Op-Ed: The Floyd Case Isn’t About Policing — It’s About People Refusing to Be Responsible


This American tragedy runs too deep for the superficial fix favored by President Biden. “We’re going to continue to fight for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act so we can — I can sign it into law as quickly as possible,” he said following the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. The president’s haste misses the real problem. There can be no justice without prudence. I’m not talking here about prudery or some namby-pamby cautiousness. Prudence, said Aristotle, is the charioteer of the other virtues. Aquinas agreed: “Moral virtue cannot be without prudence because it is a habit of choosing, i.e., making us choose well.” A society that has lost the will to exercise prudence as a basic human duty is in real trouble. No amount of justice in policing can compensate for a society that indulges bad choices. Ordinary common-sense prudence was missing in this whole sorry saga of George Floyd’s drug-driven behavior during arrest and the distracted behavior of Derek Chauvin resulting in his murder conviction. Both actors were at fault in this inane, totally tragic yet totally avoidable disaster.

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