Justice is a strange mechanism. Its supposed to work, its supposed to ensure those who are massively disaffected get justice but often it works the other way round. The police being one of those who often get away with considerably worse. They say the law is an ass. It is a total ass. It doesn’t work because its stuck in the past. Just as policing is too. Yes there are lots of wrongdoings however if the law works in the way it does then there’s no doubt the unfortunate side effects of the law, policing and justice will always be present. Its not a system suited to the 21st century and indeed the notion the police should be defunded does have merits. So it is that in the last few minutes Derek Chauvin has been found guilty – and perhaps this might be the moment of transition we are seeking.
I’ve written about the police many times in the past, but that is in part because of how they treated me. In a sense I know what it is like to be targeted like other minorities because I am in a minority too – and one that doesn’t get much credence from the police because the police prefer a special type of person, a privileged person in fact, and its much like preferring white people over Blacks except in my case its preferring those who can communicate over those who cant. No matter how much campaigning we have done or awareness training we have tried to get carried out, its the same for other communities too, even Black ones, when we try to air our concerns and it just doesn’t work. Indeed it does seem that police officers are massively stuck in the past, and that is a major problem. I sometimes think it will take even longer than any of us dare hope to even see a time when the law and policing are in fact a mechanism that is fit and proper – and not some archaic system that pretends to be modern.
The brilliant legal attorney Jerry Blackwell, who helped to bring about the verdict against Chauvin, says he hopes the verdict will be part of the road towards making humanity better for all.
Justice has been served. I hope we can all move on now and I hope that authorities all over the world will be looking at their police forces and indeed their justice systems and asking themselves, ‘Do these mechanisms actually work. Is justice what it is meant to be. Are prisons the right way of dispensing punishment and justice. Do courts work? Does the entire legal system need overhaul? Does a 200 year old ideology of law enforcement even work? Should the powers of the law be devolved? So many questions….’
Its not going to be easy to overhaul the system completely or even introduce a new one in its place. The old system is too deeply rooted in the structural paradigms of many societies. Time will tell….. and time will be the judge and jury of whether we have made a success of it or procured yet another long and enduring failure. The big question for many of us is, do we want another 200 years of this misadventure? I think not.
Memorial to Philando Castile, one of the many Blacks murdered by police, at the shrine outside Cup Foods at East 38th Street/Chicago Avenue, Minnesota, (now known as George Floyd Square and dedicated to George Floyd.)
Officials are now saying the system must be changed and that it must be more fair, and different legislators, and Floyd family members have been giving their thoughts. Jerry Blackwell said although the verdict would never bring George Floyd back, he hoped this would be an event that would be on the road towards making humanity better for all of us. One person reminded us its what Martin Luther King once claimed – that the arc of history lends towards better justice.
Crowds gathering at the George Floyd square (East 38th Street/Chicago Avenue, Minnesota) having heard the verdict against Chauvin. Source: Twitter
I hope for the sake of George Floyd, and for all future generations, justice becomes a thing that values people and values rights and integrity rather than treating each and everyone of us as a pawn in what has been to date a rather perverse and unequal quest in maintaining a misguided and unbalanced system that simply does not understand communities or individuals.
A proud dad and his daughter. Let’s hope this is the move towards the true justice we seek. Rest in peace George Floyd. Source: Twitter
My previous post on the matter: An obnoxious police officer and the fall-out.