By Jesse Romero
A retired (Catholic) Cop analyzes the arrest of George Floyd and the riots around the country from a common sense, law enforcement and Christian perspective.
Before we get into the arrest and death of George Floyd while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. Let me give an overview of ‘Law Enforcement’ as God see’s it.
What does the God think about Law Enforcement Officers? Law Enforcement is a God ordained profession.
God loves cops – it is a God ordained vocation. *Matthew 5:6,9,10 “Blessed are those who hunger for righteousness…blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God…blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.”
That’s what all Police Officers and Deputy Sheriffs are called by the state: ‘Peace Officers’ because they are meant to protect us from ‘domestic enemies’ while the Military is called to protect us from ‘Foreign enemies.’
God wants you to defend yourself and to defend others, that’s why God has given Law Enforcement and the Military the authority to use force against those who violate the law. Romans 13:1-4 reads: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience….”
Self-defense is clearly stated as a part of Catholic teaching in the Catechism (CCC 2263). We are allowed as Catholics to use the proportionate force necessary to overcome the unjust aggression of another person.
When a Law enforcement officer or one serving in the military, is a person of faith, it makes the job a little easier because it brings you ‘peace of soul.’ A Police Officer of faith knows that God is always with him / her even when your riding by yourself in a patrol car. Police Officers and Deputy Sheriffs run courageously into danger when everyone else is running out of danger.
Joshua 1:9 reads: “I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified, or discouraged; for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go.”
My reflections on the death of George Floyd (may he rest in peace) subsequent to his arrest by the former Minneapolis police officer who has been arrested and charged with manslaughter. Former officer Derek Chauvin faces third-degree murder and manslaughter charges after a bystander’s video circulated of him holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes before Floyd died. Activists claim it’s another example of systematic racism in law enforcement. George Floyd death sparked protests in cities across the nation Friday night, hours after his arrest and death.
Because Law Enforcement under a constitutional republic like ours is reactionary, former officer Chauvin was responding to a call for service and reacting to a negative contact with George Floyd. When your placing someone under arrest, its usually not pleasant for the officer or the suspect.
I have not seen what precipitated George Floyd’s arrest. I can only comment on what the video shows. George Floyd was arrested and on his stomache, so far no problem. The problem lies with former officer Derek Chauvin having his knee on the side of his neck. I have been trained in the ‘use of force’ with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.’ Once a suspect is handcuffed and no longer a threat, any excessive force would be against law enforcement policy. In point of fact, the neck is an area where law enforcement officers are specifically admonished and trained to never place an arm bar across it, unless your life is in danger. Law Enforcement use ‘haptics’ which are physical gestures to reinforce a message. Guys do this all the time, eg. sport teams show approval of each other by slapping each other in the behind, giving a high five or punching someone in the shoulder while giving them a positive message. Officers use haptics also, you tell a suspect (once handcuffed) “move over here” as you direct him physically by placing your hand on his shoulder or grabbing his wrist, no problem with that. However, once someone is handcuffed, subdued and under control than an officer must stop using force or pain compliance. An officer is not justified putting his knee across the side of the neck of a handcuffed suspect. That excessive force was not justified and unnecessary. Pain compliance is used to handcuff a suspect who is resisting, but once handcuffed, pain compliance ceases.
One of the definitions of ‘justice’ (dictionary.com) is – “the administering of deserved punishment or reward.” I don’t understand why Americans are protesting, looting and rioting against Police and small business owners. Former officer Derek Chauvin has been terminated and was arrested within 24 hours of the incident. Usually an officer who is accused of excessive force or takes the life of a citizen is put on desk duty pending the investigation. Not, in this case, the Minneapolis Police Department threw him under the bus like they never knew him. I have never witnessed the wheels of justice turn so quickly against an officer in this country accused of committing a crime while on duty as it has for Derek Chauvin. Let’s not forget, in this country a defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law. Having said that, there has been justice in this case.
- Derek Chauvin has been fired after 19 years serving Minneapolis as a Police Officer.
- His wife is filing for divorce, he will lose his two houses.
- He will most likely go to Prison for many years where he will more than likely be killed because he was a Police Officer. He will be treated like a person with leprosy in the Prison by the inmates and the Prison Guards.
My hope is that Derek Chauvin, now that he has lost everything, in the quiet solitude of his jail cell, he examines his life and does some deep soul searching as to the meaning and purpose of life. I hope that he opens his heart to God and has a deep interior conversion and completely transforms his life and becomes a disciple of Christ so that at the end of his earthly life, he goes to heaven forgiven of all his sins and made a new creation in Christ.
My hope is that George Floyd as he was dying made his peace with God and reconciled with him. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us in paragraph #847: “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – these too may achieve eternal salvation.”
In short, everyone has had plenty of opportunities to turn to God in their hearts before they die. What St. Faustina teaches is that God continues calling the lost soul and reaching out to the lost soul with His grace, even to the very last moment of the person’s life.
She writes in Diary entry 1507: “All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary: that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest…”
All lives matter regardless of color, race, age, wealth, location, religion, etc. Nobody is saved by race, we are saved by grace (cf. Ephesians 2:8).
In 2 Peter 3:9 (RSV) it reads: ‘The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.’
No one is more important than another in the eyes of God, that is why God sent his Son to die for our sins. Sinners like Derek Chauvin, George Floyd, you and me need a Savior.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 RSV).
All Lives Matter to God and He gives us chance after chance to repent and turn to Him. Because all lives matter to God, He sends people to warn of judgement day coming. God is a loving God, but He is also a just God. He will punish sin and punish the ones that reject His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many people reject and don’t accept the message that God’s judgement is coming. One day we all will meet God. God doesn’t want anyone to perish and go to hell. If God doesn’t want anyone to perish why should we? We should make sure we bring as many people as we can to Heaven by telling them about our Savior Jesus Christ.
Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Baby Lives Matter, Children Lives Matter, Muslim Lives Matter, Jewish Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter and the list can go on and on. Everyone’s Life Matters. Why do all lives matter to God? Like it says in 2 Peter 3:9 above, God doesn’t want anyone to perish and go to hell. God wants us to repent and accept His Son before we die. If we die and don’t repent and don’t accept Jesus Christ, we do so at our own peril.
1 John 5:12 (RSV) “He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life.”
And to the ‘anarchist’, they are simply opportunist who follow their disordered passions because what’s in their heart is evil. Their Luciferian – The Luciferian spirit tells men: “I deserve, its owed to me.”
Jeremiah 17:9 (RSV) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?”
Anarchist (dictionary.com) – “a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.” Demons are attracted to ‘disorder’ and promote ‘rebellion’ & ‘revolt’ against lawful authority.
*1 John 3:10 (NAB) “By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.”
Repenting of our sin is not just saying ‘I am sorry’, but a 180 degree turn or change in direction.
God doesn’t look at people the way people look at people. God looks at the heart (cf. 1 Samuel 16:7). God doesn’t see color! God loves us so intimately that He even bottles our tears (See Psalm 56:8) and knows the number of hairs on our head (See Luke 12:7 & Matthew 10:30).
What’s keeping you from become a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Today is the day of salvation! We are never promised tomorrow. We all have an eternal final destination. Every funeral, reminds us of just how thin the veil is, between this world and the next, between time and eternity, between the opportunity for conversion and the moment of judgment.
In the final analysis, eternity, there will only be winners and losers – Heaven or Hell. We choose our own destinies – by how we live our lives. In conclusion: “If you pray well, you will live well, if you live well, you will die well; and if you die well, all will be well.”- St. Augustine.