THE IRONY OF THE AHMAUD ARBERY AND GEORGE FLOYD CASESadmin
As a rule, I never make posts or offer comments on issues dealing with politics, religion or police (mis)conduct. These subjects tend to be extremely polarizing and tend to have a basis of personal perception. Those that know me know that I place very little value in my own opinions because they tend to be fickle, or flaky at best. That’s because my opinions are always based on the current, yet ever-evolving facts. So rather than changing my opinions every 5 minutes to keep up with the constant revelation of unfolding facts, I tend to just keep my opinions to myself.
Having made this disclaimer, I, like everyone else within knowledge of these two situations, am struggling to maintain my composure and silence. Plus, having spent 35 years of my life in law enforcement, and as science would have it, I happened to have been Black, every single day of those 35 years; I tend to see both sides of these type coins. However there are occasions when we’re dealt a one-sided coin, which leaves but one blatantly obvious explanation or interpretation.
I don’t want to comment on the facts of either of the events themselves, because the various video evidence totally negates any need for commentary in either case. The videos are irrefutable. I’d rather like to point out the irony of the George Floyd case when it’s contrasted against the Ahmaud Arbery case, which preceded it in the news. The irony is the fact that the perpetrators in the Arbery case have been entered into the criminal justice system with a flawed defense of their right to execute a citizens arrest. However unfounded and unsubstantiated that entire argument is; and even though they had not a sliver of the legal basis to do so; they still took it upon themselves to ACT lethally against Mr. Arbery.
Now contrast that with the fact that in the Case of Mr. Floyd, the bystanders and concerned citizens/witnesses to this murder, were well within their legal rights to physically interfere with the criminal act of this officer slowly draining the very life out of this victim. There has been numerous State and US Supreme Court case law acknowledging a citizen’s right to use equal force to resist an unlawful arrest, as well as the right to resist illegal use of force by law enforcement officers – up to, and including deadly force. In other words… Citizens have the right to use the same or equal amount of force being used against them illegally by law enforcement. That includes the right to use lethal force if it is being unlawfully applied by the officer. Not knowing their legal rights/responsibilities, the witnesses in the George Floyd case stood helplessly by as this murder was committed before their very eyes.
Now, there is no question that there is a very fine thread between defining an officers actions as being lawful or unlawful. Thus, I am in no way suggesting that folks adapt a posture of resisting arrest every time they encounter law enforcement, and feel that the arrest is not appropriate. The legal formula is much more complex than that, and you really don’t want to be caught on the wrong end of the actual facts once they’re uncovered. In other words, it’s not enough for a citizen to FEEL like the officer is acting unlawfully. The facts need to crystal and indisputably clear, as well as meet myriad other legal criteria. One needs to also weigh the specifics of the situation, and whether it’s better to just take the ride to in-processing, and fight the case in court.
Every battle doesn’t have to be fought in the streets; however, the available video in this case clearly indicates that this was a situation where intervention by bystanders was unquestionably appropriate and legal. So the irony is that in the case where there was no legal right for those 3 perps to interject themselves into a situation, they did it anyway. In the case where there was EVERY right for someone/anyone to interject themselves and ACT, they didn’t.
That’s the irony of the two. The sad reality of the two situations and countless others, is that either way, and seemingly no matter what… they always tend end up with an unarmed Black Man dead in the streets…