George Floyd’s death was horrendous and the cop was wrong in what he did and deserves the conviction and any sentence he receives.
Duante Wright’s death was a tragic event resulting from a terrible mistake by the cop as well as the actions of Mr. Wright (both prior to and during the arrest). This cop should no longer be on the force, but in my opinion should not spend any time in prison either.
Ma’Khia Bryant’s death, while also tragic for many reasons, is one that resulted entirely from the actions of Ma’Khia Bryant. The video images that clearly show her wielding a deadly knife and in an obvious pose that indicates an imminent, potentially deadly, strike completely vindicates the officer using deadly force to prevent it. This cop should not be vilified. Rather, he should be praised for doing the job that we ask him to do.
In each case, we have video evidence…we can all watch each of these scenarios play out, not only in real-time speed, but also in slow-motion, frame-by-frame speed (an advantage and luxury that the cops simply do not have).
Yet, even though we can all watch the very same videos, it still seems that we cannot all agree on what happened or what should/could have happened. And, of course, this is a good example of the divisive nature of nearly every issue we face right now. We just can’t seem to agree on basic facts. And during that process, each side takes a position that destroys their credibility in everything they say.
Intellectual honesty is gone. From both sides. Or, I should say, from both of the loudest, outrage-provoking elements of each side, which gets the most attention.
Whenever an incident occurs, the immediate, initial reactions from people is generally the same. We all see the video and we say things like, “OMG, he should not have been kneeling on his neck like that for so long while the life drains out of his body! That is clearly wrong!” Or, “OMG, that cop shot that girl, but did you see she had a knife and was about to possibly kill that other girl? The cop had no choice!”
But then, the outrage machines get involved and start manipulating each side into getting into their prescribed corners.
You can watch it happen each time.
Soon, it no longer matters what we all saw with our own eyes. The competing narratives take over. The outrage machines on each side convince their people that each of these very distinct scenarios are the same thing. On the left, they are all examples of the cops’ racist brutality against blacks, and on the right, they are all examples of black criminals getting what they deserve.
I’m tired of it.
In my view, both sides of the issue lose the argument. They no longer have the credibility to even be taken seriously.
If the left cannot acknowledge that preventing deadly force is a legitimate use of deadly force by the cops, then they will never get enough support behind them to make the changes needed to actually fix the real problems. And there are real problems.
And if the right can’t acknowledge that Chauvin’s deadly actions were criminally wrong, as we could all plainly see in actual video, as George Floyd’s life left his body, then they will never be able to get enough support behind their position that there is no problem with our law enforcement. When they predictably fall back to the “he had it coming” mentality, they will continue to be viewed as being racist. To insist that Chauvin’s actions were not the cause of death…that Floyd had COVID and his system was full of illicit drugs and his death was imminent and Chauvin just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (his knee, forcefully on his neck, obstructing blood from reaching his brain, was just coincidence it seems)…well, that’s absurd.
This is all to say that we have a problem with acknowledging reality on both the left and the right. And it’s preventing us from resolving any and all issues.
How do we break through this? All of this comes from 20% of people on each side, while the rest of us, probably 60% of people that inhabit the space between the blithering loudmouths, can be reasonable and rational. But it’s those 40% that are taking up all of the oxygen of any discussions, because the media, both on the right and the left, thrive off of the constant battles. It drives clicks and viewership.
And the country continues to boil.
How do we stop the boiling?