The System Works, If We Have The Discipline To Maintain It

Justice.
Since I first witnessed the terrible video of George Floyd's death last summer, my desire was that justice would be served.

Justice for George Floyd.

 

Justice for Officer Derek Chauvin.

 

And justice for their respective families.

 

While some seemed to argue that the outcome of The Chauvin Trial was symbolic and representative of a larger problem in America today, I always saw it strictly for what it was on its face: one man - a police officer - being charged with the death of an unarmed man in his custody.

 

In this case, justice simply demands the following. If Officer Chauvin broke the law, he should suffer the consequences of doing so because that is just. And if he did not break the law, he should suffer no consequence because doing so would be unjust.

 

Justice is not achieved by seeking to make someone pay for symbolic crimes he didn't commit any more than it is by letting him escape the consequences of his illegal and immoral actions. I am not suggesting either of these happened in this case, rather I am defining the proper lens through which to view this trial.

 

I trust the jury came to the right conclusion concerning the charges made against Officer Chauvin. Having served on a jury in an emotional trial myself, I learned that it is a heavy responsibility and one that any sincere American does not take lightly. I do not envy their position in the slightest. I will trust their verdict and presume they did their job with integrity, reviewed the evidence impartially, and came to a verdict without prejudice. Sure, like anyone, I may have questions, but I recognize that no one knows this case better than the jury.

 

The American justice system is beautiful.

 

The American justice system is truly a beautiful thing and I'm not sure how many people really appreciate it for what it is. Derek Chauvin was able to face his accusers in a public trial. That trial was overseen by an impartial judge. A jury of his peers objectively listened to testimony, examined the evidence, and deliberated amongst themselves until all twelve decided he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard puts the burden of proof on the prosecution, who has to follow strict procedures, rules, and laws in their presentation and arguments before the court.

 

Officer Chauvin was represented by a team of defense attorneys who were tasked with protecting his interests and rights throughout the proceedings. They questioned witnesses, tried to poke holes in the prosecution's case, and made certain that the state met its obligation to present enough evidence to prove their client's guilt. These attorneys didn't have to prove anything. They didn't have to make their client take the stand to testify. They didn't even have to directly answer any of the accusations made by the prosecution. Their only objective was to keep the evidence from mounting to the point at which Officer Chauvin would be convicted.

 

Our nation is absolutely beautiful and we are blessed to find ourselves living in it.

 

Yet, I still have (at least) 3 concerns that have come from this process.

 

First, I fully reject the notion that we can or should conduct trials in the public square with the, ahem, help of the deceitful media. Yet there are some who clamor for that very thing, like liberal actress Chelsea Handler who argued against Derek Chauvin's right to a trial. I guess she's so woke she must've forgotten - or perhaps never understood - the dangers associated with this sort of belief and rhetoric.

 

What's even more concerning is how some people don't seem to care or truly respect the differences between the courtroom and the media. I mean, it was just a week ago that Project Veritas exposed the fraud happening at CNN. And even without James O'Keefe's expose, it is patently obvious how deceitful and one-sided the media is. From edited George Zimmerman 911 calls to the fake Russian collusion story that led to Trump's first impeachment to the phony Dan Rather story about George W. Bush and the National Guard to Brian Williams' fake heroic stories aboard a helicopter in the Middle East, fake news stories are everywhere. Why do so many still believe them?

 

And perhaps even more perplexing, why would we make a final determination of someone's guilt based upon news reports that we know are biased, loaded, and designed to elicit a desired outcome rather than information? A courtroom has standards. Procedures. Processes. An unbiased judge. What does the media have? Jeff Zucker and countless others like him.

 

Second, I find myself wondering how alive-and-well the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" really is in America today. One need not look hard to find examples of why this is a severely misunderstood and underappreciated American value today. One recent example of this is the city manager in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, who was recently fired for merely suggesting the officer involved in the Daunte Wright shooting be provided due process. How far have we fallen if we've gone from "innocent until proven guilty" to "no due process for police officers?"

 

Third, because of the first two points listed above and the ways in which the attitudes of some Americans toward law enforcement officers have negatively changed in recent years, I find myself wondering how many good prospective police officers may no longer even apply for the job. I have a child who says she wants to be a police officer when she gets older. Granted, she's still little, but she's said this for as long as I can remember. Will her dreams change when she gets old enough to see that the risks of the job extend beyond the immediate dangers of criminals in the field and into the world of media distortions, department politics, and social media scrutiny? I hope not, though I wouldn't blame her if it did.

Todd Huff is a conservative, not bitter, political and cultural commentator, talk show host, podcaster, and columnist. He is also the founder of Conservative, Not Bitter University (CNBU). For more information about Todd, CNBU, or his daily talk show, visit toddhuffshow.com or download the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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