How’s the Derek Chauvin trial going?

How’s State v. Chauvin going? I haven’t been paying attention to this trial because I assume that conviction is guaranteed. If nothing else, since the judge denied a change of venue to somewhere outside the city, jurors who live in Minneapolis will have to convict Chauvin or risk having their houses burned down in a wave of post-acquittal mostly peaceful demonstrations (see also the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which followed an unwelcome acquittal).

Readers: Has anything new been learned?

It is a little unclear why taxpayers must fund this trial. Mr. Chauvin has already been convicted here in Massachusetts. From the Harvard Art Museum director, in an email regarding “Anti-Asian racism”: “It feels only moments ago that I was writing to you about the murder of George Floyd and so many others and the importance of banding together in support of our black and brown communities.” From our town’s “Selectmen” (one of whom is named “Jennifer”, so don’t take the “men” part literally): “Embedded in our town vision statement is a commitment to fostering economic, racial, ethnic, and age diversity within ***Happy Valley***. This longstanding commitment was brought into sharper focus and scrutiny last spring after the murder of George Floyd.” (the 2-acre zoning minimum is the cornerstone of our commitment to economic diversity, enabling us to welcome anyone able to afford a $1 million vacant lot) From the school superintendent: “Following George Floyd’s murder you received messages from [a diversity bureaucrat], me, and recently a statement from the School Committee expressing a commitment to focusing on race, inclusion, equity, and diversity in all aspects of our schools.”

Mr. Chauvin was also quickly convicted by our best and brightest nationwide. An email received July 4, 2020: “… more than 200 years of systemic racism. And just weeks ago, the murder of George Floyd. … We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country. … Happy Fourth of July, Joe Biden.” An email received February 9, 2021: “Black History Month is a time to celebrate, reflect, and be inspired to action. … from the wrongful murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, to the treatment of peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, to the attempts to diminish Black votes and Black voices in last year’s elections. … Happy Black History Month! Jaime Harrison, Chair, Democratic National Committee.”

[Regarding the unfortunate Breonna Taylor, note that a Grand Jury came to the opposite conclusion.]

Update, 4/20/2021: In case the jury is confused regarding the correct verdict … “President Biden calls George Floyd’s family and says evidence for a guilty verdict is ‘overwhelming.’” (NYT).


  • a 2015 post in which I noted that “Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted by an impartial jury of 12 locals wearing ‘Boston Strong’ T-shirts.” (the trial judge’s and prosecution’s failure to agree to the seemingly obvious need for change of venue has now resulted in years of litigation all the way up to the Supreme Court and, 8 years after Mr. Tsarnaev’s jihad, his fate remains uncertain)

Posted in Law

44 thoughts on “How’s the Derek Chauvin trial going?

    • Lord P: It just shows that nobody should let me serve on a jury! Based on what I’d read in the media, I was convinced of the guilt of all four police officers (but not that their actions were motivated by “white supremacy” since Wikipedia says that Tou Thao was “a Hmong-America” and “[J. Alexander] Kueng is of mixed races, and identifies as African American”).

      To get a truly impartial jury you’d have to find people who didn’t follow the news at all regarding this unfortunate incident.

  1. I have not been following closely, except for some commentary on NPR, which has been avidly interested in all the details and testimony, and supplemented it with a ceaseless stream of experts talking about why Blacks are killed by cops much more often than whites, even when they’re nonviolent (with back-and-forth segues to other experts talking about Asian Americans being increasingly victimized by whites). So they’ve had a lot of programming this week, and man, white people (and particularly white males) are EVIL.

    The biggest change in this trial that everyone has noted is that cops (including the Chief of the Minneapolis Police) are testifying against other cops. From The Nation:

    “That’s new. Police officers don’t usually testify against fellow police officers in a murder trial or anything else. I’ve never even heard of a police chief testifying against an officer. That cross-police solidarity is called the “Blue Wall of Silence,” which is kind of like some of the omerta vows we’ve seen popularized by other crime syndicates. That fact that the Blue Wall is crumbling in the face of Floyd’s murder and the months and months of protests against police violence is significant.”

