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Guilty: is your judgment clouded?

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:23 am
by millipede
How does our court system work today? We have this saying "Innocent until proven guilty..."

But it seems to me that today, people sitting at home looking at a computer screen, reading headlines, think they KNOW who is guilty and who is innocent. So many people today have this idea of what the truth is that is based on FEELINGS alone.

There are two stories in particular that I'd like to talk about... Sadly, people that have made up their mind on a subject are not very likely to change it... no matter what facts are put forth.
You should thank God and our legal system that feelings and biases are not part of the law. You should be thankful that a judge and a jury actually look at facts, in case you ever end up in legal hot water.
In all seriousness... how would you like it if you were accused of a crime and a judge just looked at you, heard ONE side of the argument, and found you guilty? Or what's more, decided people should throw rocks at you because, I'm sure you deserve it. Or what if you did not commit a crime and an investigation didn't show any wrongdoing... but complete strangers that were not there and did not go over ANY of the evidence or facts decided that, even though you were found innocent, you still deserved to die?

By this point, you might have guessed that one of the stories I'm bringing up is Ferguson, Missouri.
(Spoiler, the next story is about "deflate gate", continue reading...)
Last year( I can't believe how fast the years are going by lately) a black man was fatally shot by a white police officer.
From the very beginning, the color of their skin was the primary focus of SO many people. A year later and many people still cannot see past that.
I have to ask just who is struggling with skin color?
The facts... the plain and simple facts...
Michael Brown had just robbed a store and roughed up the owner. This is common knowledge and factual. When a police officer went to investigate, Michael Brown did not listen to the officer and even charged at him, reached into the police car and started punching the officer.
Somehow... NONE of this matters to some people. This story, for them, is not about a criminal being shot by an officer... but ONLY a white man shooting a black man.
The people that can't see past the facts, or should I say can't see the facts, are being manipulated by other people, social media, and their own feelings.
Was that officer racist? You think so? Do you know the man? Oh, it doesn't matter? He's white, the "victim" was black... end of story?
A year later, the officer was asked if he thinks that Brown was a good or bad person. His response was that, he only knew the guy during that 45 seconds that he was trying to kill him.
The truth is, Michael Brown violently attacked the officer. This happened. It was proven by the evidence as well as several witnesses. Yes, there were witnesses that said he shot him in the back... but, those witnesses were called out when evidence disproved that... and, they were found to be lying. Somehow, that doesn't stop people from believing just what they want to believe.
The incident was investigated... and, not by his police department... but, by the department of justice. They looked into this whole thing very carefully and found no wrongdoing on his part. Even with the investigation clearing him, they still had a jury go over things. This jury wasn't a bunch of white people selected by friend's of the officer... that's not how juries work.
The jury went over the evidence and also found the officer clear of any wrongdoing.
Now this man cannot get a job as a police officer anywhere... is living in hiding as he's gotten death threats.
And here we are a year later and the people of that city are throwing rocks and frozen bottles of water at police officers.
Why? And when someone like myself starts saying that, these people in this city are just hurting themselves and shouldn't be rioting... There are those out there that still want to blame the police. A young man I know said that this all started with police abusing their power.

I have two things to say to that...
1. So, two wrongs do make a right? People are causing crimes and attacking others(all based off of emotions and lies) and it's okay because they don't like the way the police are? That's not how things work. Throwing rocks at people is NOT going to get anyone to see your point and it's not going to fix anything. Throwing rocks at people is going to land YOU in jail... and then what? It's the police's fault? We all love to blame other people. If you throw rocks... that is YOUR decision and you will be held accountable.
And if you charge at and attack a police officer, you will be held accountable.
If I, a white man, charged at a police officer(regardless of his or her color) and started punching him and such... that officer would use whatever force necessary to protect himself. That is the law. And, it's common sense... as....
2. For all you that are still mad at that officer... What should he have done? He feared for his life. Should he have just sat there and taken the beating? What imaginative solution can you come up with since you know all the facts? Oh, certainly Mr Brown wasn't going to kill him... certainly not. Oh, the officer could have restrained him safely without injury to the man? Really? That guy had a hundred pounds on him. He was a BIG guy and he was VIOLENTLY attacking the officer.
In all seriousness... Do you really think you KNOW how things should have gone down that day?
MOST police officers do not like using deadly force... In all honesty, most people do not like taking another person's life, regardless of color.
But don't sit there and think you know what happened, what should have happened, and what was on anyone's heart.
How would you like to be judged with such bias and ignorance?
The fact is, the riots happening are absolutely pointless... they're people lashing out with their emotions... but, emotions are deceitful.
The FACT is, the officer was innocent of any crime. You can BELIEVE what you want, but this is factual and has been proven via several methods including a jury.
These riots are going to further cause tension between police and the citizens there.
EVEN some of the black people in that community know this. Nice story on the news of a black man restraining another black man... Why? Because you cannot solve your issues that way.
Let's say there is racial problems in the police department there... (which, there may be)
If you're a black man throwing rocks at police officers... will that magically change things? Will the officers say "oh, you're right... we'll be different from now on?" What it's going to do is keep the tensions high and land you in jail... which you'll then blame on someone else.
It solves nothing... and literally makes things worse. If there's an injustice in the world... you handle those situations legally... and peacefully.
But whatever you do... you can never blame YOUR actions on another human being.
TRY... try really hard to see this story from the perspective of truth. Are there racist cops out there? Certainly. There are also racist criminals out there? Why can't we address them? We all get mad when officers think they're above the law... why do we think criminals are above the law.
Please, throw color out the window for a few moments and consider what actually happened that day. A criminal attacked a police officer and the officer protected himself. End of story. But, rather than look at ANYTHING the black man did(stole, roughed up shop owner, attacked police officer), let's focus ONLY on the color of his skin and say it wasn't fair...

