This opinion piece by NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar appears on Townhall.com.
In the midst of the rioting following the killing of George Floyd by Officer Derek Chauvin, the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, asked himself the rhetorical question at a press conference last week: “Why is the officer who killed George Lloyd, not in jail right now? I can’t answer that question.” The answer is simple as he well knows. His police chief, Medaria Arradondo, decided not to arrest Chauvin on any number of charges, ranging from felony assault, manslaughter, to murder.
Had he promptly done so at the time he fired Chauvin and the other three officers who assisted him, the community, as well as his fellow officers on the force, would have seen that law enforcement was being responsive and the rioting might have been minimized.
The subsequent complaint against Chauvin filed by the Hennepin County Prosecutor for manslaughter and third-degree murder would have superseded the initial charges of any arrest. There was no excuse for delaying the arrest of Chauvin. After all, Mr. Lloyd, before he was killed, was arrested on mere suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, a petty non-violent offense. Here, we have videotapes and eyewitnesses to a brutal assault, torture, and homicide.