Police Officer Convicted

VA Officer

Photo: The Root

Eight black and four white jurors convicted a white police officer.  The conviction is rare, the diverse jury is rare, and this is the reason why Black Americans are routinely excluded from juries.  A Virginia officer was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of 18-year-old William Chapman.  Officer Stephen Rankin used the famous phrase so many officers and others use when trying to justify the shooting death of a black person. “I feared for my life” seems to be the most popular. The phrase is so classic the words are repeated verbatim for each shooting.  I have to wonder if this phrase is a standard part of police training?  Presenting the case to a predominately white jury, portraying the victim as a large violent beast, with super-human strength would have surely brought a not guilty verdict.  I am surprised his attorney agreed to such as diverse jury, unless the routine works so well they believed a diverse jury would not matter.  They were wrong.  This is an example of why a jury of one’s peers is so important. Read the entire article below.




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