After Chauvin’s verdict, it’s time to go to work

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From April 22 to April 20, 2021, the country prepared for the impact of the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial. If we are completely honest, despite the overwhelming evidence provided by the prosecutor, the country, especially the African-American community, has expressed great doubts about whether the jury will reach a guilty verdict.

An hour before the announcement, people and images dominated my thoughts-Tamir Rice, Breena Taylor, Eric Garner, Reshad Brooks, and most recently Dart Wright .

Given the historical background of the deaths of these black Americans and many others, I pronounced the verdict, held my breath, and read the verdict. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree intentional homicide, third-degree murder and second-degree intentional homicide.

When Shavin was remanded and taken away in handcuffs, it was clear that there was no “winner” here. Mr. Freud is still dead, and the violent encounters experienced by black Americans continue to occur in disproportionate proportions. The result is far from true justice, but our country does have a moment of responsibility. This may be an opportunity to start a real system-level reform.

This summary report The recommendations of the President’s 21st Century Police Task Force, issued under the leadership of President Barack Obama in May 2015, recommend major policy changes at the federal level and formulate policies aimed at promoting effective crime reduction and building public trust Key pillars. According to this report, four key points are relevant to any discussion of police reform.

Everything is crucial, but two appear to be particularly important after the verdict. One of the key recommendations is to “establish the mindset of a guardian rather than a fighter” to build trust and legitimacy. The other is to ensure that “Peace Officials and Standards Training (POST) committees include mandatory crisis intervention training.”

As health professionals, we know that the ultimate effect of any intervention depends on the degree of shared trust and cooperation.

As a counseling psychiatrist, I have been trained to realize that when asked to consult on this case, I often do not perform medical diagnosis or intervention. I am helping the team and patients re-establish mutual trust.

Communication skills and techniques help to start a conversation, but without trust, you will eventually lack a common understanding. The foundation of trust can start with a commitment to procedural justice.

Procedural Justice description In the Judicial Cooperation Organization of the Yale Law School, “it talked about the concept of fair procedure and how people’s perception of justice is strongly influenced by their quality of experience.” Procedural justice has four main principles:

  • Are they treated with dignity and respect
  • Whether to give them a voice
  • Are decision makers neutral and transparent
  • Whether the decision maker communicated a trustworthy motivation

Studies of these principles have shown that they can increase trust and confidence in the police and lay the foundation for the establishment of a standard set of common interests and values.

As health professionals, we can and should accept many aspects of procedural justice, especially when we consider the use of restraints in medical settings.

In addition to the recommendations of the federal government and independent agencies, the national health policy organization also made clear statements about police brutality and institutional reforms.

In 2018, the American Psychiatric Association issued a position statement on police brutality and black men. In 2020, the National Medical Association and APA jointly issued a statement condemning systematic racism and police violence against blacks.

Other medical policy associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Medical College Association, have also condemned systemic racism and police brutality.

After Chauvin’s judgment, we saw something new and different. In our guerrilla country, there is a unified consensus. The police union, two political parties and various investment grassroots organizations have all spoken, acknowledging the importance of this historic moment.

In short, we may have real consensus and motivation to take further difficult steps for police reform in the country. There will be policy discussions and new training tasks, and of course the use of lethal constraints and techniques, such as chokes, will also be prohibited. Although helpful, unless we are responsible for real cultural change, these will ultimately fail.

The challenge of implementing procedural justice should not only be a challenge in law enforcement, it should not fall on the shoulders of communities with high crime rates. In other words, no ethnic group should own it. Ultimately, procedural justice needs the support of all of us.

The road is long and changes are slow, but I am optimistic.

When I looked at the verdict, my eldest daughter looked at me and she asked, “Dad, what do you think?” I replied, “This is accountability and opportunity.” She nodded firmly. Then, she picked up her smartphone, jumped into social media, and declared in a very knowledgeable teenage voice: “Dad, one voice is cool, but many voices are consistent; it’s time to go to work!”

to Darnella Frazier, This 17-year-old young man captured the murder of George Floyd (George Floyd) through video, and among your generation who dare to hold us accountable, I salute you. I thank you for forcing us to watch out even in painful situations and not to ignore the humanity of our fellow citizens.

It is indeed time to go to work.

Dr. Norris is the Deputy Director of Student Affairs and Administration at George Washington University in Washington, DC.


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The views expressed in this article represent the author alone and have not been reviewed by WebMD physicians. If you have any questions about your health, you should consult your personal doctor. This comment is for reference only.

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