Floyd Case Verdict Must Result in Radical Changes in Policing
“The system that produced Chuavin is still there. That needs to change before another Chauvin emerges.”
The verdict of Derek Chauvin being guilty for killing George Floyd highlighted a defining moment beyond policing. Finding Chauvin guilty on all counts should have consequences for policing in the United States, the trial-by-jury system and, crucially, race and justice.
Although only about 1.5 percent of police-citizen encounters results in use of any kind of force, a 2019 study found that “one out of 1,000 Black men in America can expect to be killed by police.”
Keeping trigger-happy officers on the streets is a tragedy waiting to happen and a major disservice to police organizations. Refusal to ensure meaningful consequences in cases of excessive force destroys the trust between communities and the police.
Accountability in Policing
The prosecution was wise to emphasize in its closing remarks that .” The idea that any attempt to ensure accountability or discipline regarding excessive use of force is anti-police ultimately harms policing as an occupation. Unfortunately, this is a widespread sentiment in the population. It is such as Chauvin’s.
Japan Versus the United States
The trial-by-jury system in the US can no longer be considered objectively rational given the outcomes of cases involving overwhelming televisual evidence. Jurors share the sentiments, biases and proclivities of society.
These issues are particularly reflected in cases involving police. The case of Black Minnesota police officer Mohamed Noor, convicted in 2019 for killing a white Australian woman, provides an interesting backdrop to the colour of justice in America
In contrast, a death penalty conviction in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Southern District of New York — which have majority non-white populations — appears to be an insurmountable challenge. In other words, whether you receive the death penalty depends on who you are and where your crime was committed.
Japan, where 98.1 percent of the people are ethnically Japanese, has a more sophisticated trial by jury system than the U.S., which has a greater ethnoreligious diversity.
Japan . Up to six “lay judges” and three professional judges decide serious cases. A majority of the six lay judges, and at least one professional judge, are required to pass judgment. This avoids the tyranny of a single individual who can effectively block a verdict or cause a hung jury, especially in politically charged cases.
These issues call for a sober reflection about whom we are recruiting into policing. Police reforms need to ensure that excitable, irritable and the authoritarian personality kinds are disqualified from entry.
Temitope Oriola, is an associate professor of sociology at University of Alberta. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same. This article was originally published on the Conversation. Read the original article here.
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