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Some Writing

The Chauvin Trial and the Unicorn That Is "Good Cops"

Posted by on March 30, 2021 at 5:35 PM

Watching clips of the Chauvin trial and crying in fits and starts - I can't imagine how his family abides it peaceably, much less how a community would react in any way other than the outrage with which it did. I have known, and have since deleted, people who insist beyond reason or any remote sense of morality that Chauvin and his "brother officers" did nothing wrong, or that a righteous police action simply had tragic collateral effect, the same way they mitigate Breonna Taylor's execution in her own home. Not even a slow, agonizing murder, on camera, in broad daylight, with the victim pleading for his life until it finally goes out of his body, will change that and I don't know how to process how bad a person that makes someone who feels that way, and I want no part of it.

It's "political" somehow - literally this disposition breaks out as "conservative" for some god-fucking-unknown reason - and what an indictment that is, what an absolute void of basic human decency. I have my theories about how that notion is conditioned, like probably you've watched enough cop shows where cops are only ever hard-charging, sometimes bedraggled saints with badges for that clumsy cartoon fiction to seep into your brain and warp the lens with which you perceive the world until it is all just dumb clunky abstractions, and the actual nuances and necessary cause-and-effect metrics of real no-shit justice and trying to make it work better for everyone are some kind of aggrieved liberal agenda. This is an "All Lives Matter" world where countless lives by actual metrics do not, especially if you can come up with some shitty, churchy excuse for why person X or Y can die pointlessly, and it happens in pattern, and you don't have to care, because American conservatism is, at its essence, just being a lazy shitsack: Everything is great as it is, how dare you impugn the Greatness of [Institution Z].

Everything is so great. Kneeling on that guy's neck until he dies is just a matter of routine. Which it was. Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, while three other cops watched, over a questionable 20-dollar bill.

I know at this very moment there are cops cheering for Chauvin's acquittal and still think of themselves as heroes instead of monsters who have no fucking place being licensed by any entity to carry a gun and any authority over other people. They carry a shield of "qualified immunity" by law that basically encodes them as superheroes, above the law, when these men and women show time and time again, city after city, that not only are they far less than that, they are the exact people who should be held to higher standard, owing to the responsibility they've been given.

"We're not racist!" they railed apoplectically as they beat and gassed people for an entire summer even against orders they've been given to stop beating and gassing people, but they had to because the people they were beating and gassing were demanding they not be racist and a large plurality of them were ethnic minorities. "We're not racist!" cop union honchos brayed into microphones all summer as nearly every major cop union lined up to endorse an openly racist asshole and aspiring fascist dictator based on his expressed endorsement of them beating and gassing crowds of people demanding they stop being violent racists.

All cameras trained on them and a massive national movement demanding they be better, they said, en masse, with gas and clubs, "No. We answer to no one. Go home and resign yourself to murder being legal as long as WE do it."


I'd like to think a reckoning is at hand, not just for Chauvin, but for the cop culture that happily and fratboyishly abides Chauvins in its ranks, but, as has been said before, even where there are "good cops," they're protecting men like him, so they're not. Cop unions act like protection rackets in some major metros and if you haven't read about how this works, do - because it's the same insidious superhero shit by other vile means. They found an actual Nazi in the Philly PD last summer and Philly PD did jack shit about it. He was a "brother officer" so they circled wagons around him and granted him "qualified immunity" for being a fucking Nazi. St. Louis PD officers got caught on tape last summer basically saying they were gong hunting, looking to single out people protesting police violence to corner and beat bloody, and they terrorized local businesses they felt did not "back the blue" sufficiently. Cop culture will find a way to go on abiding cops being fucking monsters because no one has bought harder into the cop-as-bedraggled-saint myth as they have.

"There are good cops," someone will respond to this as they have for the billionth time in order to completely miss the point, because sure, there are Good Cops. I honestly don't know the percentages, but yeah, they exist and deserve support, like when they, say, have to beat back a Nazi horde storming the capitol. And of those cops, wherever they may be, I'd like to see them step up and become true heroes of this time. Start investigating and busting shit cops. By the truckload. Make arrests yourselves. Turn state's evidence. Derek Chauvins are a dime a fucking dozen in PDs across the country. Start putting a dent in that. Surgery the Chauvins OUT of the system BEFORE they murder someone for being Black and insufficiently servile.

You probably can't, though, right? Because the union will, in some way or other, blackball you because you broke the omerta. And you'll become the recipient of a raft of conspicuously shitty performance reviews, or maybe the backup you call for conspicuously fails to arrive, again and again, in pattern. Or maybe some of those superheroes might shoot you. And maybe our Actual Good Cop will, like a lot of Actual Good Cops before them, say fuck it and find a decent line of work wherein they are not expected to act like an occupying army or front for those who do.

All to make sure the Derek Chauvins and the Philly Nazi cops of the world continue their work, unhindered and unabated, whatever the bodycount they rack up.

Fiat justitia ruat caelum

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