    Despite this, the author at The Nation thinks it will end in acquital:

    “But if I’m right, we’re not dealing with rational people, we’re dealing with a jury that the defense was able to seed with irrational people, who will support any decision that winds up with fewer Black people in this world…I’d like to think that finding a few “good apples,” like Chief Arradondo, is what we need to achieve justice. But I don’t put a lot of faith in the power of old hymnals. My gut tells me that the verdict in this case has been locked in since the jury was seated, and this entire trial has been for show. I just can’t tell how the show ends. The police testimony at least makes it appear different from the other episodes of “How The Cops Get Away With Murder.”

    • Thanks, Alex. Yet Wikipedia tells us that one of the four police officers involved was Asian-American and another was himself Black. I continue to believe that this was about what happens when unionization grants a literal license to kill, not about race.

    • @Philg: We’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I think Chauvin acted with extremely callous disregard and killed Floyd with what he was doing, and it has almost nothing to do with police unions and much more with his own unfitness for duty. And I think the other officers at the scene should have known (and probably did know) that he was killing Floyd.

      There are a lot of unionized police officers in this country but we don’t see things like this happening regularly. I don’t think it has anything to do with his police union granting him a “license to kill.”

    • @Philg: And I say that because he had Floyd handcuffed, submitted and basically in custody with several backup officers nearby. He continued the restraint well past the time it was necessary and nobody intervened. Bad cop, and his fellow officers are also partially to blame. You can abolish unionized police officers if you’d like but you won’t stop guys like Chauvin from over-reacting and using excessive force – well beyond the necessary – unless you get to Chauvin’s state of mind and his reasons for using so much force for so long. I don’t think he was thinking: “Yeah, this is what the police union would want me to do.”

    • And I also don’t think it was about race. I’ve had a member of my own family who was pulled through a car window that was halfway up, damaging his kidneys and causing him to piss blood for 3 full days, and he was WHITE and the cop was WHITE. In his own driveway. In front of his own home. That cop got fired. Excessive force, totally unnecessary, and his fellow officers agreed but the whole thing took 15 seconds and everything happened in the aftermath. It wasn’t the police union – it was that individual cop’s aggressiveness and his total disregard for what he was doing.

      There are some bad-ass cops out there and some of them don’t deserve to be on any police force.

    • Alex: Chauvin was working in a team of 4. I would say that they’re all equally culpable (if a jury finds that a crime was committed). It is unreasonable to say that Chauvin was a “bad cop” based on whatever he was doing with George Floyd. His actions were observed by 3 other police officers and they did not object at the time. So whatever they were observing was presumably something that they thought was within the bounds of ordinary police work.

      (i.e., if you don’t like what Chauvin was doing, you can’t say that the problem is solved by firing and/or convicting Chauvin; you’d have to change the conditions of employment and responsibility so that other police officers would have been motivated to take a future Chauvin aside and say “you probably should be going about this in some other way.”)

    • @Philg: I agree that all 4 of them are culpable to some degree if he’s found guilty. But they’re not on trial. In My Mind, if My Justice was perfect and I reigned supreme, I would apportion blame first to the actor, the person in charge, who was committing the act, and who could have easily asked for assistance if he needed it, at 70% – and divide the rest of the culpability among the other three. Full disclosure: I’ve talked to several police officers I know about this, off the record. They’re unionized, they deal with cop life every day, including all the risks, including meth heads and highly resistant people on drugs, and who knows if they’re armed or not? And in their conversations with me they have unflinchingly blamed Chauvin first for violating his duty to “protect and serve” the community. He failed miserably in his paramount responsibility. I don’t know whether that’s a legally-grounded theory, but that’s what I think right now, given what I’ve seen.

      The police officers I know work very hard to establish and maintain solid and longstanding relationships with the communities they protect and serve, based on mutual trust. When the trust falls apart, and real people are casualties, it’s a very difficult thing to repair. Having lived in Newark, NJ with a college roommate who was Black and also had a Glock in his desk drawer, and seen some of his life up close, I can understand why a lot of Black people have a hard time maintaining trust that the police are there to protect and serve them. It’s a tough situation, but I don’t blame the police unions.

    • Thanks for the link. Here’s the paper:

      When the author actually starts talking about the data in his (as then) unpublished paper he says: “This is where we found a really remarkable and really horrible result. We found that after officers gained access to collective bargaining rights, that there was a substantial increase in killings of civilians. 0.026 – 0.029 additional civilians are killed in each county in each year, of whom the overwhelming majority are nonwhite. That’s about 60-70 per year civilians killed by the police in an era, historically, where there are a lot fewer police shootings. So that’s a HUMUNGOUS increase.” But that’s correlation, not causation.

