Swamp Rabbit was yapping about the Derek Chauvin trial. “Too bad he was wearin’ a mask. I wanted to see the look on his face when the judge read them guilty verdicts.”
I recalled watching Chauvin on TV last May, when his knee was on George Floyd’s neck and people on the sidewalk were staring at him. The look on his face said What are you going to do about it, call the cops?
“Ain’t no way he gets convicted back in the day,” Swamp Rabbit said. “Maybe things are changing. ”
Don’t get carried away, I told him. Technology has changed — the pervasiveness of smartphones being the prime example here — but cop culture remains pretty much what it always was. Cops have each other’s backs, just like outlaw motorcycle gang members. Their unwritten code discourages reporting or testifying against brother officers (and sisters, sometimes) who commit crimes. Some of Chauvin’s brothers turned against him in the end, but only because his crime was on video and especially gruesome.
“You ain’t telling me nothing new,” Swamp Rabbit said. “But the pressure is on. What about the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act?
“What about it?” I said. “Some state and local reforms have been made, but that federal bill won’t pass without support from Senate Republicans. The same gang that blocks all progressive bills. They even fought to block the presidential election results.”
“But the Floyd verdicts change all that,” the rabbit insisted. “Republican will look like racists if they don’t do the right thing.”
“Most Republicans are racists,” I replied. “That’s one of the reasons you can usually count on them to do the wrong thing.”