Iowa Attorney Says There is Still Much Work To Be Done on Police Accountability

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IOWA — An attorney who represented an Eastern Iowan man who was injured in a police shooting in 2016 says the Derek Chauvin verdicts were a step in the right direction, but more work needs to be done to end bad policing.

Jerime Mitchell was shot by a former Cedar Rapids police officer in 2016 during a traffic stop. Mitchell was left paralyzed from the neck down. Earlier this month he was awarded an $8 million settlement in his lawsuit against Cedar Rapids for excessive use of force by an officer. Larry Rogers represented Mitchell in that lawsuit. Rogers says the guilty verdicts for the death of George Floyd show police can be held accountable – but he says the issue is much bigger than just that.

“Look at how Kyle Rittenhouse was treated. He was walking around, amongst officers they gave him water,” said Rogers, “It’s just amazing that the assumption is that whites – even when they have weapons – are not a threat and blacks who don’t have weapons are a threat. That’s the problem and it’s a perception problem that needs to be addressed from a training standpoint and a reform standpoint.”

Rogers says it was rare in Derek Chauvin’s trial to see officers cross the ‘blue wall of silence’ and testify against Chauvin and describe his use of force against George Floyd as illegal. The US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it is investigating the policing practices of the Minneapolis Police Department.

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