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Opinion

The Derek Chauvin trial should be a referendum on police training, but instead is focused on race

Solely concentrating on a supposed racial element in the tragic death of George Floyd makes no sense. It has not even been shown that race was an issue – and yet the real problem of bad police training is getting zero attention.

When Benjamin Crump, who is the head of George Floyd’s family’s legal team, stated that the Derek Chauvin case would be a referendum on how far America has come with race relations, I cringed a bit. More than anything, it was because the statement couldn’t miss the mark harder if it tried. I am of the opinion that Derek Chauvin, based on the video evidence that has been presented thus far and his record as a police officer, was not good at his job. I would also completely agree that George Floyd’s death was completely preventable. None of the above has anything to do with skin color.

Many legal experts on both sides of the political aisle have stated that it is going to be an uphill battle to convict George Floyd’s alleged killer of any of the charges that stand in front of him. Whether it’s second-degree murder, third-degree murder, or second-degree manslaughter, the aggression and malice that is required for those particular charges don’t seem to be present. At least not in the video that we have all seen. Chauvin did not throw any racial epithets at Floyd during the process, nor did he seem particularly aggressive. It seems that the dumbest thing that he did was to place his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck, but that apparently was part of his training.

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However, that particular statement doesn’t absolve him of any wrongdoing. I would hope that anyone who is trained to restrain someone, especially someone who says they are having problems breathing, would be smart enough not to put their knee on the back of their neck. How it ever became part of training police officers to do such a thing is beyond me. This is something that deserves serious discussion, because there is the clear possibility that police officers, at least in Minnesota, need to be trained better to handle people who are in medical duress. Maybe there needs to be a better understanding of how to handle such situations so no one has to go through this again. 

When it comes to this case, I think there are several things that are not relevant to how the decision needs to be rendered. George Floyd’s criminal past is irrelevant because he has inalienable rights protected by the United States Constitution just like anyone else. On the flip side, George Floyd’s race is irrelevant as well. This particular case has nothing to do with race relations in the United States, because this situation could have happened to anyone. It is the simple fact that it could happen to anyone that should be frightening people, but it isn’t. Why? Because the race narrative gets more ratings, and gets more donations and public appearances for race-baiters.

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© Reuters / David Delgado
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This whole situation, and everything else that has surrounded it, is a giant circus. People have stood on the grave of George Floyd so much since his death that they may as well put a podium on it for convenience. This is a good example of bad policing, what not to do as a police officer, and the necessity to reevaluate how police officers treat people who clearly aren’t in good health or in their right mind. Accountability for bad action as someone in authority should be at the forefront of discussion, but because Don Lemon, Al Sharpton and other people like them in the mainstream media are so focused on melanin we will never really get to the real concerns.

The fact is that there is no referendum here because we can’t focus on what actually matters, and there are too many people loudly missing the point who aren’t being told to shut up. Until Western culture is comfortable pointing out the race-baiters who want to grift off of anger, we’re never going to actually progress.

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