      Here’s the abstract:

      “Do collective bargaining rights for law enforcement result in more civilian deaths at the hands of the police? Using an event-study design, we find that the introduction of duty to bargain requirements with police unions has led to a significant increase in non-white civilian deaths at the hands of police during the late twentieth century. We find no impact on various crime rate measures and suggestive evidence of a decline in police employment, consistent with increasing compensation. Our results indicate that the adoption of collective bargaining rights for law enforcement can explain approximately 10 percent of the total non-white civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement between 1959 and 1988. This effect is robust to a contiguous county approach, accounting for heterogeneity in treatment timing, and numerous other specifications. While the relationship between police unions and violence against civilians is not clear ex-ante, our results show that the popular notion that police unions exacerbate police violence is empirically grounded.”

      And as Rob says, pretty much all of that ENTIRE HUMUNGOUS increase was killings of nonwhite civilians.

      “So bargaining rights are leading to a SUBSTANTIAL increase in the number of primarily African-Americans killed by police officers. So it really does look like it is a protection of the ability to discriminate. So that is enormously problematic.” And then a long series of hypotheticals regarding collective responsibility vis-a-vis local funding and apportionment of blame.

      From what I can hear at the NPR link, the researcher in question is telling the NPR commentators exactly what they want to hear, packaged and presented in a way that seems irrefutable. The author is reaching back through 50 years and arriving at a 0.026-0.029 number seemingly without taking into consideration other societal factors, which he basically brushes away, and places all the blame squarely at the feet of collective bargaining rights. My guess is that that the truth is more complex than this, and NPR selected this author because he told them the story they were very interested to hear.

      I’m open to the idea that police unions have achieved too much ability to protect their officers in instances where something happened that was clearly criminal or unjust, but the way to fix that is pretty straightforward – adjust the contracts. He is saying a 10% increase, which isn’t negligible, but also goes from “significant” to “HUMUNGOUS” in the NPR interview. I think the collective bargaining agreements will come under increased scrutiny, virtually everywhere in the country.

      But I still don’t think that was the reason Chauvin held his knee on George Floyd’s neck for as long as he did. Only Chauvin knows why. He had 17 complaints filed against him during his career, if I’m not mistaken, the most of any of the police officers involved, by far.

    • @Philg: As to the incident in Vice, when the cops tell me to GET OUT OF THE CAR NOW, that’s what I do. And believe you me, it’s happened. To me. White guy, white cops. That guy’s lucky he’s not dead after driving more than a mile after the cops tried to pull him over and then not getting out of the car when they told him to.

      Were they excessive with the pepper spray and the blows? Yup. But when the cops try to pull me over, or tell me to do something, I DO IT.

    • @Philg:

      Also, what the Vice narrative neglects to mention is that he may well have been a Black Army Lieutenant, but the police didn’t know that. A lot of the time, criminals will steal a vehicle and attempt to drive it with “temporary plates.” They didn’t know who he was. All they knew was: “Big SUV, new looking, no rear plate, won’t stop when signaled to stop.”

      I think they were excessive after getting him out of the vehicle, but frankly, I don’t have any sympathy for him. When the police tell you to pull over, you PULL OVER. You don’t keep driving. You don’t sit there in the driver’s seat and continue to disobey their orders. They don’t know who the hell you are or what you are doing. I am not swayed by this example.

    • Alex: I’m not an experienced car thief, but if I were willing to steal a car why wouldn’t I be willing to steal a license plate as well? Wouldn’t it be much smarter and easier to steal a plate to go with the stolen car? Even if the plates are reported stolen, the police wouldn’t have a reason to check every license plate that they see. (Actually it is kind of tough to believe that cars are successfully stolen in our surveillance society. Why aren’t the stolen plates seen and recognized on all of the cameras that watch us? Stolen cars are never taken on the highway where booth-free toll systems are in use? The cameras aren’t programmed to look for the numbers of stolen plates? All of the criminals are using the “no plate” scheme you’re describing?

    • @Philg:

      >Wouldn’t it be much smarter and easier to steal a plate to go with the stolen car?

