My thoughts on the verdict are all over the map. Not Guilty. Yeah, ok.
From the onset, this was a strange case for me, since my disgust for the DA’s office is equal to that of my disgust for ‘law enforcement officers’. This meant I would have to be allies with an enemy. Thus, for that reason, I have tried to keep my expectations very low.
The idea that an innocent person would be incarcerated sickens me and for that reason I have long preached that I would much rather 100 guilty people go free than have 1 innocent person behind bars. Today, it looks like I will be tasting my own medicine.
Being a Calvinist means that I place a premium on the sovereignty of an all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful God. In an eternal sense, justice is His to impart. There is comfort for me in that truth. That is what makes the Cross so meaningful, because at the Cross love and justice collided. Therefore, looking at my own sin, and what my sin did to Christ, I can continue to keep my eyes on Him, knowing that everything is orchestrated by His sovereign will. Even the stuff that makes me sick. Even the stuff I don’t understand.
But I still live in a temporal world, one which I am called to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. Here is what I have to say about that: it is a bad idea to offer any person a badge, a gun, and immunity. Our sinful natures were not designed to be that empowered over each other.
We allege that we are a free society. We are not. As of 2007, the US made up about 5% of the planet’s population, but a staggering 24% of the prison population. How is that a free country? In gestapo-like tactics, we have police cruising the streets, looking to fill their coffers with all types of arbitrary violations. This is Ayn Rand’s nightmare-people that don’t produce stealing from those that do. But until the people realize that freedom should be our aim and that the state will do everything it can to take it from us, we should expect more verdicts like the one we got last night.
Allow me to make one point regarding why I think this verdict is a case on injustice. Kelly Thomas did nothing to bring the police to the transit station and he did nothing illegal after the initial contact with Ramos. When Ramos begins placing gloves on his hands, he makes this comment, “Now see these fists? They’re going to (expletive) you up.” At this point, Kelly Thomas acts defensively. And who wouldn’t? Who looks forward to getting the hell kicked out of them?But jurors agreed with defense attorneys that the officers were trying to subdue an unruly suspect, not beat him to death. Why were the officers trying to subdue him? And what was he suspected of doing? And how can trying to subdue a man turn into this:
Of course, the very capable John Barnett argued, “They did what they were trained to do”. I know. That is exactly the problem.