The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against a helpless Floyd’s neck sparked nationwide outrage and demands for justice in the case. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was tried and convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter, for which he was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. Chauvin recently pleaded guilty to federal charges of civil rights violations.
While some police shootings end up being justified, we at Delimon Law are here to help in those cases where police shootings or other forces are not justified.
The Floyd case has several lessons and civil rights implications, including the following:
The murder of George Floyd in the knee of a police officer sparked nationwide outrage, starting from the community where the murder took place, and before long, there were impassioned protests across the country that highlighted not just police brutality but also racism and its continued effects in our country’s institutions.
The protests were more than the normal protests we have seen following each police shooting or violence as they, for the first time, elicited a more widespread and more serious national discussion about racism and police violence.
Indeed, many police departments either improved or put in place policies aimed at curbing or eradicating instances where people who are mostly black or minorities end up being dead in the hands of police.
This conversation is still ongoing, and the suggestions range from mostly rational and practical police reforms to some that are not practical and may themselves cause even worse problems.
To their credit, congressional leaders responded to the nationwide outcry for police reform and passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House in March 2021 but has since been stuck in negotiations with the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill that the president can sign into law.
However, the chief congressional negotiators working on the bipartisan bill have reached an agreement on what the reforms should be.
Although details of the final agreement are not known, those who have been following this issue believe that qualified immunity — the powerful legal principle that shields law enforcement and other public officials from liability in civil lawsuits — is one of the sticking points the negotiators must agree for the new law to have any meaningful impact.
The original version of the bill sought to expand the scope of the federal civil rights provision that prohibits police officers from “willfully” denying someone of their constitutional rights, a standard of proof which is difficult if not impossible to prove in court, but Republicans have been opposed to loosening the standard for fear it will ensnare more of these rogue police officers or those found guilty of violating the constitutional rights of others.
Consult with a Riverside, CA Civil Rights Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been the victim of police brutality or if you believe your civil rights have been violated in any way by law enforcement, contact our Riverside civil rights attorney from DeLimon Law for a consultation to discuss your case and circumstances.