Why can't we stop and say "hey, don't commit crimes people..."
Perspective... feelings... Biases... Biases because, if you already think the cops are bad and out to get black people, you are UNABLE to look at the truth.

How about some football now?
Since I typed so long for the other story... I'll keep this one shorter. Or, I'll try.
I really wish people would read this.
The New England Patriots had a bunch of footballs that had less air pressure than they should have... and that turned into a HUGE controversy. (Let's ignore the fact that the Patriots did VERY well without the under-inflated balls... right?)
The news came out... Tom Brady is guilty of knowing that the balls were not inflated properly... and many people that already disliked him(Bias people) cheered... were glad he was getting what he deserved.
Let me ask you... did you read the story? After a very thorough investigation... they found NO EVIDENCE that Tom Brady knew the balls were not inflated enough. For a moment, you NEED to put your bias attitude aside... You THINK he of course knew... he of course was in on it... because, he's evil and your football team is perfect...
Listen... once more, they found NO evidence that he knew what happened.
But, he got punished anyway.
If you are focused on your biased opinion of the Patriots and Tom Brady, you can happily ignore this simple fact. And, you do... because in your heart you KNOW he's guilty. You're a mind reader after all right?
How could he not know right?
You're forgetting what I talked about earlier... innocent until proven guilty.
What if, dare I ask, he is innocent?
Once again... how would you feel if you were accused of something and after an investigation... the people in charge could not prove you did it but, still punished you for it?
What if you're at work and you're accused of stealing donuts from the boss' office? They go over the video tapes and interview colleagues and all that... and, can't prove you did it... they have no evidence that you did... but, after the investigation they decide you deserve to lost 4 days pay... or, even just the cost of the donuts.
Because they don't like you and they KNOW you're guilty...
Honestly... if you hate Tom Brady... if you KNOW he's guilty... You NEED to think about this.
This is not justice. In your mind, he's getting what he deserves... The thing is... you do not know what he did... you do not know what he deserves... and, you're not a judge.
All this goes to serve your already biased opinion of the man. Admit it... you don't like him... and that is ALL there is to it.
You're using YOUR attitude to justify an injustice. And that does not make anything okay.
I will not justify anything the patriots have done that is wrong... wrong is wrong, and teams should be punished when they are actually proven in the wrong... But, you biased people need to go do a little digging and see how many football teams do shady things to get an advantage... how many teams and players and coaches... The Patriots are NOT alone in this ugly behavior. Somehow, they're the only ones that get raked over the coals for it... even when it isn't proven. Biases... :/ and attitudes. As far as football goes... it's just a game. If your blood pressure changes because something doesn't go your way in a game... that's not healthy.

I'm sorry for anyone that is bothered by either of these stories(especially the football one... if you HATE the patriots THAT much, you need help or need to follow a different hobby)
The truth is... A LOT of people are unable to look at actual truths because of their biased opinions and their feelings.
Connecting the dots from "hey, that guy was black and the officer was white" to "he must be racist, let's destroy the town..." is ridiculous.
I am sorry that man had to die... I really am. No family should have to lost a child. But the color of their skin doesn't implicitly mean that it was a racist act. The facts are out there... The officer was found innocent of any wrongdoing. You can't decide he's guilty JUST because you feel he was, or a group of people throwing rocks say he was, or because of any assumptions and biased attitudes. You HAVE to look at the facts.

And... as hard as this might be for some of you to swallow... even if the officer was racist... that still would not negate the facts of that day...
And furthermore... even if the officer did not fear for his life and really did just kill a man because of the color of his skin... that still would not justify looting, rioting, destruction of property, and attacking police officers.
Shootings like this happen all the time. Sometimes they even will find that an officer was in the wrong, and you know... he's dealt with.
You don't read a story on social media or hear it from your friends and then take to the street and start a war with the police. You just don't do that. Many other cities throughout history and even today have had similar incidents happen without all the violence.

If you were at a scene where an officer was abusing his power and you tried to stop it... I would applaud you. But you don't read a story and go attack officers(that weren't involved anyway) the next day. You're certainly not helping anyone by throwing rocks a year later.
Are they going to throw rocks next year as well?

Lastly... What's the solution? how do you heal these broken cities?
The answer is most certainly not in allowing them to throw rocks at people. And, the answer is not in blaming the police for everything you don't like in life. These riots literally just make things worse.
I have so many thoughts on this issue...
But to wrap things up... weigh the actual evidences... Find the right balance between heart and mind. What I mean by that is... We have people that think with their logic and reasoning only and ignore feelings... and we have people that think ONLY with their feelings.
Neither one works by itself. We have to address BOTH sides. What are the facts? What happened? What response will be of benefit? The logic and reasoning MUST be addressed... but in doing so, we must also look at the feelings of people and address them.
So where is that middle ground? I'm not entirely sure. But, I do sincerely hope more people will reach for it. If we can't at least seek that middle ground of truth, we're all doomed.