In the aftermath of the announcement of guilty verdicts in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, the hot takes have begun.
We knew that, as Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Auntie) encouraged, if Chauvin were acquitted or convicted of third-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter there would be mass unrest and violence in cities across the country. When the verdict came back as guilty of second-degree murder, the most serious charge Chauvin faced, and in record time, some (naively) hoped that would quell any violence. Whether or not there will be violence remains to be seen (the Los Angeles Police Department has already called a tactical alert effective immediately), but comments from people like MSNBC’s Jason Johnson tend to show that the anger will be redirected.
MSNBC's Jason Johnson is FURIOUS with the verdict, calling it "a cultural make-up call": "I'm not happy. I'm not pleased. I don't have any sense of satisfaction. I don't think this is the system working…This is the justice system trying to say, hey, this is one bad apple." pic.twitter.com/W3JLcujpfd
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 20, 2021
I’ll say this…I actually always thought that he would be found guilty because it’s sort of a cultural make-up call. But I’m not happy. I’m not pleased. I don’t have any sense of satisfaction. I don’t think this is the system working. I don’t think this is a good thing. What this says to me is that in order to get a nominal degree of justice in this country, that a black man has to be murdered on-air, viewed by the entire world, there have to be a year’s worth of protests, and a phalanx of other white police officers to tell one white officer that he was wrong in order to get one scintilla of justice.
That doesn’t make me feel happy. That doesn’t make me feel satisfied. It makes me worry about what’s gonna happen when these other officers are held on trial. It makes me upset all the more that we didn’t have this for Breonna Taylor. It makes me concerned about what’s gonna happen in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery.
So, no, I mean, this is not the system working. This is a make-up call. This is the justice system trying to say that hey, this is one bad apple, because that’s how this is gonna be interpreted. It’s gonna be this is one bad apple, he got in trouble, yay, blah, blah, blah, and yet there are still gonna be young black men and women across this country being shot today, tomorrow, and two weeks from now, because unless we have radical reform there’s no lesson learned.
In other words, #RiotSzn is still on.