Individual accountability won’t solve systemic racism in policing, says USC professor

People gather with signs after the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, found guilty of the death of George Floyd, in New York City, New York, U.S., April 20, 2021. Photo by REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

On Tuesday, the jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin was deemed guilty on all three charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Retired LAPD sergeant Cheryl Dorsey says lots of change must come next, and there must be consequences that are equal to an officer’s misconduct.

“Every division has somebody like Chauvin who nobody wants to work with. You put him on morning watch. You put him on the desk. You put him in the kit room. You get him out of the field so that he can't hurt or harm anyone until you can either put the paperwork together to get him off the force, or you just relegate him to a house mouse,” she says.

USC law professor Jody Armour points out that there’s no commitment to overhaul policing, and it’s unclear whether new legislation can prevent more police brutality.

“This isn’t just about individual accountability. What we're really concerned with is that the system itself is problematic. There's systemic injustice in it. And this individual accountability approach gives the impression that the system can police itself, that the system corrects itself. And it can’t, right?” he says.