      Sure. But a lot of criminals are not that smart (which is part of the reason they wind up in prison, unlike a lot of white collar criminals who went to Ivy League schools!) Or only half smart. Here’s a guy in Texas who successfully got a loaner car from a BMW dealer (presumably with legitimate plates), then successfully robbed a bank, and then returned to the dealership and attempted to buy a BMW with the money he stole. He should have declared victory and bugged out. One step too far.

      Here’s one list of the Top Ten stolen cars in Massachusetts:

      > Why aren’t the stolen plates seen and recognized on all of the cameras that watch us? Stolen cars are never taken on the highway where booth-free toll systems are in use? The cameras aren’t programmed to look for the numbers of stolen plates? All of the criminals are using the “no plate” scheme you’re describing?

      I don’t know, and I don’t know whether anyone else can answer those questions, either if they want to keep their jobs. I’ll ask one of my police friends this weekend.

      It would seem to me to be a very risky endeavor, but criminals don’t mind risk. They’re criminals! I can take a couple of guesses: the time it takes between a car being reported as stolen until the relevant data makes its way into various databases and so forth is longer than instant, probably at least several hours, and usually a lot more? I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer as to how long that takes is: “Weeks or months.”

      Bottom line: he had a “temporary tag” showing through a tinted rear window, and it might not have been legible. So the police attempted to pull him over, and he kept driving. Then he refused to get out of the car when the ordered him to. No sympathy for that. He knew he was driving without the normal rear tag; he should have hit the brakes, pulled over and that would have been the end of it.

    • @Philg:

      From that list of most-stolen cars in MA as of 2017, you can see that thieves preferred the 1997 Honda Accord over everything else. So they like Hondas, too. This jibes with what I remember from Chicago, also. Everyone told me: if you buy a Honda, don’t park it on the street. It will get stolen.

  2. I’m with Philip as to “conviction is guaranteed”. I think the prosecution is putting on a good case. Too bad that the judge failed to move this trial out of Minneapolis. I think “retrial ordered is guaranteed” too. If there was any trial that legally had to be moved, it was this one. Why the judge refused to do it is an incredible mystery to me. If I was the prosecution and cared about an actual guilty verdict sticking, I would have agreed to move it. This trial was in danger the moment the judge refused to move it.

    • I agree with that, and did in the past as well. Not simply for abstract theoretical jurisprudential reasons, either.

  3. I recall a youtube video of a NYC police officer doing the knee on the neck to someone either not wearing a mask, or filming the police or both. This was outside on a sidewalk. So the defense may argue that the knee on the neck is formal police training. In which case they may start debating how many minutes a knee on the neck is acceptable.

  4. Police officers, firefighters, social workers, doctors. etc., and any job that has to do with “protect and server” or “save lives” is risky job because they involve direct interaction with people — more stupid people than you and I know — whose live can be at stake.

    Be it if Derek Chauvin is at fault or not, such jobs is a two-way-street as such, to me, the fault line is always a 50/50 one. No matter what’s the situation, the police officer has to look after and protect the offender(s) life, the by standard(s) life and his own life at all times. Guess what? It is not a black-and-white think when you have such a job (not as BLM, but as 1-to-1).

    To me, an offender is also responsible. S/he should always follow and obey — to the words — each and everything the officer is telling her/him and ask questions later. After all, in the USA, you are innocents till you are proven guilty and everyone knows this, no? So if George Floyd was following Derek Chauvin instructions, none of this would have happened. You might say there are rogue officers out there and that George Floyd does not trust the police. Sure, but this is in broad day light with many bystanders around.

    Now, lets take its unfortunate event a step further and apply it to other occupations.

    A firefighter, while carrying out a child out of a burning building, s/he dropped the child because he fell, got too tired, was not fit enough for the job, you name it, should the firefighter be put on trial for murder?

    An EMS driver, while driving a patient who had a hearth attack or what have you to the hospital, hit another car, a curve, a pothole, or what have and had an accident either flipping over the EMS vehicle or causing a major shake leading to the patient to die, should the EMS driver be he put on trial for murder? What about the nurse who may have been next to the patient who due to the EMS shakeup falls over the patient, hard, leading to a second and final fatal hearth attack?

    And here is another fun one for us to debate on. What if, 5, 10 or more years from now, we discover that one of those non-FDA approved COVD jab’s has a side effect (imagine something, small or major) on those who go it, who do we put on trial? Pfizer? J&J? Dr. Fauci? The government?

