It’s been over a week now and I’ve put some things in perspective. The trial of Derek Chauven has concluded and a ‘guilty of murder’ charge is in the books. Rightfully so. Riots were averted . . . for now.
I’ve imagined that I was a juror in the Chauven case. After the defenses final testimony on Friday’s I was told that closing arguments would be coming on Monday. So Monday would be crunch time for all twelve of us jurors. The judge did not sequester us. Surprisingly, we all were allowed to go home. I couldn’t help but watch the news on WCCO and/or KARE . . . or any local or national network channel. On TV I saw the demonstrators in the streets. Hundreds, maybe thousands. Then I watched crazy Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) tell the crowd, “If it ain’t murder, we’ll burn this town down . . .” Or something to that effect. I switch channels and see the BLM signs everywhere. Since day one, I’ve realized that the crowd of protesters knows who I am and where I live. More of the same calls for murder on my social media sites. Scary! Add to the matter of justice, the issue of race. One could argue that George Floyd’s race was not a factor . . . but was it? Or, Floyd’s criminal history? It’s complicated.
Now I’m human and I’m smart enough to know there is very good reason for fear. What if one of my fellow jurors won’t find Chauven guilty? It sure won’t be me for two reasons: first I’m convinced that the cop is guilty, and secondly I don’t have the courage.
Then I wonder. Is the intimidation of the protestors and the media a form of ‘mob rule’? There are twelve men and women on the jury. All of whom, like me, know the potential reprisals if Chauven isn’t found guilty on the 2nd and 3rd degree charges which can bring forty years in prison.
Of course, I’m just thinking. But I’ve got a headache.