by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
All of the officers involved were fired. Derek Chauvin is sitting in a maximum-security prison awaiting trial on murder and manslaughter charges. Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison is “moving as expeditiously, quickly, and effectively” as possible to arraign the other officers involved, as the facts allow. Chauvin will get his day in court. Floyd’s family will, too.
No one of prominence thinks that Chauvin should not face justice. No one of prominence has excused his behavior, or defended the indifference of his partners. No one of prominence feels anything but awful sympathy for George Floyd and his family. Most everyone agrees on these points, and most everyone is outraged.
It is in the context of this universal outrage that we are asked to consider the behavior of the looters and rioters, the vigilantes and anarchists, the masked delinquents defacing property, ransacking stores, and burning police cars in an orgy of disorder and destruction. …
… It is true that there are injustices in the United States. It is true that there is tension and distrust between the police and racial minorities, and that this has terrible human costs, George Floyd’s death prominent among them. But the rioters and looters and their apologists are advancing a more specific claim still: that Floyd’s death is not just an individual tragedy worthy of particular outrage, but part of an epidemic of lethal violence perpetrated against unarmed black men by police officers. That such tragedies happen with startling frequency. That black men cannot leave the house without getting shot by racist cops. “It’s important to be here today because we’re dying,” one protester told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It’s an epidemic.”
This is not supported by the data.