:
 no one wants to go into Minneapolis from the suburbs anymore.

Avoid downtown - stay away from ground zero

https://www.foxnews.com/us/minneapolis-george-floyd-square-special-instr...

Since Floyd’s death, the area has been converted into an "autonomous zone" that’s brought record levels of violent crime and gun violence to the neighborhood.

https://www.blackenterprise.com/black-owned-businesses-struggle-at-georg...

“The Black businesses along George Floyd Square have suffered greatly. Lack of traffic down this once busy street has led to an unintended economic downfall for these businesses. As the community continues to hold space, it is imperative that decision makers consider the economic toll that has been paid. These once prospering Black businesses have seen great revenue loss, over 75% loss to date. To date, there has been no financial reprieve from the city of Minneapolis or the local business association. These businesses feel they have been the sacrificial lamb of the movement and while everyone agrees that justice for George Floyd is the ultimate goal, it should not come at the cost of losing one’s livelihood especially for these Black families,” a GoFundMe post said.

The 38th Street Black Business Collective mentioned that Smoke In The Pit, Inc., Dragon Wok, Just Turkey, and Urban Touch Boutique are among businesses that were local favorites. They are in need of financial support.

Bert Perry's picture

Though I'm grateful for Joe's kindness, I didn't know from the start that it was an illegal restraint.  I did note,though, that I was amazed that anyone thought it would be appropriate to keep said restraint on a person four minutes after he lost consciousness and two minutes after they lost his pulse.

Really, one of the saddest things here is that we've had an excellent chance to take a look at procedures, the law, figuring out opioid overdose (it's harder with black people because the melanin hides the blue of blood without much oxygen in it), and the like--and we've thrown that chance away.  One thing that is a question of mine in particular is whether excessive use of force by an officer is a crime.  It should be, but I don't know whether it is in most states/localities.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

Looked it up today; I don't believe Minnesota clearly specifies that use of excessive force by a police officer is a crime.  Now it would be hard to clarify that, but....imagine how much less strife we would have had in this state if the prosecutor had simply been able to say "Mr. Chauvin, here's the law in black & white, you're clearly in violation, here's the deal I'm offering you."

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.