By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
Only hours ago from the time of this publication, a jury in the Derek Chauvin murder trial found the defendant police officer guilty on all counts for the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. A 9-minute video of this murder left no doubt that justice had to be done for a horrific, racially charged incident witnessed the world over.
However, while protesters and family victims applaud the outcome in Minneapolis today, a highly contrasting one must be recalled in the murder trial of Michael Slager in 2016. He was a white police officer who shot another black man, Walter Scott, dead five times in the back while fleeing, unarmed from a child support warrant discovered at a traffic stop. It occurred on April 4, 2015 in North Charleston and was caught on camera by a concealed by-stander.
That horrific video, like the George Floyd one, also went viral worldwide and touched off a wave of protests across the country. Despite all that, the murder trial resulted in a hung jury after a single white juror claimed he could not “in good conscience” join the other jurors in a unanimous guilty verdict. It was a sad outcome no doubt influencing the much wider protests and anxiety surrounding the Derek Chauvin trial five years later.
Fortunately with justice denied in a South Carolina state court, justice was ultimately achieved one year later in federal court when Michael Slager pled guilty to multiple counts resulting in a 20-year sentence. The family had previously recovered a $6.5 million civil settlement in connection with the same incident, yet these events did little to avert the carnage which followed in multiple locations.
When these racially charged murders are chronicled in various reports, Walter Scott is often omitted. Child support injustice is never addressed. Yet this victim was not chased down and killed for the commission of any crime. He was gunned down because he was unable to satisfy a money debt. But because child support is the holy grail for feminists, that crucial element is downplayed. Is our government now killing for money? It is a further sad commentary on the draconian enforcement practices that have also killed countless parent-child relationships.
Indeed, in my home town of Utica, New York, a police investigator exited child support court in September, 2009 after his guns were confiscated, protection orders were issued and his career permanently tarnished by a divorce needlessly inflamed by such practices. He promptly entered the former marital home to commit a murder-suicide through the use of a simple kitchen knife, leaving four children without a mom and dad. The family obtained a $2 million settlement against the taxpayers in the case of Pearce v Longo, 766 F. Supp.2d 367 (NDNY 2011). Yet no one blamed the family court system and, to date, no reforms have occurred.
Diverse victims and the public generally rely on qualified civil rights attorneys to expose judicial corruption. They comprise a tiny group yet to be acknowledged as judicial whistleblowers. This is because retaliation is severe and common. As one such victim, I issued reports, exposed clear misconduct, filed precedent-seeking cases, and sponsored reform efforts across the country. At the Walter Scott funeral I addressed national media, Al Sharpton and Congressman James Clyburn regarding the needless conflicts caused by federal Title IV-D funding. My efforts were rewarded by severe harm to my health, law practice, and father-daughter relationships.
You can learn of my horrific ordeal throughout this site, http://www.leonkoziol.com and in my 2017 book, Satan’s Docket. In short, like the white lawyers who were brutalized down south during the sixties for their courageous stands against racial injustice, I was subjected to similar brutality. It is long past the time when such sacrifices are given similar recourse against the perpetrators of hate crimes upon people everywhere.