Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

It wasn’t just one rogue cop

Near the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, I wrote that one of the silver-linings of the pandemic would be that cops would stop beating black people. My reasoning was that cops wouldn’t unnecessarily risk the physical contact. Silly me! I should have known that the urge to beat blacks was too strong for some cops.

Note that I said “some.” I agree that not all cops are bad. That said, every American city has deplorable, racist cops, and the percentage of them is much higher than any police force will admit. The facts are that the profession attracts people who get-off on authority, and the training they get only increases their lust to exert that authority. It also doesn’t help that we have a president who encourages cops by saying, “Please don’t be too nice.”

What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis wasn’t just one rogue cop. Three other cops were on the scene watching Floyd struggle to breathe under Derek Chauvin’s knee. Why didn’t even one of those cops intervene? Is there anything rarer than a cop stepping in to stop another cop from using unnecessary force?

Only two things will stop police brutality aimed at blacks: The retraining of every police officer in America and juries that will actually convict guilty cops. Unfortunately, convictions seldom happen, because cops always manage to get enough white rednecks on to the jury to protect them. Derek Chauvin must be tried for murder—and there must be at least an equal percentage of blacks on the jury!

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