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.”

Get our free mobile app

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 barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Timeline: George Floyd's Death, Protests, Riots, Arrests, Chauvin Trial

It was late afternoon on Memorial Day, 2020 and many Minnesotans had observed the normally active weekend hunkered down because of the growing pandemic.

George Floyd drove to a grocery store in Minneapolis and bought some cigarettes. He was accused by employees of making the purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill and police were called. Floyd was still there in his vehicle when two officers arrived. About 10 minutes later, Chauvin and another officer showed up and the situation began to escalate. Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck as he was facedown on the street. Despite repeated pleas from Floyd and a growing crowd of bystanders to remove his knee, Chauvin continued as if frozen in position with no facial expression. 

After more than 8 minutes, Chauvin finally stood up and Floyd had become unresponsive. An ambulance was called and a short while later, it was reported Floyd was dead.

A video of the incident slowly spread on social media around the state, the country and the world. Viewers literally watched a man slowly die, repeating "I can't breathe." 

The now historic response began the following day.