The death of George Floyd and the subsequent trial of the police officer a jury later found responsible for Floyd’s death does not address the police culture that is really at the heart of this problem. The officer who appeared before the court was like a lamb led to the slaughter. He was the scapegoat.

One only wonders how many times the officer restrained others in the same manner as Floyd.

As for the trial, the officer was charged with second and third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

I can understand the manslaughter charge because there was nothing intentional about Floyd’s death; but why accuse him of murder? The officer may be responsible for Floyd’s death, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was murder if it was unintentional.

It seems to me that the officer in question has become the scapegoat for everything that is wrong with police culture in certain areas of the United States. It is easier to make individual officers pay the price for their mistakes than the police organization. People make mistakes and sometimes these mistakes cause the death of another person.

Law enforcement officers risk their lives every year as they have to deal with real thieves and also risk ending up in prison if they make a mistake. Young men and women who are contemplating a career in law enforcement may want to think twice about entering this profession.

At Derek Chauvin’s trial, the defense tried to make the case that Floyd’s death was caused by something other than force applied to the victim’s neck while the officer restrained him. I would have thought that argument was irrelevant since the officer had no intention of killing Floyd in the first place.

Is this more a case of unfortunate death than murder?

There was another case in Minnesota where a young man was accidentally shot by a law enforcement officer. He went to grab the taser from him and pulled the gun on him by mistake. The result of this mistake was that the young man died. In that case, the officer was also charged.

It was a simple mistake. Like a deer hunter who accidentally shoots and kills another deer hunter. It happens every year in New Zealand. As with police officers in Minnesota, each case is tried on its merits and charges are filed, but a deer hunter who accidentally kills another is certainly not charged with murder.

What I’m trying to say is that the bar for charging someone with murder in America seems to be pretty low.

In Florida around 2010 or 2011, nineteen-year-old Jennifer Mee agreed to go on a date with a young man she had contacted on Facebook with the intent to rob him. Her two male friends attempted to rob it and it was during this process that the victim was fatally shot. Under Florida law, all participants in a fatal robbery are equally guilty of murder, whether or not they were directly involved in the fatality.

Jennifer was advised to plead the charges, but was unsuccessful and was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. How is such a severe sentence justified when so many cruel murders are committed that received the same sentence; in some cases a lighter sentence.

Is this justice?

When people talk about justice for the victim, what they really mean is revenge on behalf of the victim. Revenge or retribution, as it is sometimes called, is just another form of hate that ultimately accomplishes nothing.

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