She Was Found Guilty…
The Kim Potter verdict came in a few minutes ago and she was found guilty of both first and second degree manslaughter. All the way around it’s tragic. She was convicted because a jury of her peers – not the police kind – deemed that her actions in the death of Daunte Wright were both reckless and negligent. In the scope of her professional duties, someone was killed unintentionally by her choices. One of those striking elements that was glossed over in certain right-leaning media is that as the verdict was read, she showed no emotion. If she had any other profession other than policing, they would have had a problem with her “display of remorse”, that catchphrase that defines if someone’s “evil”. The pundits simply said how difficult it must be to be an officer. It is. As someone who’s done an element of policing action in Iraq, there wasn’t any amount of money to convince me to do it daily in America. But that’s where the criminal justice system should sit… in the system of choices we make. With 26 years in her profession, Potter should have known EXACTLY what she was doing and if she couldn’t clearly do that, she had a choice… many, actually… and the one she took killed a man. And at its worst, she’ll do 15 years for it. But the right verdict was reached.
Now, contrast that with another professional. Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was a professional truck driver who’s brakes failed and he killed four people with his rig on a Colorado highway. He, however, was 23 years old, a less experienced professional. He made a choice to become a truck driver and he made a series of choices on the day of his accident (and it was an accident… unlike pulling a firearm on someone and pulling the trigger). For his choices resulting in a conviction for vehicular manslaughter, he was sentenced to mandatory 110 years, a sentence that’s driving public outcry for its heavy-handedness. But if you’ve seen either of these defendants, professionals whose decisions ended someone else’s life through systematic errors, Mr. Mederos, at least, cried for the lives lost at his decisions. His “display of remorse” was for the victims. Potter’s lack of display shows what she thought of Wright.
In the end of both of these cases, lives were lost and futures forever changed. I’m just not sure that a cop with nearly three decades of experience in use of force should get as little time compared to a person who had no inclination that his profession would turn deadly. At least he’s remorseful enough to be recognized by the victims’ families as such. Maybe she’ll shed tears for Daunte Wright at her sentencing… doubtful, but I’m hoping….
by Rory Andes
Ask yourself, “What is justice?” Then ask yourself, “What is forgivable?”
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Rory Andes 367649
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