    So back to Derek Chauvin, is he guilty? Yes, but not more than 50%.

    • And one more thing.

      There were other officers on site when this was happening, why didn’t anyone of them stop Derek Chauvin or warn him of excessive force use? Why they are not on trial too? Shouldn’t they be considered as accessory to murder?

    • Your statement about being broad daylight only emphasize the nonsense of it all. If this is what goes down in broad daylight–cops killing someone on video with numerous witnesses, what happens when no one’s around? That’s precisely why this is so outrageous. Floyd was following Chavuin’s directions and look where it got him. Chauvin was 145lbs. and would have stood zero chance against Floyd’s 223lbs and 7″ height advantage if he wasn’t. Floyd was understandably upset about being arrested and claimed to be claustrophobic. These are reasonable side effects of being human, not conscious resistance. Give the guy a few minutes to calm down before stuffing him into a tiny cop car. Call for a paddy wagon maybe? Floyd was completely and utterly compliant for 9+ minutes, and for what? Another officer took his pulse and found none. Why bother taking a pulse if you’re not prepared to act upon the worst possible result? All for a $20 bill. It’s systemic, gross negligence on so many levels. Chauvin was negligent, as were the three other officers at the scene. He had 17 years experience and training and didn’t have the sense not to kill someone who was totally subdued. None of these guys were fit to be officers, nor were properly trained or prepared to handle what seems like a relatively routine arrest. These are the people we’re supposed to trust are making good, life and death split second decisions, but can’t even muddle through a protracted, 9 minute mistake? This is the authority we’re expected to bow to without so much as a single objection or question?

    • @Senorpablo, I didn’t say Derek Chauvin is innocent. In fact, I questioned why the other officers on site aren’t being charged too. And, if George Floyd was following Derek Chauvin instructions — from the very first moment when Derek Chauvin showed up — this unfortunate incident would have been avoided. Worse case, George Floyd would have been in jail.

      This is why I said this case is a 50/50 — BOTH parties are at fault.

      As to this being in a daylight. You are overlooking the danger police officers face everyday when they are on the job. For them, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING is assumed to be dangerous, to the police officer’s life and those around the suspect. They have no idea about the situation, the person or those around them. In few seconds, the officer could lose his/her life. This is why we see police officers shoot a suspect, when said suspect is running away but suddenly turns around with what could appear to be a gun in hand of the suspect.

      To truly understand the pressure police officers are in, have a look at [1]. Here is some quotes from that link:

      “During the study period [2014 to 2019.], 1,467 local and state law enforcement officers were shot in 1,185 incidents, 249 of which were fatal. That works out to, on average, 245 officers shot per year, 42 of them fatally. The study excludes federal officers, corrections officers, and shootings of officers by colleagues.”

      “That said, policing is still a dangerous profession, Nix and Sierra-Arévalo say. “I think we would all agree that being shot at, being wounded by a bullet, amounts to a certain level of dangerousness in a profession,” Nix said. Both authors condemned listicles that rank a variety of other professions as being more dangerous than policing, like fishing, logging, and trucking. “You’re not really sending pizza drivers or truck drivers to very potentially volatile situations in which there’s always at least one firearm and that’s the firearm on the officer’s hip,” Sierra-Arévalo said.”

      So, this is not about bowing to the authority without a single objection. It is understanding the risk police officers face on their job and that they must treat any innocent situation as a dangerous situation. The only way to reduce this risk, to both parties, is for the offender to follow the officers’ instructions, word-per-word, from the very second the officer commands the offender.

      One last point and a true story. Over my 35+ years of driving, I have been pulled over several times. In all of those cases, I did exactly what the officer asked me to do. Once I was told to step out of the car, so I did. And once after being stopped, the officer took my registration and license and walked back into his cruiser to look me up (he told me to stay in my car, they always tell you to do do so) I was so upset and decided to walk over to him to explain myself (he was not in his car yet). As soon as he heard me opening the door, he placed his arm on his gun ready to draw it and yelled at me and commanding me to get back in my car. That was enough to tell me I better keep my mouth shot and get my ass back into my car.


    • And this just in “Daunte Wright: New bodycam footage shows arrest and shooting” [1].

      You can see how within seconds — in bright daylight — the suspect was shot dead as he resisted arrest and tried to run away.

