Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin has been convicted!
In the news media! They’re competing with each other as to who can wring the most salty tears out of a most preventable tragedy. Mr. George Floyd, please get in the squad car!
Has any recent trial (outside the U.S. Senate) been more politically charged than that of police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of Floyd’s second-degree murder?
Page one of the Sunday New York Times (04-04-21): “Chauvin’s trial bares the wounds of witnesses. Killing left scars on all who saw it happen.” Notice the word “killing.” Not death — which is never ice cream and balloons. He was KILLED!
Frank Bruni in the NY Times editorial section: “George Floyd felt absolutely helpless.” Well, it IS the opinion page because it certainly is not a fact put in evidence.
The ever-dependable Charles (does he ever!) Blow: Lessons from Lynchings; There’s a through-line from a noose on the neck to a knee on the neck.”
CNN: “George Floyd’s family describes heart-wrenching experience in the courtroom during Derek Chauvin’s trial, attorney says.”
CNN again: “Black families still reeling from verdicts in police brutality cases warn justice is not promised in Chauvin trial.” Um, it would be more accurate to say that conviction is not promised in Chauvin’s trial. That little thing about presumption of innocence.
Let’s not forget that an original member of the Defund the Police “Squad” represents Minneapolis in Congress. “Ilhan Omar: ‘Horrendous’ to watch Derek Chauvin’s defense ‘put George Floyd on trial’.”
The armchair experts at the Policy Werkes say that Officer Chauvin is not the poster boy for any police department. If any cop needs to be thrown overboard to assure a cynical public that police are reforming, Chauvin will do nicely. (Of course, it won’t.) But political expedience is not the standard in a criminal court of law.
Legal analyst Jonathan Turley writes: “the key to conviction in the Derek Chauvin trial (and avoiding a cascading failure in all four cases) is the autopsy findings and the role of drugs (including fentanyl) in the body of George Floyd.”
When called to the scene due to Floyd allegedly passing counterfeit money, Floyd denied using drugs but later said he was “hooping,” or taking drugs.
The state’s criminal complaint against Chauvin said the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.
Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease.”
He also was COVID-19 positive.
Andrew Baker, Hennepin County’s chief medical examiner, strongly suggested that the primary cause was a huge amount of fentanyl in Floyd’s system. …
The toxicology report on Floyd’s blood also noted that … Floyd had almost four times the level of fentanyl considered potentially lethal.
Floyd notably repeatedly said that he could not breathe while sitting in the police cruiser and before he was ever restrained on the ground. That is consistent with the level of fentanyl in his system that can cause “slowed or stopped breathing.”
Finally, the restraint using an officer’s knee on an uncooperative suspect was part of the training of officers, and jurors will watch training videotapes employing the same type of restraint as official policy.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: At the very least or at the very most, Derek Chauvin may be guilty of poor police procedure.