Friday, July 9, 2010
In Oakland, Cal. riots occurred because of a jury's decision to not convict an officer of murder for killing an unarmed African American. The officer claimed that he accidentally pulled his gun instead of his taser, shooting the man. The jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter. (Basically saying that his "mistake" was so bad that it counts as a crime.)
In response, many rioted in Oakland, breaking the law themselves, as a protest to the jury's decision. I find this irrational on a couple of levels.
First, a jury, a group of citizens and the rioters equals, gave the sentence. There were groups who peacefully protested this decision yet I'm not sure why they would want to protest what a jury decided because that jury, I assume, was made up of people of them.
Second, those who rioted acted in the name of the victim. They broke the law as a way of protesting against one who they believe broke the law. If they are in favor of the law being handed out, why go break what you're trying to uphold?
Lastly, what good is going to come of this? I don't know many riots that have resulted in better governments, better societies or a happy people. I know approximately 50 people were arrested. They're probably not very happy.
Though it may appear from our view that the officer should be convicted of murder, we need to be careful to weigh our opinions carefully. A carefully weighed opinion means you spend careful time looking at the matter (perhaps six hours like the jury did), and when you come to a conclusion, don't act in a way that warrants arrest. (Like that officer.)