The Fall of Minneapolis: Haunting Parallels, Good Differences
Continuing from the previous post
USA v. Brett Hankison Mistrial, Post 3- Part 2 of Haunting Parallels, Good Differences
As we await the December 13 Mistrial Conference that will likely determine whether Brett is re-tried or has his case dismissed, let’s consider the parallels and differences in the Breonna Taylor and George Floyd events.
The Floyd and Taylor cases are punishing to citizens in the same way: In both Minneapolis and Louisville, they resulted in Consent Decrees for the respective police departments. The Minneapolis ‘Court enforceable agreement’ is in view here, and the certainty of a similar result for Louisville Metro has been promised in a written document signed by both the Mayor and Chief of Police.
Please read the Consent Decree Series on this blog to understand what is coming.
The call for the DOJ and FBI review of the LMPD originated with former Mayor Greg Fischer and was reinforced by Gov. Beshear, Biden, and VP Kamala Harris, all Democrats, as in Minneapolis.
Taylor’s family was paid $12M before the decision of the Grand Jury was announced; Floyd’s was paid $27M as the jury selection was underway for Chauvin’s trial. Why? How?
Narratives Have Consequences
Eight days after The Fall of Minneapolis was released, Derek Chauvin was stabbed 22 times in prison by a former gang leader who had also been an FBI informant. Chauvin's attorney intends to continue his work to appeal the case.
Daniel Cameron did not win the race for Kentucky governor. This was a tremendous loss.
In the Courier-Journal today, there is an OpEd by a young black woman who was very upset by the Hankison Mistrial verdict. She writes: “Brett Hankison is just one police officer. My father is not like him… Only reform and reparation can dwindle the occurrences of police brutality against Black women, a reality that scares me to admit is prevalent in society today.”
How many black lives have been saved by Brett’s work on the LMPD force? It is obvious she knows nothing about his record or his life. Of course, all agree that bad conduct by officers, whatever their race or sex, must be disciplined. Brett’s action to protect his fellow officers was not ‘bad conduct.’ Shooting to protect oneself or others is defensible, as is killing on the battlefield of war.
Federal Trial Notes
Looking back on Brett’s trial in the U.S. Western District Court during most of November, I recall seeing national figures and BLM devotees in the courtroom. As in the documentary, Attorney Ben Crump was part of the scene, and Linda Sarsour, the BLM demonstration organizer, was there, though not daily. I also saw white Louisville women who are part of liberal organizations, and of course, Breonna’s mom, Tamika Palmer, and a full complement of family, friends and supporters. The USA side of the courtroom’s public seating was overflowing, though not in the beginning days of the trial.
Brett’s side had no more than eight family or friends and often fewer on any given day; his support was small but faithful. If he is re-tried we hope more from the community will attend. The courtroom public seating is for 60 persons, with 30 seats on each side. More seating was available in a room with video, and the media had their own quarters. Bloggers are not considered to be members of the media.
I arrived early the day after the General Election, and before entering the courtroom I heard a young black Breonna supporter say she was extremely happy that Cameron was defeated. I do not understand what exactly racism is.
From the outset, both the Floyd and Taylor cases were cast as racially motivated. Any drug-related background was downplayed or hidden from the public. Why?
AN ASIDE: Recently Mayor Greenberg announced a Gun Violence Dashboard. He commented that people would see where shots are fired and ‘until people begin to talk about the tragedies of gun violence everyday, particularly concentrated in neighborhoods of poverty— neighborhoods where primarily black people are living, we are not going to get change, and we need change and this data can help to advocate for change.’
Back the Blue! That is the best way to help those who live in poverty in dangerous neighborhoods or in any neighborhood. Be equitable, and hope the Louisville Consent Decree is somehow dismantled.