Life isn’t a fairy tale.
If you lose your shoe at midnight then it’s a good bet you’ve had too much to drink. A prince or princess probably won’t be looking for you to return it. We can always wish for that perfect ending, but in reality, conclusions are often predictable. But, given the state of our country and world right now, things being predictable are about as “unpredictable” as can be.
Sounds a little redundant I know, but again when we look at how the past 13 months have hit the world it’s not so much how predictable things will be, but what’s coming around the corner at us next. What’s next is the trial concerning George Floyd’s murder at the hands of former police officer Derek Chauvin.
While video and testimony has given everyone a point to stand on as far a guilty verdict is concerned, there are already rumblings from many outside agitators that if the verdict isn’t what they want, they will take to the streets in protest.
Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? If you don’t do what we want you to do, even if it is according to our judicial system, we will protest. And, let’s make no mistake, protest is basically another word for riot, destruction and more human injury.
In my many years of covering murder trials in multiple states, I have learned that you can’t get a single glimpse of information and make a judgment as to guilt or innocence.
Of all the trials I covered I was basically convinced that the defendant was innocent, but invariably the verdict would come back guilty, and often, the verdict would come back quickly. I would look through my notes on testimony and evidence and still not be able to convince myself of the person being guilty. In retrospect, it almost seemed that the verdict was determined before the trial even began.
In the trial concerning Chauvin in Floyd’s death there is enough evidence along with public perception that a guilty verdict in some degree is coming, but also, we now have threats of protest if that ends up not being the verdict.
In our area the trial concerning Ahmaud Arbery will also be coming soon and the same thoughts and concerns over true justice will rear its head again. There’s plenty of video and other evidence that leads people to believe they know what the outcome will be, but again, the justice system still needs to be followed.
Any death, regardless of reasons or motives is heinous, but we as a society still need to hold our laws and systems with respect and not threaten that very system that was put in place to protect all of us. I know there are concerns the system has been weighted in favor of certain parts of the population by race, and to be honest, I think that to be an accurate statement to an extent, but I also don’t think it is a certainty. There is racism throughout our society and it would be naïve to think it hasn’t been in our judicial system, heck, I’ve witnessed it.
My hopes are that evidence and testimony will prevail in the Floyd-Chauvin trial and will be the same when Ahmaud Arbery’s case comes to trial. It will serve as closure for the families who have been hurt by the crimes and serve as justice for the victims themselves.
In a so-called “fairy tale world” the verdict will be just and the guilty parties will pay for their crimes as set by our society. Let’s hope that this isn’t a fairy tale, but one of truth and justice and the true verdict reflects those things and those things only.
If you see me say, “Hey!”
Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.