If I Had Made the Closing Argument in Defense of Derek Chauvin…, by Robert S. Griffin

Monday morning quarterbacks are not always wrong, and Derek Chauvin may not have gotten a very good closing argument from his attorney. From Robert S. Griffin at unz.com:

At this writing, in mid-May, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted by a jury of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd during Floyd’s arrest. Chauvin hasn’t been sentenced yet. The first charge carries a maximum of forty years in prison.

Chauvin was one of four officers involved in the arrest of Floyd on May 25th 2020 for passing a counterfeit $20 bill. They handcuffed him but were unable to get him to go into the back seat of a police car. While Floyd was lying face down in the street, Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck and shin on his back for over nine minutes and he died. Mobile phone video taken by a bystander recorded the episode. The autopsy revealed that Floyd had COVID, heart disease, and high amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death. The medical examiner’s opinion was that Floyd died of cardiac arrest and that his health condition contributed to his death, which he ruled a homicide. The case received extensive attention because of its racial angle: Chauvin is White, Floyd was Black. It fit the current widely-believed narrative of an epidemic of racism-motivated killings of blameless Blacks by White cops.

I didn’t follow the Chauvin case all that closely. I sampled front-page news accounts in the paper and read daily summaries of the trial on the internet. I watched the defense closing argument on television, which brought up questions for me and prompted this writing. Later, I read a transcript of it.[1]

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