Due Process Applies to All, Even Police Officers

AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar

In light of the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict, perhaps we should take a deep breath and consider what happened in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota over the past few weeks.

On April 11, Daunte Wright was tragically killed during a traffic stop when Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, inadvertently mistook her Taser for her service weapon.

Immediately after she apparently mistakenly shot Wright, Potter said, “Holy s**t, I just shot him.”

Normally, Potter would be afforded her right to due process. After all, in the United States, those accused of a crime are considered innocent before being proven guilty in a court of law.

Yet, that is not the case anymore.

One day after the officer-involved shooting, Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey made the following statement: “This employee will receive due process … and that’s really all I can say today.”

Less than 24 hours later, Boganey was fired by Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, who tweeted: “Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties.”

Why was Boganey terminated? Simply because he reiterated that Officer Potter is guaranteed due process.

Last I checked, due process is protected under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

However, in today’s environment, due process is taking a back seat to cancel culture, the mob mentality, and so-called racial justice.

Case in point: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) issued the following tweet hours after the tragedy in Brooklyn Center: “It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.”

A few things.

First, how would Tlaib ever know whether or not the shooting was an accident? Unless she can read Potter’s mind, that statement is a farce.

Second, policing in America is neither inherently nor intentionally racist.

A bit of evidence: According to The Washington Post, 999 Americans were shot and killed by police officers in 2019. Of those 999, 252 (about 25 percent) were black. Of those 252, 12 were unarmed.

That is correct. In 2019, 12 unarmed black Americans were killed by police officers.

However, most liberal Americans believe that the number of unarmed black Americans killed by police in any given year ranges from 1,000 to 10,000.

According to a peer-reviewed study by the Skeptic Research Center, “among the more liberal-minded respondents, 57 percent of those who reported being ‘liberal’ or ‘very liberal’ estimated about 1,000 unarmed black men were killed by police in 2019—even crazier, 34% believed over 10,000 or more unarmed blacks were killed by the police.”

Third, what in the world does Tlaib mean when she says: No more policing and incarceration?

Surely, Tlaib is not calling for the Capitol Police to be disbanded. Or for all of the “January 6 insurrectionists” to be let out of jail.

Tlaib, like far too many Americans, either simply has no clue about what she is talking about or is intentionally peddling lies for some sort of political motivation.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of this whole sordid episode is that while the mainstream media was going gaga over the Wright situation, countless unarmed blacks were murdered by other blacks.

In fact, in 2016 (the most recent FBI records available), 2,870 blacks were homicide victims. Of those, 2,570 (90 percent) were committed by black offenders.

The real scourge is black-on-black violence. Not white police officers killing unarmed black men.

Until the mainstream media articulates this unequivocal, if inconvenient, truth, due process for white police officers and those with the temerity to support them will remain in dire jeopardy.

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.