• June 3, 2013

Today is the start of a jury trial before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis (D. Minn.) for Anthony James Lee’s case against the City of Minneapolis for events that occurred the evening of July 14, 2010 in downtown Minneapolis.

Either Mr. Lee was on his way home for choir practice at the Salvation Army when he was beset upon by racist police officers with a vendetta against him, and he was brutally battered and subjected to racist epithets, or Mr. Lee was arrested during a drug sting in which he was caught trying to sell an under-cover police officer.

Many of us will come to these dramatically inconsistent narratives with preconceived biases from reservoirs of experience shaped by class, race, and actual first-hand knowledge, not of whatever happened to Mr. Lee that night, but what has happened to us and people we know.

The Lee case and cases like it may be a perfect example of where there is simply no better fact-finding system than our juries and our court system.  From time to time, juries get cases and verdicts wrong, of course, but what better way is there to figure out whether or how laws were broken?

 

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