Analysis: Mass shootings and the Chauvin trial force America to confront its culture of violence
April 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 18.6%. 2 min read.
America is being forced to confront a basic failure to keep its own citizens safe with a murderous daily churn of mass shootings and the nation on edge for the end of the trial into George Floyd's murder.
While there have been a flurry of efforts at local levels, the usual outcome at moments like this is political paralysis as Washington -- where national polarization is institutionalized -- fails to produce even marginal reforms to law enforcement or gun safety.
"The verdict is step one, but what we've seen in too many of these cases, in the rare time there is a guilty verdict, we have seen people get off with minimal sentences," added Bass, the sponsor of the Democratic police reform bill named for Floyd.
The shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a police officer in a Minneapolis suburb a week ago, for instance, highlighted how routine law enforcement stops can still quickly escalate with tragic consequences.
"The outcome that we pray for in (the) Derek Chauvin trial is for him to be held criminally liable for killing George Floyd because we believe that could be a precedence of finally making America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all," civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Sunday.
The Democratic-led House has already passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which takes a series of steps including setting up a national registry of police misconduct and overhauling qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that critics say shields law enforcement officers from accountability.
Another three people were killed in a shooting that police said appeared to be related to a domestic incident in Texas.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week that he planned to bring legislation to the Senate floor to address the "epidemic" of gun violence.
But Republicans argue that Democrats use mass shootings as an excuse to take away guns from law-abiding Americans who need weapons to defend themselves in such situations.