Sunday, June 14, 2020

George Floyd's Death Could Save Us All

The tragic murder of George Floyd could, if we as a society have the will, save us all. To do so we need to do more, much more, than just prosecute the person who killed Floyd; we need to change the legal system that has historically ignored criminal activity within law enforcement.

Here is the problem. If you are a violent or raciest (or both) person you are naturally drawn to work in an area where you can freely express these tendencies without repercussion. Sadly, the best place to do that in our society is law enforcement. I am not saying all police officers are violent or raciest, they are not. But it is not just the officers who commit the crimes who are guilty. Those who witness or know of such actions and do nothing share the guilt. The so called "code of silence" is nothing more than criminal conspiracy. The institution itself not just a few individuals is the problem. 

Clearly crime and corruption is a problem within law enforcement. How do we fix it? I think we have conclusively proven that having black and other minority mayors, police chiefs and city counsels does not work. Nor do I think that better laws is the answer because the laws we have are actually pretty good. The solution, I am convinced, lies in the third branch of government - the judiciary.

The reality is that our judicial system is too often where crime occurs not where justice is ensured. As a society we casually accept this. Think about what is meant when someone says they have a good lawyer. What they really mean is they have a connected lawyer. A lawyer who knows the judge so you can get out of that DUI. It should not matter who the lawyer knows. It should not matter how much money you pay the lawyer. Only the facts should matter. But that is simply not the reality we live in. The legal system is supposed to be blind as to your race, religion, sexual orientation, national heritage, how wealthy you are and even who you know. But it is not. 

Even when lawyers unquestionably commit crimes as Nelly Wince did in my case, it is is ignored by legal system. Judge Mearly, who admitted to knowing Wince personally, ignored it.   The Lawyers professional Responsibility Board ignored it as they do in nearly all complaints agaisnt attorneys. The county attorney's office went so far to state, in writing, that there is no law agaisnt a lawyer lying in court and that the term "fraud upon the court" does not exit in Minnesota statutes. Both statements are  not only false but outrageously false. What they should have stated is that in Minnesota lawyers are allowed to commit crimes with impunity. Just like violent and racist people find a home in the police force, people who enjoy criminal fraud find a safe, welcoming and financially rewarding environment in the legal system.

Trying to fix crime and corruption in law enforcement without addressing the institutionalized crime and corruption in our legal system is akin to putting a small bandage on a cut artery. It won't work. But if we do change the legal system to make it fair and equitable then perhaps George Flyod's tragic death with save us all.

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