      And this from Tim Gannon, Brooklyn Center Police Chief [2]:
      “As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s command, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Gannon said. “This appears to me from what I viewed and the officer’s reaction in distress immediately after that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”

      Bottom line, never ever resist a police officer, even if you are 1000% incent.


    • George – I couldn’t disagree more. Your attitude that George Floyd would still be alive if he had complied to Chauvin’s every whim is asinine. At the point George was in handcuffs, Chauvin and the other officers assumed complete responsibility for his well being. What happened prior to that point is completely irrelevant. This whole attitude that the public must follow every order and obey completely, commands given by law enforcement is nonsense. This is part of the whole, our lives are the only ones that matter, and I’m allowed to make wild assumptions and presumptions under the excuse of preserving my life at all costs. Zero hesitation mentality is juvenile. I thought I saw a gun. I thought they were reaching for what could have been a gun. I think they were thinking about reaching for a gun. They didn’t follow my every instruction to my liking, so they must have intended to kill me. This crazy prioritization of officer safety leads to ridiculous abuse of power, needless escalation of petty crimes, and is just wrong thinking. You see this mentality repeatedly corrupting the actions and attitudes of police. The idea that police must be in absolute control of everything at all times is absurd and flies in the face of reality and human nature. People getting shot while un armed and running away. Guys who declare they have a legal, licensed gun in the car getting killed while producing an ID, following a previous command. Kids with Asperger’s getting tranquilized and killed for no good reason whatsoever. Policing must account for the reality that people react differently, under stress or otherwise, than what officers might demand or expect, and adapt accordingly. Policing is not even remotely dangerous in the scheme of things. The danger is greatly exaggerated to excuse awful behavior and training. This list shows 21 many other very common jobs which are as or many times more dangerous. Who is thinking of the poor roofers–risking their lives with every step, 4x more likely to die than police? Also, most police deaths are attributable to driving accidents, which effects any number of occupations. In fact, I believe that taxi drivers are far more likely to be shot on the job than police. Yet, we don’t allow them to be complete power abusing a-holes on the job, killing anyone who they feel threatened by, do we?

    • George – and here’s a local, to me, example of how out of control and dangerous this police superiority and paranoia is:

      During the Dorner manhunt, the police-lives-above-all-else, and everyone-is-a-killer, paranoia was so high that police engaged in two shootouts with completely innocent civilians without so much as a shred of justification. Suspect is believed to be driving a pickup? Shoot any pickup within 400 yards of a police officers house! Truck not the right color or make? No problem! Drivers not the right gender or race, no problem! The system is totally out of control.

  5. Seems to me that if the jury follows the law it will return a not guilty verdict. Based on the evidence the prosecution has put in it doesn’t seem possible that the State can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (i) the defendant’s actions caused Floyd’s death rather than Floyd’s drug use — his “I cant breath” was said before his interaction with the defendant & obviously was a result of the drug cocktail he had ingested; (ii) that the defendant intended to cause the death of Floyd — there is no evidence of that, which is necessary for a homicide conviction; or (iii) that the defendant was “willfully indifferent” as that term is understood in law. It also not incontrovertible that the the defendant knelt on his neck — there is also video footage that seems to show the defendant knelling on his back not neck — the evidence on this point is conflicting. Interesting fact that the media does not pick up: Chauvin is 5’9″ and weighs about 150 while Floyd was 6’4″ and weighed about 240. As anyone who has tried cases knows, juries more often than not follow the law and do the right thing. So I wouldn’t be so confident about a conviction. And if the defendant were convicted without sufficient evidence or the court’s refusal to change the venue was wrong there will likely be a reversal on appeal. I would be wary of media accounts of the trial because they strike me as biased.

    • 6’4″ at 240 lb is not very impressive judging by height to weight ratio, if he was not all muscles or trained boxer, and he was not. 5’9″ at 150 lb is pretty small for anyone but track athletes. If officers were able to restrain him up to the point of handcuffs they could control him. If you can not deal with unarmed visibly overweight 6’4″ at 240 lb dude without killing do not be a beat cop. Obviously Floyd has been under influence before, hardly anyone believes that knee on his neck did not contributed to his demise.I doubt that impartial jury would not have convicted Chauvin of at least involuntary manslaughter, even though it could mean police officers being afraid doing their duties. I am not talking any social movement here, BLM, etc. I support police and military in general, some of my family were military and police.

