Fall River Police Facebook Drama an Overreaction [OPINION]
The Fall River Police Department says it regrets a post to its Facebook page it says was inadvertently made by a member of the department. The post concerned the Derek Chauvin trial. Chauvin, a white former cop, was convicted on Tuesday of all charges against him in the death last year of George Floyd, a Black man.
WBSM News reported, "The post in question was a repost from the Facebook page 'Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve,' and was itself a repost from a page entitled 'Roberta’s World' that read, 'Chauvin immediately stood and calmly placed his hands behind his back. Imagine where we’d be had George done the same.'”
Police removed the post then issued the following statement: "It is with regret that the Fall River Police Department's Facebook page was accessed by personnel who inadvertently re-posted an opinion that was meant for their own personal account. The posting in no way represents the opinion of the Chief of Police or the Fall River Police Department. We will continue our commitment toward transparency and building relationships with our community.”
Other than the police department employee posting on the department's Facebook page, I am confused by the reaction. Some who responded to it suggested that it might be "victim-blaming" and showed sympathy for Chauvin.
I don't understand. It makes sense to me that had George Floyd cooperated with the police, the world might be a different place today, and Floyd might even still be alive. Aren't those reasonable assumptions? After the verdict, Chauvin stood, put his hands behind his back, and walked peacefully out of the courtroom without resistance. Is that not factual?
I am not defending Chauvin. As a matter of fact, based on the little bit of evidence I saw, I think the jury got the verdict right. But many folks have hair-trigger reactions these days and almost seem to be looking for reasons to be offended.
The statement mistakenly posted to the police department's Facebook page was not inflammatory in my view. It was the opinion of the poster, and if you consider it carefully, there may be some truth to it.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.