The case against Chauvin will soon be adjudicated. The question is, can America handle the verdict?

The entire nation is on edge as the jury finished its deliberation as to whether Derek Chauvin is guilty of either 2nd Degree Murder, 3rd Degree Murder, or 2nd Degree Manslaughter. Or, whether he was in fact not liable for George Floyd’s death last spring and will be acquitted.

A Country on Edge

Businesses in Minneapolis are boarded up as the jury deliberates. (Photo: KARE 11)

Cities around the nation are preparing for backlash in the event of a “not guilty” verdict. Businesses all around Minneapolis have boarded their windows and officials all the way from the local Minneapolis patrol officer to the President of the United States are watching with a vested interest.

Some states, Minnesota included, have activated the National Guard to help better ensure safety for both citizens and property.

Despite having no stake in the outcome of the trial at all, National Guard soldiers standing watch early this past Sunday morning were targets of a drive-by shooting. Two soldiers were injured in the shooting, but none were killed.

Damage to a vehicle’s window is seen near the corner of Broadway and Penn Avenue North in Minneapolis early Sunday, after Minnesota National Guard members on duty in the Twin Cities were fired at in what authorities said was a drive-by shooting. Photo: Minnesota National Guard

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he is “praying” for the right verdict. He also said that he spoke to Floyd’s family and that their desire is “peace and tranquility” regardless of the verdict that is handed down.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

While President Biden’s comments will likely be admired by about half of the population, the other half is likely wondering why a sitting president would comment on an active trial prior to a verdict. I saw that President Biden said he waited until the jury was sequestered to make the comment. Nevertheless, I’m not sure why his opinion on this topic is an overtly relevant one. The verdict will be rendered based upon the facts presented in the case and the decision will be made by a jury of Chauvin’s peers, not by an incumbent president, public outrage, or the news media.

On May 26, 2020, people protested police brutality after the death of George Floyd. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/Flikr)

The concept of innocent until proven guilty has proven of late to be no more than a mantra people repeat rather than a belief they solemnly adhere to. Even as a police officer, I never understood how one could be “innocent until proven guilty” and then get arrested for the crime of which he/she isn’t yet legally “guilty.”