  6. What cop will want to do his job when he can become a murderer anytime a criminal junkie ODs in his presence? “Yeah, I’ll be in the donut shop until my pension vests. Bye.”

    Anyway, the prosecution doesn’t have a case. They have an ugly video and the usual expert witnesses paid to say whatever. Two can play at that game, so presumably the defense will bring out some doctors to point out that drugs can kill–especially drugs in the concentration that Floyd had in his cholesterol-jammed blood.

    One point to remember, if you’re skeptical: The cops on the scene did *not* escalate to the extent they were entitled to. They might have pulled out the Taser or chemical weapons, but didn’t. Instead they used a restraint, which is much, much safer.

    • This site, although clearly against the new world order, thus biased, has a pretty different blow-for-blow account of the trial, than NPR.

      There seems to be numerous examples when the state’s paid expert witnesses and other witnesses make the defense’s case:

      “This line of argument took a body blow from the defense, however, when Nelson began displaying images of the knee placement from different angles showing that Chauvin’s knee appeared to be on Floyd’s shoulders and back, rather than on Floyd’s neck. Indeed, Lt. Mercil, the state’s expert on MPD use-of-force training and policy explicitly agreed on cross-examination that this appeared to be the case.

      So what’s the state to do when a key facet of their narrative of criminal conduct is contradicted by their own expert? Move the goals posts, of course.

      Today, however, Prosecutor Schleiter and his state-paid use of force expert Stiger began to avoid the claim that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck, and instead started referring to Chauvin’s knee being on Floyd’s “neck area.”

      What’s the “neck area”? Well, the shoulders and upper back!”

      here from day 8:

      Expert witness performed poorly, perhaps because he never had been a “use of force expert witness in state or federal court:

      “Stiger Cross-Examination

      The first shocker in all this was that despite the huge significance of this case, and the national profile it has seized, the state apparently managed to choose as a use-of-force expert witness someone who had never testified in any state or Federal court as a use-of-force expert witness.

      I know you’re thinking I mistyped that, so I’ll repeat it:

      Sergeant Jody Stiger, the state’s highly paid use-of-force expert witness retained to share his expertise with the jury in Minnesota v. Chauvin, one of the highest-profile police use-of-force prosecutions in American history, has never before testified as a use-of-force expert witness in any state or Federal court.

      This. Was. His. First.

      To say I just about fell out of my chair when I heard that would be an understatement.”

    • onetwothree – “usual experts paid to say whatever,” including the medical examiner, chief of police, and the most veteran detective at his own station? I for one am grateful you prefer the donut shop to the idea of working as a cop, apparently because you’re only interested if you can try and execute “criminal junkies” on the spot with impunity. As for “not escalating to the extent they were entitled to,” does that include torturing and slowly killing the guy over a period of 9 minutes? Thank god they didn’t tase or mace him, he might have been….injured?!

    • Senorpablo? Aren’t these folks simply scapegoating Chauvin at this point? Whether or not you think it is reasonable to call what he did “murder” it was plainly something that other police officers in Minneapolis though was okay because three of them were there on the scene and didn’t try to stop Chauvin. Now, however, his brother/sister/binary-resister officers are coming out to say that what Chauvin did was way off the reservation (and we don’t need Elizabeth Warren to tell us how bad that is).

      If they can paint Chauvin as a single bad apple then they can keep the system in place indefinitely ($300,000+/year total compensation, practical immunity from almost any wrongdoing via unionization, etc.).They can say “We convicted Chauvin so now #ProblemSolved and #MissionAccomplished.”

    • Philg – I believe that all the officers will be tried, Chauvin is the first up. But, to your point, the fact that ALL FOUR of these guys didn’t have the sense to not kill a guy in broad daylight only emphasizes the level of systemic corruption in law enforcement. Not one of these guys had the sense and stones to prevent Chauvin from killing another man and also ruining his own life? I expect the same authority and power complex that police display towards the public probably exist in their own hierarchy. Police are put on the hero pedestal–we must give them tremendous latitude and we can’t possibly fire them because what they do is so dangerous(it isn’t at all). It’s a great marketing job done by the unions or whomever. It seems like the majority of police training focus on their safety and well being, at the expense of those who they are paid to serve. It’s a completely voluntary job so this seems backwards to me.

