Derek Chauvin verdict in George Floyd case underscores Colin Kaepernick’s point

Nation Reacts To Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict
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This item isn’t about the possibility of Colin Kaepernick returning to the NFL. He won’t be. The NFL and its teams successfully have run out the clock in that regard; his shunning has lasted long enough that it now makes no sense at all for anyone to give him a chance to return to the league.

But Kaepernick has relevance the morning after the guilty verdict entered against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Kaepernick has relevance because the point he made in August 2016 should be heard and heeded.

There is police brutality,” Kaepernick said days after he was first spotted sitting during the national anthem. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it. And they’re government officials. They’re put in place by the government so that’s something that this country has to change. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable, make those standards higher.

“You have people that practice law and our lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”

He was right, at least as it relates to California. Police officers there must attend (either before being hired or upon hire) an 888-hour Basic Police Academy, which requires roughly six months to complete. Cosmetologists in California have a 1,600-hour training requirement before they can even take the test required to secure a license.

Licensed police officers carry a license to kill. And while the Chauvin verdict shows that there can and will be accountability, it can’t undo the damage done when someone accidentally or deliberately misuses his or her tools and takes the life of a citizen who didn’t deserve to die.

Apart from the various forms and fashions of systemic racism that still deprive so many of the rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the barrier to having a license to kill should be higher. The educational requirements should be more demanding. The policing of the police by the police should be more exacting.

Maybe those jobs in law enforcement also should be more financially rewarding. That would attract a broader pool of applicants, making it easier to turn away anyone who at any time shows any reason to not be trusted with a license to kill, reserving those powers only to those who meet standards that should apply to a profession that should be far better suited to weeding out those who would behave unprofessionally, or worse.

16 responses to “Derek Chauvin verdict in George Floyd case underscores Colin Kaepernick’s point

  1. There is also violence and life threatening force against police officers each and every day they show up to work to protect citizens from crime. Lets not make this a one-sided situation.

  2. Your last paragraph gets to the issue. When was a cosmetologist asked to enter a building filled with armed drug addicts and gang members? When does a cosmetologist have to make split second decisions on use of force that could change his/her life? Police don’t need to be defunded, they need to be better funded for better pay and better training.

  3. More funding for police. Make the standard for being and staying an officer higher but also make the job, a job in which they have to risk their lives on a day to day basis, much, much more rewarding.

  4. There can be no doubt that this generation of police officers have sullied a once honorable profession.

  5. “And while the Chauvin verdict shows that there can and will be accountability…”

    So far, the Chauvin verdict has been the exception and not the rule. You see time and again, police officers walk after egregious behavior and abuses of power. Maybe this is a turning point. I hope it is, but I suspect we still need some serious reform and changes in attitudes in both police officers and regular citizens before we can expect justice and accountability to be the norm in this situations.

    Keep in mind, the prosecution had overwhelming evidence and the pressure of national attention on them. They had the whole thing on video. They had several other officers from the same police force testify against him – which is highly unusual given the normal “blue wall of silence.” They had witnesses and audio recordings of people warning Chauvin he was slowly killing Mr. Floyd.

    I’m not yet convinced that it is going to take anything less than all of that to secure convictions of police officers who abuse their power.

  6. All rational people agree that the police need better funding, training, and more incentives to encourage higher character people to join the profession. The problem is that the progressive movement to defund the police and end qualified immunity is having the exact opposite effect. Highly qualified people are being discouraged from going into policing and it will only hurt the communities they would have served.

  7. That last paragraph hits it right on the nose. Same goes for teachers, social workers, probation officers etc….

  8. fine, point accepted. What is the solution? Longer training periods? You get what you pay for…..LEOs are for the most part severely underpaid. If the goal is a higher quality, better trained LEO then communities need to invest in the product. Require more and better training and attract better and more qualified candidates by offering higher salaries. Just so I am clear….better and more qualified doesn’t necessarily mean more educated, having a bachelors degree in literature or music doesn’t make you any more qualified that someone right out of high school. Work with the Military branches and develop a program for end of enlistment soldiers/sailors/airman/marines to transition to a LEO career with a paid-for training program with comparable pay and benefits while transitioning.

  9. The other half of that training needs to be addressed. 1600 hours is way too many to be a cosmetologist. It’s a classic bureaucratic barrier to someone trying to improve their lot in life. So, it’s an apples/oranges comparison, and using it dilutes the message you are trying to get across. Just say whether you think 900 hours training is enough for a policeman or not. Plus police surely must take ongoing training.

  10. Maybe Colin would be interested in becoming a police officer? That way he could see it from both sides and get a better understanding of what it is really like on the streets.

  11. 2 points on Kapernick- FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – He opted out of his contract nobody told him to leave his position, and nobody fired him. Secondly he took his social justice reform into the workplace. Now his new potential employers have the right to establish a code of conduct in the workplace, and as a potential employee you are going to be asked to follow that code of conduct, or if you want to call it a specific workplace rule go ahead. If you go into a job interview, and you tell your future employer you have no intention of following those rules then you aren’t going to get hired… END OF STORY

  12. “There is also violence and life threatening force against police officers each and every day they show up to work to protect citizens from crime. Lets not make this a one-sided situation.”

    Right now being a Police Officer is the 22nd deadliest occupation in the US, right behind Groundskeepers. Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that Police are being killed left & right here. It’s a dangerous job, sure, but it is the 22nd most dangerous.

  13. All rational people agree that the police need better funding, training, and more incentives to encourage higher character people to join the profession. The problem is that the progressive movement to defund the police and end qualified immunity is having the exact opposite effect. Highly qualified people are being discouraged from going into policing and it will only hurt the communities they would have served.
    ———————
    100% this!

  14. I don’t think anyone can deny police brutality exists, and most get Kaepernicks point that it exists, I think the percentage of people who deny police brutality exists is very small. However, I think most people also get tired of hearing how bad police are and how they “should be defunded” – both are ignorant claims.

    Redirecting some funds for training and higher pay would entice more quality people to enter the forces. Also, being a police officer is such an anti-hero position in the mainstream that I’d not be surprised if number of people joining police departments as officers is dropping.

    There are negligent doctors, crooked businessmen, and obviously bad cops – all situations need to be addressed and corrected. None will ever be free of stain, but the expectation of police and the reality of police work can be met in the middle with education for ALL. Our children need to know the police and justice system, taught in school. Society needs to be put on notice for how to be in public to not have to be having run ins with the police (and how to handle themselves if they do), and police officers need to be given better training, better pay, AND uphold their great duties and authorities without abusing those powers. There is a great trust level requires with the public and the police to make it all work, it’s in need of great repair now

  15. Why is everybody rushing to think that better pay will bring forward a better generation of cops. This generation of officers hasn’t “sullied “ anything about the police. They did the same things in the “good ole days” too…. people just didn’t have cameras everywhere to catch them. Stop defending them.. it’s a tough job… I get that… if they can’t handle it they made a bad career choice. No excuse for murder, or to be biased in your profession. Also… the blue line runs both ways… if you are on force and know about something and don’t report… just as bad as the cop who did the deed. Stop defending them … stop underscoring George Floyd’s murder as an “incident” and not part of a larger pattern.

  16. There are very few people who actually want to defund the police, but it’s handy to use that as a straw man rather than have to look hard at the thorny problems with current policing. We need to look at police reform, both structurally and with regard to discipline. Check out Camden, New Jersey, which didn’t defund the police, but changed to a community policing model in which certain functions previously performed by the police were turned over to social workers and others, which officers returned to working the neighborhoods and getting to know the people in the community. It has made a big difference for Camden.

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