The Rev. Al Sharpton says that, “We demand immediate justice! There ought to be an immediate trial, and an immediate trying of the evidence, and stop the judicial stalling! Because justice delayed is justice denied.” I’m surprised that Rev. Al hasn’t asked for the trial to be held under a nice oak tree where somebody has already strung up the rope.
Unfortunately for Al, there is a Constitution. However, before all the right wing nuts get upset about this, they should look to the example of their leader, Herr Trump. The Donald often makes outrageous claims and demands, and then backs off of them. He wrote about it in his Art of the Deal book. Sharpton knows a trial ain’t gonna happen next week. However, he’s trying to make sure something happens.
The officer that shot Terrence Crutcher is entitled to a fair trial–even though she effectively denied Crutcher his Constitutional rights. To be clear, from all the video I have seen, and I have watched all the available videos a dozen times each, I think the shooting was unjustified. The man did not have a weapon and the officer’s lives were not in danger and neither was the lives of any civilians. This makes the shooting unjustified.
However, I do not know why she shot him. She might have mistakenly thought she saw a gun. She might have gunned him down in cold blood. She might have got rattled and accidentally fired off a round. I don’t know. That’s why we have trials.
The protestors are probably hoping for the death penalty. They will be disappointed. The death penalty is only for first degree murder. I expect it would be almost impossible to prove first degree murder or even second degree murder. To prove first degree murder, it has to be proven that she intentionally set out to kill a man that day. Good luck proving that. The next crime down is second degree, that the officer killed the man in the heat of the moment after getting angry at him. It will probably be difficult to prove that as well. It is a female cop, so the jury will be more sympathetic, and if it is a majority white jury, then she will be even more sympathetic.
If she gets tried, I expect it would be for some type of manslaughter. I think that is the only charge that might be able to be reasonably proven. She will have a good lawyer hired by the police union. In that regard, she will have it much better than many poor black defendants. There will probably be a plea deal. Sharpton, the family, and the protestors will be deeply disappointed. If it comes to that, she will likely get no more than 3-4 years.
That’s from the evidence I have seen so far. There is still evidence we don’t know. All the facts are not in yet.
And, that is why we have trials and not lynchings. The officer is just lucky that she is not black, the victim isn’t white, and this isn’t 50 years ago. If that was the case, then she’d already be swinging in the wind.