  7. > What cop will want to do his job when he can become a murderer…

    Yes, de-policing has had a spectacular effect: “In 2020 America experienced a terrible surge in murder“. Of course in a theocracy it’s unwise to utter heretical conclusions, so for those clever writers at the Economist the explosion of violent crime is a mystery, a puzzle – so perplexing!

  8. @Philg: And then, Philip, I read things like this, and I think you might be a lot closer to correct than I am about police unions. It looks like the former President of the Boston Police Union was a child molester – and that fact was well-known to the police – who kept it a secret and kept his badge and his power and retired with full benefits while he kept molesting kids:

    “For Years, the Boston Police Kept a Secret: the Union President was an Alleged Child Molester”

    “Despite 1995 evidence, Patrick Rose kept his badge, worked on child sexual assault cases, and ascended to power in the police union. He went on to allegedly molest five other children.”

    They loved him! 80% !! (the rank-and-file, I mean):

    “Rose ran for union president in December 2014 and ousted Nee, winning the vote of some 80 percent of patrol officers. Commissioner William B. Evans issued a statement at the time, congratulating Rose. (Evans told the Globe he was unaware of the 1995 allegations.)

    As union president, Rose helped patrol officers win a new contract and led a fight against officers wearing body cameras.

    Even during the years of his union presidency, Rose allegedly preyed on a new generation of children, prosecutors say. He retired in 2018 and collects an annual pension of just under $78,000.”

    Is that just his Union pension? Or is there a second pension he also collects as a retired cop?

    Maybe you’re right. Maybe they all need to go.

    • I didn’t say that anyone “needed to go”! Humans adapt to their environment. If you give people license (via unionization) do almost anything that they want with only a 0.01% chance of being fired then there will be a lot of behavior that one might consider undesirable. Since the government makes the laws the government can de-recognize police unions tomorrow (“public health emergency”) and I am sure that the police officers would adapt to the new conditions quickly.

  9. In totalitarian societies, where there are no unions or fictive unions representing only totalitarian governments and government emergency riles everyday, police is more corrupt and often lawless then here in the USA and is much more untouchable, definitely not fro mistreating proles or peasants. For sure Mr. Rose would be less likely to be prosecuted in such society and more likely have full support of his government customers; his vendors would be management of government orphanages. Attacking last vestiges of freedom – right of assembly – is no way to go.

  10. I learned during trial the knee to neck was much worse situation then originally viewed, the slow death he suffered,
    What haunts me. Is Mr Floyd says b4 goin n backseat of police car’I know Im going to die, I know y’all gonna kill me”
    Premonition i dont kniw

    • “I learned during trial the knee to neck was much worse situation then originally viewed, the slow death he suffered,”

      How did you learn that? The state has walked back their claim that knee pressure to neck cause asphyxiation or blackout due to reduced blood flow to brain and subsequent asphyxiation.

      Since the claims fell flat after cross examinations of witnesses by defense, they changed tune to handcuffed in prone position caused asphyxiation.

  11. The prosecutors shot themselves in the foot today. In order to refute the role carbon monoxide played they reintroduced the test results for blood oxygen (98%). By doing so, they, the prosecutor, ruled out that hypoxia resulting from the 9:29″ knee on the neck of George Floyd was the cause of death. You can’t have hypoxia with a normal 98% blood oxygen content. I was surprised that none of the pundits, nor the defense caught this. I will come up during closing statements, I’m sure.

  12. @AppellateBoi:

    “Too bad that the judge failed to move this trial out of Minneapolis. I think “retrial ordered is guaranteed” too. If there was any trial that legally had to be moved, it was this one. Why the judge refused to do it is an incredible mystery to me. If I was the prosecution and cared about an actual guilty verdict sticking, I would have agreed to move it. This trial was in danger the moment the judge refused to move it.”

    It looks like you (and I, for similar reasons) were correct. Thanks to Maxine Waters’ statements and also the effect of the Daunte Wright shooting.

    • …and before the jury has reached its verdict, the media is hard at work disseminating information about the them from their questionnaires during jury selection. How long will it take before someone who knows all these people on social media start divulging their identities? If I was a gambling man, I would say it’s a pretty good bet that the various social media companies have already crunched through the data and know who exactly who they are, based on the past few weeks of usage patterns of their accounts combined with the demographic information from the questionnaires.

      I wonder whether the idea of a compartmentalized jury trial immune to outside influence is even possible in America any longer?

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