Politics

Vicious mobs loot and burn, as riots grip Minneapolis and Los Angeles over alleged police brutality

No matter the provocation, arson and looting do not bring justice.

Image Credit: YouTube screenshot

There used to be a saying in the U.S. Army that no matter how good a unit was, it, like any organization in the world, had its “three percent of a** draggers.” These are people, aside from the rest of the unit, who do not do their share of work, do not adhere to policy, and, when pushed, will revert to behavior that brings dishonor on themselves and possibly on their unit. Well, it looks like the Minneapolis Police Department may possibly have the same issue on its hands.

Police officers across the country are largely courageous public servants who put their lives on the line for citizens every day. It is not hard to find stories all over the nation that tell of police officers risking their lives, or falling in the line of duty, for a member of the public, a complete stranger to them. Such is their job, such is their calling.

But four police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, if, and only if, initial reports are true, have sullied the good name of their department by engaging in professional behavior that former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and he is no bleeding heart, has called “atrocious.”

The four officers, when arresting a man for alleged forgery, he had supposedly tried to pass a fake $20 bill, allegedly, and this was captured on a cell phone video taken by a passing citizen, abused 46-year old black citizen George Floyd to the point that one of the officers, Derek Chauvin, was kneeling on his neck. Floyd repeatedly told the officer that he could not breathe. He was ignored. Floyd eventually became unresponsive and was rushed to a local hospital. He was pronounced dead after he arrived at the hospital.

The officers of the Minneapolis Police Department involved in the incident are Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng. All have been fired from the department. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has called for Chauvin to be criminally charged and has also called for the deployment of the National Guard to protect public safety. President Trump has directed a national level investigation into the matter. The FBI has been called in. In the urban community of Minneapolis, almost as a matter of course, looting and arson ensued.

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In response to the killing, mobs in Los Angeles and other cities, though to a more minor degree than in the mentioned cities, have engaged in arson, theft, and rioting. By press time Thursday morning much of the rioting seems to have ceased. Violence and the setting of fires are normal occurrences in America as all groups, when faced with a police incident, make it a point to loot and burn down their own surroundings. Oh…wait.

The corollary relationship between an alleged act of horrible police brutality and the wanton destruction of property, not to mention the looting, escapes this analyst. How justice can be garnered for George Floyd, or indeed for the police officers, by stealing and destruction tests the boundaries of logic and mental clarity. Though, perhaps the burning and the looting really have nothing to do with the police incident. It is very possible that they are only the conditioned avaricious response of those who have been told by others over many decades that the system is inherently racist, they will never get proper justice, and thus any act is justified in frustration over those supposed facts.

But a perusal of the record of police departments all over America tell a different story. As in this instance, when officers abuse their power they are generally brought before the bar of justice. Is the system perfect? Hardly, nothing is. But does it warrant baying mobs of common thieves and arsonists laying waste to sections of their own city? It does not.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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