On this episode of The Federalist Radio Hour, Randy Petersen, a senior researcher at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and former law enforcement officer, joins Culture Editor Emily Jashisnky to break down the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged with the death of George Floyd.
“We can’t jump to a conclusion because when we do that, there’s this rush to judgment,” Petersen said. “I’m not even sure how many people are interested in the trial because he’s already been convicted as far as everyone’s concerned.”
Politicians and celebrities have called Chauvin long before the trial even started, Petersen said. “It very may well turn out that he’s convicted and then that would be an apt title but until that time … he’s been almost denied his due process rights.”
No matter the results of the trial, Petersen believes that all people would benefit from reexamining their perceptions about cops, crime, and other groups of people who have come under scrutiny.
“[Police] are, as an internal institution, one of the most colorblind groups that you can find. I think if the public knew that about police officers, they would have a different perception about the idea that they are somehow institutionally racist,” he explained. “They would live or die for each other, regardless of what the color of their skin is.”
“If the general public knew that about the police subculture, about how they view each other, they would reconsider this idea that it’s an institutionally racist program that’s designed to harm minorities. It’s genuinely, genuinely not. It’s there to help,” he said.