Blogpost # 613 A PREAMBLE TO THE CHAUVIN PANDEMIC (pliny Editorial)

Yesterday was the opening day of trial of the accused white police officer, Derek Chauvin, for the crime of the brutal, choking homicide of George Floyd, an unarmed black Minnesotan resident. Two independent autopsies disproved purported defense theories as to certain alternate causes of death, and medically confirmed the criminal charge of homicide by asphyxiation. The horrendous crime, compliantly witnessed by several other white police officers, was demonstrably and inarguably, motivated by racial bigotry; as were too many other pernicious killings by white police officers of unarmed  African Americans. It is our view that every American in possession of a normally socialized sense of humanity and rectitude, has felt outrage and frustrated condemnation, regarding this recent act of cruelty, and toward similar past occurrences. In recognition of these bigoted killings, we have termed this widespread chronic pathology after the horrendous offense du jour, “The Chauvin Pandemic.”

In our estimation it is as a practical matter advisable, despite our ardent aspiration for moral and legal justice [and additionally declared recognition that every American life is equally precious], to responsibly assert an empirically realistic preamble to the pending case of Minnesota v. Chauvin. Our preamble, or cautious reservation, is as follows: the well-deserved expectation and justified perception that the decision in the Chauvin case will articulate an appropriate National repudiation for the persistence of Jim Crow bigotry may, in fact, not,  as an empirical matter, be realized.

It unquestionably appears to anyone, viewing the videos of the psychopathic gagging torture of Floyd by an officer of the law, that the perpetrator deserves the justice of a prolonged jail sentence. Similarly, hateful acts of murder practiced against unarmed black men by white policemen, as shown in videos, are also well deserving of severe criminal sentences. However, regardless of the essential merit and justice of such punishment, [especially as an appropriate National statement of justice and equality]  has not often enough been the case. The understandable frustration of right-thinking American citizens and unrequited calls for the justice of moral and legal retribution are undeniably, well justified.

Obtaining a judgment of guilty in any criminal case is made difficult by (a) the requirement that guilt be proven “beyond any reasonable doubt” and (b) that such a conclusion be reached by a unanimous jury,  is the mandatory rule of American criminal jurisprudence. Such difficult strictures imposed by statutory law, applicable to every American, regardless of color or ethnos, most especially the mandate that all jurors must agree, [to protect the innocent against wrongful conviction] however, makes the test, an inadequate and misleading measure of demonstrated National concern for rectitude in civil rights cases.

Whatever may be the outcome of the current trial [guilty or not guilty], it is our own supremely frustrated, but empirically considered view, that the same will not articulate, nor have an appreciative [curative] impact on the Nation’s perniciously bigoted, Chauvin Pandemic.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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