This op-ed is brought to you by a former chief of police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Well, this is rich.
The attorney representing George Floyd’s family, Ben Crump, has asked the United Nations to get involved in the case involving Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
He’s asking them to “intervene and investigate,” as well as to make recommendations about law enforcement reforms.
George Floyd’s family and legal team have submitted an Urgent Appeal to the UN to intervene in the case of #GeorgeFloyd‘s death, inc. encouraging the US government to press federal criminal charges against involved officers and making recommendations for systemic police reform. pic.twitter.com/fDKb7Ct0Ti
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) June 8, 2020
Newsweek Magazine reported that Crump had written a letter to the U.N. asking for their support. This is interesting because this is the same United Nations that has a “Human Rights Council” that has among its membership countries such as China, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Uganda.
Unless you’ve been sleeping, these are some of the most oppressive countries in the world.
Yet we are supposed to be taking advice and recommendations from the United Nations. Even left-wing Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar fled Somalia.
If Crump is not aware, other than allowing the United Nations to have their headquarters in the United States, the United States can basically tell the U.N. to stick it where the son doesn’t shine. They have no control or authority over the U.S.
Crump said that they had submitted an “urgent appeal” to the U.N. to get involved in the case. In the appeal, they asked the organization to support their call for all four officers present when Floyd died to be charged with murder, as well as their call for “systemic police reform.”
As a lawyer, one would think Crump might be aware that in order to charge someone with a crime, you need probable cause that they actually committed the crime as outlined in the criminal statutes of that particular jurisdiction. He is apparently unaware of this necessity. One officer has been charged with 2nd Degree Murder, that being the officer who had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
Crump’s letter read:
“Among the reforms requested were deescalating techniques, independent prosecutions and autopsies for every extrajudicial police killing in an effort to stop further human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings of African Americans to protect their inherent and fundamental human right to life.
“The United States of America has a long pattern and practice of depriving Black citizens of the fundamental human right to life…The United States government has consistently failed to hold police accountable and did not bring Federal criminal charges even in cases with irrefutable video evidence. When a group of people of any nation have been systematically deprived of their human right to live by its government for decades, it must appeal to the international community for its support and to the United Nations for its intervention.”
The letter said “decades” of systematic deprivation of human rights. As a reminder:
Bill Clinton, president, 1993-2001, Democrat
George W. Bush, president, 2001-2009, Republican
Barack H. Obama, president, 2009-2017, Democrat
So in the 24 years prior to Donald Trump becoming President, Democrats- the same Democrats who are now demonizing police, threatening to defund, or even eliminate police in certain cities- were running the show.
If the United States has so-called “systemic racism,” what didn’t Clinton, and then Obama do something about it? In fact, Bush, who has also jumped on the “systemic racism” bandwagon apparently did nothing in his eight years as well.
So are we to believe this systemic problem just came into being in the past three-ish years? That is intellectually dishonest. In fact, Crump in his letter said that the “systemic racism” has been going on for “decades.”
Last Wednesday, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet said:
“The voices calling for an end to the killings of unarmed African Americans need to be heard. The voices calling for an end to police violence need to be heard. And the voices calling for an end to the endemic and structural racism that blights US society need to be heard.”
As an aside, nine unarmed blacks were killed by police in 2019, at least six of them justified. But that apparently indicates a systemic problem in U.S. police departments.
In a more general statement last Friday, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said:
“The fight against racism is at the core of the @UN’s work. But if racism exists everywhere, it exists within the United Nations. Yesterday, staff joined together to express solidarity with victims & share concerns. We must move forward with introspection, honesty, & action.”
The fight against racism is at the core of the @UN’s work.
But if racism exists everywhere, it exists within the United Nations.
Yesterday, staff joined together to express solidarity with victims & share concerns.
