By John Kanelis / email@example.com
Try as I might to understand the anger simmering inside the black community in this nation, I cannot possibly grasp it in its entirety.
I am a white man. I haven’t experienced the type of brutality that many of my black friends have endured. With that said, I am left to stipulate that I am inclined to place a good measure of trust in the judicial system that seeks to render a decision that has a lot of folks on tenterhooks.
Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin is on trial on a charge that he murdered George Floyd. Chauvin is white; Floyd was black. Floyd was suffocated on a Minneapolis street by Chauvin because he tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
From what I have witnessed of this trial from the peanut gallery, I believe Chauvin is guilty of the crimes for which he is standing trial. I have the luxury, though, if being able to go about my day without being hassled because of my skin color.
The jury that is going to deliver a verdict has heard every bit of evidence. It has heard prosecutors and defense counsel take their best shot. The criminal justice system places a huge burden on prosecutors who have to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the defendant did what he is charged with doing. Defense counsel has to persuade one of the 12 men and women that there is reasonable doubt, producing a hung jury.
I am sitting at a safe distance from the simmering anger in the Twin Cities community. Thus, I won’t presume to know how I would react to an unfavorable verdict if I had been hassled by the cops. Nor can I in good conscience instruct others on how they should react if they don’t get a verdict that fits their expectation.
I am left only to hope sanity will prevail. I also can hope that those who want the jury to deliver their version of justice will understand that our judicial system places these decisions in the hands of just plain folks … just like the rest of us.