The visual documentation of the crime against George Floyd, the year of protest it unleashed and now the wall-to-wall coverage of the trial have supercharged expectations heading into jury deliberations that will decide Chauvin’s guilt, but also have come, in anticipation, to feel like a moment of justice.
We have been here before, with the trials of those who attacked Rodney King, Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor. More than ever, the country feels like it’s looking for some accountability, even if the jury is being asked to judge one man.
Already the reckoning over policing has led to new state laws, many of which break along the normal political lines — but some of which don’t.
Democrats and activists said the law would cut down on protesters’ ability to assemble and have a chilling effect on the very American acts of protests and nonviolent civil unrest.
Irony alert. We have to mention here that DeSantis and other Republicans arguing for personal freedoms from the government in terms of Covid-19 and public safety are here cutting down on personal freedoms. And some of the same Democrats arguing for Covid restrictions oppose DeSantis’ move.
But there is bipartisanship too. Less cynical than the “anti-mob” legislation DeSantis wants to label as “pro-police” is the bipartisan legislation moving more slowly in Florida that would ban police chokeholds.
It will be interesting to see if DeSantis, who has worked hard get headlines that endear him to conservatives, will back a bipartisan bill pushed by the state’s Black Caucus.
He said the original aims of the bills had been overtaken by “political agendas.”
There is the potential for federal policing legislation, but until large numbers of Republican senators buy in, I will remain skeptical it can pass.
President Joe Biden, while supportive of the legislation that is named for George Floyd, is clearly more focused on his infrastructure plan at the moment and has backed off a campaign promise to create a police oversight commission.
The pieces are there for an explosive situation. Videos of police intimidating or killing Black men continue to surface with alarming regularity.
It’s clear that, a year after Floyd’s death and as the cop who killed him faces a jury, the problem of policing is far from solved.
“We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” she said, drawing criticism for encouraging Minnesotans to ignore a curfew if they must.
” ‘Curfew’ means I want you all to stop talking. I want you to stop meeting. I want you to stop gathering. I don’t agree with that,” she added.
“I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function,” Judge Peter Cahill added. “I think if they want to give their opinions, they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution, to respect a co-equal branch of government.”
He went on, “Their failure to do so I think is abhorrent, but I don’t think it’s prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury.”
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