We must move forward with introspection, honesty & action.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 5, 2020
Crump’s letter asks for the following specific actions to be supported:
- Seek full justice for Mr. George Floyd with all officers involved being charged with first-degree murder [we’ll look at the statutory requirements below]
- End qualified immunity
- End provision of military equipment to, and military-type training of police
- Reinstate federal oversight/consent decrees where warranted
- Establish civilian review boards to aid in the pursuit of justice for victims
- Mandate the use of body cameras for all police officers and the immediate release of video footage and audio recordings following incidents involving police killings
- Mandate training on de-escalation techniques
- Support an independent prosecutor for police misconduct cases
- Increase restrictions on no-knock warrants and use of non-uniformed police in citizen interactions
- Establish an independent commission to review, investigate, prosecute and conduct independent autopsies in all police extrajudicial killings
- Immediately implement and follow recommendations made by special procedures of the United Nations that ensure the United States upholds its human rights obligations, including in the context of policing and the elimination of racism.
So, let’s address bullet #1, seeking first degree murder charges for ALL officers involved in the Floyd death. Here is the statute:
Murder in the First Degree-
- A premeditated (considered, planned, or prepared before the act) killing with the intent (emphasis added) to kill the person
- Killing someone while committing or attempting criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with violence
- Killing someone with the intent to kill someone while committing or attempting burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, 1st or 2nd degree arson, a drive-by shooting, tampering with a witness, escaping from custody, or felony drug crimes
- Killing a police officer, prosecutor, judge or correctional officer, with the intent to kill that person and while the person is engaging in his or her official duties
- Killing a child during a child abuse incident, after having engaged in a pattern of child abuse on the child and the death occurs under circumstances that show an extreme indifference to human life
- Killing someone while committing domestic abuse, after having engaged in a pattern of domestic abuse on the victim or other family or household members, with extreme indifference to human life
- Causing anyone’s death while committing, conspiring, or attempting to commit a felony in furtherance of terrorism; that is to terrorize or intimidate the public and disrupt or interfere with the government or laws.
Clearly, the only element of first degree murder that is even possible is the first bullet. So, in order to convict not only the officer who directly was a contributing factor to Floyd’s death, but the other officers who were bystanders is to prove premeditation. In other words, you would need to prove that the four officers conspired ahead of time to kill Floyd with intent.
In Baltimore several years ago, States Attorney Marilyn Mosby decided that she was going to make a statement, and in doing so, she over-charged the six officers involved in the Freddy Gray case. All six were either exonerated or had their charges dropped.
This case poses the same “risk” for prosecutors. By going to high on the charges being sought, they run the risk of the officer(s) being found not guilty because the state will not be able to prove its case.
Last week, far-left pro-Antifa Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison increased the charges on the officer who had his knee on Floyd’s neck, from third-degree murder to second-degree murder. Once again, the actions need to fit the statutory definition of the crime, and again, Ellison looks to be shooting to high.
- Killing a human intentionally but without premeditation.
- Causing someone’s death without intending the death of anyone, while committing a felony other than criminal sexual conduct, or a drive-by shooting
Once again, bullet #1 needs to have intent proven. Bullet #2 would be a possibility if the officer was being charged with felony assault in addition to the murder charge. However, Ellison did not add that.
Look, nobody wants to weed out bad cops more than good cops. In this case, we are trying to throw the baby out with the bath water.
There is not a systemic race problem in police departments. What does exist is the failure of Democratic-run cities to empower their minority communities and provide real opportunities for them.
But instead, Democrats have tied themselves to the teacher’s unions, where educators are failing children in the inner cities.
Perhaps the United Nations should be investigating why our largest cities are failing their minority citizens by not providing them with opportunities to excel. Black unemployment was at its lowest level in history prior to the coronavirus hype.
If the United States was truly a racist country with “systemic” racism, both in and out of police departments, why then were African Americans in the best overall financial shape in decades?
The systemic problem is in cities like Chicago, where every weekend is like a shooting gallery and where the majority of victims are African Americans—killed by other blacks, not police.
Police are not the problem.
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