Is it a step in the right direction? I guess so. When thug cops beat the living daylights out of Rodney King 30 years ago and got acquitted, I guess you could say we, as a society, are making progress. However, we are only at the point now where the crime must be clearly on video and the person must die. There are so many defenders of this cop from Alan Dershowitz to Ben Shapiro to Peter Schiff, yes the guy who talks finance has veered out of his lane to give his unsubstantiated opinion – bootlicking, white supremacists, claiming the cop didn’t get a fair trial. And that if things were done differently, the result would have been different.
If this event was not clearly captured on video, then the cops would have lied, and been supported by the bootlicking contingent who say the verdict will be reversed on appeal, that the cop should be released on bail pending appeal, and charges would not have been filed. If charges had been filed without video evidence, the cop would not have been convicted.
The trial shows what we as criminal defense attorneys have been yelling into the wilderness for years about the system being rotten and corrupt.
On the same day, the cop was convicted for murdering George Floyd, police killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant after the cops arrived at her home in response to a disturbance call that she herself had made.
Cops lie because they can. It is because prosecutors – just like anybody else – want to “win” at their jobs. The problem is prosecutors do not have jobs like anybody else. They are bound by rules of professional responsibility or a code of ethics.
The American Bar Association has set forth standards intended to provide guidance for the professional conduct and performance of prosecutors. These standards are written and intended to be entirely consistent with the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
Standard 3-1.2 Functions and Duties of the Prosecutor says,
(b) The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict.
Prosecutors and judges who enable cops to lie must be held to account. Until we figure out how to hold them accountable, the killings and lies will continue.