Chauvin Trial Harkens Back 75 Years To Another Police Abuse Trial…

I haven’t been watch­ing the Derek Chauvin mur­der tri­al I must admit, but some­thing on tele­vi­sion caught my ear this morn­ing as I was get­ting ready for work.
It was the way the judge pre­sid­ing over the tri­al of the mur­der­ous cops spoke to a young female EMT& Minneapolis fire­fight­er Genevieve Hansen, who cor­rect­ly pushed back at Chauvin’s lawyer.
Could he have been any clear­er in his con­tempt for the fact that the young EMT was giv­ing what he knew was a pow­er­ful and dam­ag­ing account of what she watched as a pro­fes­sion­al whose job it is to save lives?
So before we go any fur­ther, it is impor­tant to state that this is not the George Floyd mur­der tri­al. It is the Derek Chauvin mur­der tri­al. George Floyd was mur­dered in real-time as the world watched.
Dereck Chauvin killed him in real-time as the world watched.
There is noth­ing con­vo­lut­ed or com­plex about it. That’s what hap­pened unless you are will­ing to sus­pend what you saw and believe anoth­er iter­a­tion of why white police offi­cers can­not be con­vict­ed of the mur­der of Blacks.
Unless you want to con­tin­ue to believe that the old American law that a Black man has no right a white man is oblig­at­ed to respect is still the law.

The young firefighter/​EMT’s had every right to be testy, but this is some­thing that escaped the tri­al judge as he lec­tured the young woman, who clear­ly was emotional.

In his cross-exam­i­na­tion Tuesday after­noon, defense attor­ney Eric Nelson again honed in on the crowd’s behav­ior, ask­ing fire­fight­er Genevieve Hansen if she would agree that her own behav­ior became loud­er, more frus­trat­ed, and upset.

More des­per­ate,” Hansen replied.

Nelson asked whether Hansen would agree that stress­ful sit­u­a­tions can affect peo­ple’s mem­o­ry. Hansen replied, “absolute­ly,” adding that’s why it’s a good thing the video exists. In a tense exchange, Nelson asked whether the bystanders were becom­ing angri­er over time. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any­body be killed, but it’s upset­ting,” Hansen replied.
Later, fol­low­ing anoth­er tense moment when Hansen com­plained she had­n’t been allowed to fin­ish her answer, Judge Cahill issued a stern warn­ing to Hansen that she should answer Nelson’s ques­tions and refrain from being argu­men­ta­tive. “Do not argue with the court, do not argue with coun­sel,” Cahill said before adjourn­ing court for the day.
I decide when you are fin­ished answering”.
Totally uncalled for in tone and tenor.

Seventy-six (76) years ago, in a South Carolina court­room, anoth­er judge sat as the tri­al judge in anoth­er case of bla­tant abuse of pow­er by police. Army Sergeant Isaac Woodard, 26, was beat­en and blind­ed by a police chief and oth­er vio­lent, racist thugs in police uni­form. Woodard was trav­el­ing by bus to see his fam­i­ly; he was dressed in his mil­i­tary uni­form, hav­ing just returned from a long stretch at war.
Woodard asked the white bus dri­ver if he could stop so that he could relieve him­self, the dri­ver refused, and an argu­ment devel­oped. “Sit down boy”, the imbe­cil­ic dri­ver told Seargant Woodard. The dri­ver stopped at the next town and report­ed the exchange to the police, who prompt­ly ordered Sergeant Woodard off the bus and imme­di­ate­ly com­menced beat­ing him.
Sergeant Woodard was charged with a litany of trumped-up charges and con­vict­ed. The police chief was even­tu­al­ly charged with Sergeant Woodard’s blind­ing, but the all-white jury, in typ­i­cal fash­ion, set him free after delib­er­at­ing for only a few minutes.
Sounds Familiar?
See the sto­ry below.

The tri­al judge, in that case, Judge J. Waties Waring, dis­agreed with the rul­ing. Judge Waring would become an inte­gral part­ner in the fight for social jus­tice dur­ing the civ­il rights fights of the 1960s.
Judge Waring’s recog­ni­tion of the wrongs in the American jus­tice sys­tem 75 years ago should not be con­sid­ered a sign that we live in bet­ter times.
The American Justice System was built as a bar­ri­er between whites who enjoy all of the priv­i­leges of a free soci­ety and Blacks who are to be kept sub­ju­gat­ed and in their place as sec­ond-class citizens.
To ensure that the sys­tem works as planned, they cre­at­ed the con­cept of ‘polic­ing,’ which is an off­shoot of slave-catching.
They empow­ered them to do what­ev­er they feel is nec­es­sary to keep Blacks in their place.
For those rea­sons, white juries have stead­fast­ly refused to con­vict white police offi­cers who mur­der Black Americans. They see the actions of those uni­formed killers as doing [exact­ly] what they asked them to do.
It is a sys­tem that can­not be changed with per­sua­sion; it must be vig­or­ous­ly tack­led stri­dent­ly at the bal­lot box and over­turned, and a new sys­tem cre­at­ed in its stead.



.Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, black achiev­er hon­oree, and cre­ator of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 

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