Dereck Chauvin was found resoundingly guilty on all charges
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Chauvin verdict: Legal system rooted in religious & cultural belief-bias

Why are people of all colors surprised that Dereck Chauvin was found resoundingly guilty on all charges? There have been six Police shootings of Blacks in 24 hours after the verdict. The Western and Eastern legal systems are reflections of their community’s religious and cultural values that are unfair and indifferent to minorities.

Many of the laws have become arcade, repulsive and distasteful in today’s civilized world. Some Conservatives have already pushed back that Derek Chauvin could have been acquitted on all charges but for the fear of the “mob” of protesters. Imagine one of these extremists as a member of that jury.

Usually, in Europe or America, there is no justice for minorities, not even in the Church except in Heaven. This is why it is difficult for African Americans or Africans to obtain justice from the Judicial system not designed for them. Many African countries already have customary laws pushed to the primary level after they were conquered by the Europeans.

Before then, local laws were developed like other continents, upon which Appeals can be lodged at a higher level. Appeals to the King, Ooni, Eze or Ossei Tutu as the Supreme Court. This Appeal System can be modified and modernized to reflect African Culture.

Derek Chauvin Trial is only one typical example of how different ethnic groups in America see and interpret Justice. The fact is Blacks and Whites see the role of Police differently. When the Police claim to Serve and Protect, it is what the white population expects of them. If they do not express the will of white population, their jobs would be on the line. On the other hand, Police in Europe and Americas are hired from racist groups and expected to keep minorities in “their place”.

Minorities have to sue in courts to be fairly hired as police officers, even in cities where they are proportionally higher in numbers. It is like Sharia/Christian conflicts based on religious belief-bias of other continents unrelated to Africa. The fear that Chauvin could be found NOT guilty on all charges was supported by the Motion of the outstanding prosecuting lawyers that fought to keep a third lesser charge, just in case one of the unpredictable jurors voted against the most serious charge of 2nd degree Murder. It only takes one juror, enough on its own to derail all charges.

African Americans know and have the experience of one law for Whites another for Blacks. People have to be careful not to jump into reasons for the guilty verdict. The jury system is a reflection of the religious culture of the people. In the case of Chauvin the world was watching. One juror could have caused a hung verdict. However, the Prosecution bombarded this lone juror with evidence that even a 9 years old girl could understand. So much so, the Defense witnesses admitted that without a pulse, Chauvin refused to get off Floyd’s neck or give aid.

After all, the preparations for riots by boarding up businesses, government offices and Police stations were unnecessary. But the fear is justified because in so many cases, the jury ignored laws and evidence for their religious and cultural views, a belief-bias effect of where the minorities belonged since their “good old days”. Those days as the first African American Mayor of Chicago Harold Washington had stated: were the worst days for us.

The preparation for riots all over America melted into relief and surprise that Justice was served. American legal system was on trial as all the stereotypes and dog whistles used by the Defense Attorney were overwhelmed by the best legal and medical minds, some of who worked without fees for the Prosecution. The blue wall was broken by the number and leadership of Police ranks that testified against their own. Africans must not rest or rely on this case. It may even motivate retaliations against innocent Blacks.

Though most whites and juries are against viciousness and injustice, silence is not enough. It boiled down to how they could make this Jury see through the prism of a 9 years old girl for them to understand. Equal Justice under the law is the ideal we all want to live up to but in reality, it is far from the experience of those shortchanged by the law. One must wonder why that wealth of legal, medical and Police experts were needed to prove what we all saw on television. The average Blackman can never secure such talents and resources at trial.

If you think the United States legal and jury systems could not have produced that indifferent and extremist juror after the reign of Trump, you were either a dreamer or unfamiliar with their legal system. This is a country where many members of a major party still think the November 2020 Election was rigged, putting up a loop to hang their Vice President like the Joan of Arc for not nullifying the Election they lost fair and square.

Though Joan’s actions were against the English occupation army, she was turned over to the CHURCH that insisted she be tried as a heretic by the English and the French. She was 19 years old when she was burned at the stake as a heretic before an estimated crowd of 10,000 people in the marketplace at Rouen. It took another 500 years later, on May 16, 1920 to be canonized as a Roman Catholic Saint. https://www.biography.com/military-figure/joan-of-arc

Silent White majority of goodwill must expose those with mean spirited blood but powerful few like Trump. Before Civil Rights Law, Black were lynched in public and openly discriminated against at every level. Expecting the same people to right all their wrongs as members of the jury in one case is preposterous. One case cannot change mindsets developed over ages as seen by the continuing killing of Black men during traffic stops after Chauvin’s Guilty Verdict.

Emmett Till open casket in 1955 did not convict his killers, Rodney King beating did not convict the Police Officers just as countless others. Even a 12 years old Tamir Rice playing in the Park with a toy water gun was shot dead before he could obey order to put it down in 2014. Why use the split-second decisions to shoot Blacks in the back and when confronting Blacks as if they are monsters, ready to kill before he is killed; but apply tolerance in a worse situation when facing Whites that kill Police officers more?

While the legal and economic system in the Western world is rooted in Judeochristian culture: so are Islam, Induism, Shamanism and Buddism pattern legal system on their own religious beliefs. Africans must modernize their legal systems on their beliefs, not on colonialists. It is hypocritical to claim one legal system is better than the other since Africans rely on others’ legal system as theirs. Sharia, for example, does not catch the privileged and wealthy.

It has generated conflicts between Christians and Muslims on which legal system should prevail. While there are compromises to adopt both at different levels, each religion has advocated their legal system at the Supreme level. It is reason Muslims think Sharia is their Right in African countries where both Islam and Christianity is foreign to indigenous beliefs.

Indeed, most of the gains of the Civil Rights Era have been gradually lost by the elections of opponents vehemently against it. They are still working hard to reverse minorities’ Voting Rights by enacting regulations and laws at the local and states levels making it harder to vote.

Farouk Martins Aresa

Farouk Martins Aresa, © 2021

The author has 580 publications published on ModernGhana.Column: FaroukMartinsAresa

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