YOUR VIEW: Engage in Peaceful Protest – Injuring Law Enforcement Officers, Destroying Property Accomplishes Nothing
By Bryan Lober, Brevard County Commission Chair // June 1, 2020
YOUR OPINION • YOUR VIEW
The wholly avoidable death of George Floyd has rightfully and understandably upset millions around the country. Enough context to allow for critical evaluation of the events leading to his death appears to be available based upon video released into the public domain.
In an environment where silence regarding an injustice may be misinterpreted as approval, it is necessary and proper that I express my firmest possible condemnation for the actions of Derek Chauvin, the former law enforcement officer who killed Mr. Floyd.
To have placed a knee on a detained or arrested suspect’s neck for any longer than may have been absolutely necessary is disgraceful. For that matter, why was it necessary to have placed a knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for any period of time? Defensive tactics courses teach placement of a knee on a suspect’s shoulder blade, not on the neck.
Why wasn’t Mr. Floyd simply secured with handcuffs and, if appropriate, additional restraints and placed in the back of a police vehicle? I cannot fathom any set of circumstances so extenuating as to justify Mr. Chauvin’s actions.
Even if all criminal allegations against Mr. Floyd were completely true, killing the man at a time when he undeniably posed no threat to any person is reprehensive and should not be viewed as acceptable by anyone in a civilized society.
I encourage those similarly incensed by Mr. Chauvin’s actions to allow for the legal process to work as it was designed. Mr. Chauvin has already been terminated, which is an excellent first step.
He is now, appropriately, facing multiple criminal charges, including murder, for his actions. There is a strong likelihood that he will end up facing years in prison and that it will be a miserable experience for him.
If you would like to engage in peaceful protest, do so. But injuring law enforcement officers and/or destroying property of those totally uninvolved accomplishes nothing.
If you destroy police assets, taxpayers will replace them, victimizing uninvolved taxpayers and putting the entire community at greater risk until the damaged assets are replaced with new ones.
If, for any reason, you blame all police for the actions of the bad apples, why help them obtain brand new cars? Why give them a valid excuse to confront you with OC spray, CS gas, electrical weapons, and rubber bullets?
Similarly, the owner of the shop someone decides to burn may be just as angry at Mr. Floyd’s death as the person ruining his or her shop. Even if the shop owner has insurance, the claim will almost certainly raise his or her premiums or result in future coverage being unavailable.
Rioting and looting will not bring back Mr. Floyd, will not better ensure Mr. Chauvin is convicted of anything, and indiscriminately hurts the community, many of whom abhor what took place.
Let the investigation and prosecution run its course. Thus far, it looks like there will be at least a measure of accountability. No, it will not bring back Mr. Floyd, but it may well save lives by discouraging other bad apples from doing what Mr. Chauvin has done for fear of facing the consequences of their actions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Commission Chair Bryan Lober and his wife, Rebecca, have lived in Brevard County since 2011. Since adopting their one-eyed rescue dog, Winks, Lober and his family decided to make their forever home in Brevard County. Lober serves District 2, which includes Cocoa, Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Avon by the Sea, Cocoa Beach, Snug Harbor, Patrick Air Force Base and Rockledge. He is the only attorney serving on the Board of County Commissioners. Lober served as the 2016 – 2017 President of the Brevard County Bar Association – the youngest individual, on record, to have served in such capacity in the organization’s 65+ year history.