A Watershed Moment? What does The Chauvin Verdict Mean For The Future?
A collective sigh of relief was released as the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case was announced: guilty on all counts. Was justice served? While nothing will bring George Floyd back to his family and loved ones, the verdict most certainly demonstrated that it is possible to hold police officers accountable for their actions.
The trial itself was unlike so many others before it. Notably, the thin blue line stood for justice, rather than blindly supporting errant officers. As one officer after another testified against Chauvin, it became clear that things were changing within this police department. Chief Arradondo led the charge for justice, telling the jury that Chauvin’s actions were absolutely not acceptable, and that they demonstrated a disregard for both policing and for human life. Will this be a turning point in the way police interact with the public, and with the way trials related to police action unwind in the future?
A Pattern of Violence Against Brown and Black
White authority has a long and sordid history of violence against minorities. With modern policing having its roots in southern slave patrols prior to the civil war, followed by the enforcement of Black Crow laws, there’s no reason to doubt that the tentacles of racism reach far and wide in policing in 2021. The ugly history of unpunished lynchings has often been replaced by police brutality in new and equally ugly forms. But the Chauvin verdict, in tandem with the social justice movement of late, may have changed the trajectory of justice in America.
A Change in the Debate
While previous discussions of police brutality centered around the “one bad apple” theory, recent demonstrations have pushed people to consider the possibility that institutional issues run deep– and policing itself needs to be reformed. Cities across the country are diverting funding from policing to mental health programs, job training, and other health agendas. In Austin, for example, money has been reallocated to support substance abuse programs, victim support, and even parks. Other reforms are aimed at taking away the roadblocks that have made it so difficult to fire officers who are racist, brutal and/or unjust. The goal of improving standards and expectations, as well as accountability for law enforcement personnel, underlies some of the movement for change. Certainly, as the discussion progresses, public input will drive outcomes unlike ever before.
Have you been the victim of unethical policing? At Lobo Law, our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are committed to justice. We will put forth an arduous effort on behalf of our clients. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.