America Is Reeling From The Shock And Disgust At Witnessing The Murder Of George Floyd At The Hands Of The Police
For too long, police officers who assault and murder people of color have been given a pass by our legal system. Prosecutors are extremely reluctant to prosecute, and jurors have historically been hesitant to convict.
Police are accorded preferential treatment in our legal system. When a cop-related shooting occurs, the police are afforded a 48 hour period in which to compose themselves, consult with legal counsel and their union representatives, and get their story straight before submitting to an interview.
No one else is given that form of preferential treatment.
Prosecutors have not vigorously prosecuted bad cops, but instead have hid behind Grand Jury secrecy to conceal their lack of enthusiasm for bringing bad cops to justice.
In the rare cases that officers have faced employment consequences for major misconduct, including assaulting or murdering our fellow citizens, arbitrators have nullified their punishment and have restored them to their jobs.
The result is that our legal system has failed to function when it comes to instances of police brutality. When prosecutors turn a blind eye to police misconduct, they create disrespect toward our legal institutions.
Finally the tide may be turning. Tens of millions of Americans are horrified at the murder of George Floyd, which occurred before our very eyes. All who love justice are watching to see whether the aspiration of Equal Justice Under Law is merely an empty slogan.
Will the family of George Floyd be accorded justice?
Count me as one criminal defense attorney who is shocked beyond measure at the cruel fate that George Floyd suffered at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve. Any society that aspires to justice must ensure that those who are sworn to enforce the laws are held to a high standard.