Tag Archives: Derek Chauvin trial

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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The Shape of Things to Come, by Philip Giraldi

Each “new” iteration of statist ideology is more stupidly pernicious and evil than the previous one. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

So what was preordained has finally taken place. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has now been convicted of the murder of George Floyd. While many, possibly even most, Americans would agree that Chauvin exceeded what was necessary in his use of force, the prosecution never proved that he intended to either kill or severely injure Floyd, nor could they demonstrate that any racial bias was behind what had developed after Floyd resisted arrest.

Nevertheless, Chauvin was held solely responsible for the death of Floyd and will be sentenced to up 40 years in prison the first week in June, at which point he can initiate an appeal, and, to be sure, there are considerable grounds for upending the verdict. First of all, the defense’s moves to have the trial moved from Minneapolis, where violent crowds were gathering nightly outside the courthouse and in other public spaces, was denied, creating a “mob rule” atmosphere that clearly intimidated the jurors as well others involved in the trial. And there were more specific threats. The day before Chauvin’s case went to the jury, the former California home of a defense witness was vandalized with a pig’s head and blood.

Secondly, media coverage of the trial, visible to the unsequestered jury, weighed heavily against Chauvin and only provided perfunctory and unsympathetic reporting on his defense. Third, Minneapolis gave the Floyd family a “historic” $27 million wrongful death settlement on March 12th, which sent a clear message to jurors and others that the city considered Chauvin guilty as charged and it also reinforced fears that if the verdict were to go the wrong way the city would burn.

And finally, the political class, mostly Democratic Party activists supported by the usual guilt-stricken limousine liberals in this case, intervened regularly in the commentary surrounding the proceedings. Representative Maxine Waters notoriously appeared in Minneapolis shortly before the jury was due to consider its verdict and advised an angry mob that “Well, we’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business” if the judgment went the wrong way. When Republicans in the House of Representatives called on Waters to either apologize or be censured, the move was blocked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. One might note the double standard, recalling that recently a president of the United States was impeached for saying something rather less provocative than Waters.

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Police Problems? Embrace Liberty! by Ron Paul

The more laws, the more problems you’ll have with police behavior, acknowledged or not. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Many Americans saw former policeman Derek Chauvin’s conviction on all counts last week as affirming the principle that no one is above the law. Many others were concerned that the jury was scared that anything less than a full conviction would result in riots, and even violence against themselves and their families.

Was the jury’s verdict influenced by politicians and media figures who were calling for the jury to deliver the “right” verdict? Attempts to intimidate juries are just as offensive to the rule of law as suggestions that George Floyd’s criminal record somehow meant his rights were not important.

The video of then-policeman Chauvin restraining Floyd led people across the political and ideological spectrums to consider police reform. Sadly, there have also been riots across the country orchestrated by left-wing activists and organizations seeking to exploit concern about police misconduct to advance their agendas.

It is ironic to see self-described Marxists, progressives, and other leftists protesting violence by government agents. After all, their ideology rests on the use of force to compel people to obey politicians and bureaucrats.

It is also ironic to see those who claim to want to protect and improve “black lives” support big government.

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Trial Travesty, LeBron Le Moron, and Cheney Challenge: The Week in Review, by PF Whalen

Lately the problem hasn’t been finding idiocies to fill up a weekly account, it’s been editing them down to a manageable size. From PF Whalen at thebluestateconservative.com:

Headline #1:         Former Minneapolis Policeman Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of All Charges

On Tuesday, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd delivered a verdict of guilty on all charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • In determining the correctness of the verdict, consider a simple question: If everything else about the case had been identical to what actually happened, except George Floyd was a white man and not black, would Derek Chauvin have been convicted? Of anything? Not only is the answer ‘no,’ this trial would have never even happened.
  • We all knew before the verdict that the BLM/Antifa riots of last summer would be a large factor in the outcome. “If you find him not-guilty Mr. and Mrs. Juror, you can expect to see the country burn down.” But to hear people like Al Sharpton and President Joe Biden openly pointing to the protests/riots as a force is remarkable. Sharpton actually applauded and credited the riots for the decision. This verdict was mob justice, and no one is even trying to hide that fact.

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St. George Floyd and Biden’s Anti-White Regime—Enabled By Ethnomasochism, by John Derbyshire

The US Attorney General says we don’t have equal justice under law and he’s certainly right. Not, as John Derbyshire points out, when Derek Chauvin will probably be spending the rest of his life in jail and the policeman who shot Ashli Babbitt won’t face charges. From John Derbyshire at unz.com:

It’s St. George’s Day, April 23. This has actually been St. George’s week; not the chap who slew the dragon, but St. George Floyd of Minneapolis, who was slain himself last year by something much more fearsome than any dragon—by systemic racism!

So the Narrative tells us, and so a jury ruled on Tuesday.

Why did they rule that way, and how did we get stuck with such a crazy Narrative? Let’s explore.

The jury’s verdict itself was absurd. Derek Chauvin did nothing wrong. The best case here was made by retired lawyer Harold Cameron over at Revolver News a week before the verdict came out:

When Floyd continued resisting arrest after being placed in handcuffs, Chauvin didn’t beat him with a baton. He didn’t taze him. He didn’t put in him a chokehold. He put one knee on what the prosecution is now optimistically calling Floyd’s “neck area” and waited for the ambulance to come save Floyd’s life … The worst that could be said is that he didn’t simply let Floyd go because he was still complaining about being unable to breath, just as he had been since the beginning of the encounter. The state’s case so far boils down to a collection of experts equating that to murder.

[ Derek Chauvin Did Nothing Wrong, April 13, 2021]

Hamilton also reminds us of the size discrepancy between Chauvin, who weighs a slight 140 lbs., and Floyd, 230 lbs. and all pepped up on chemical stimulants. If you have ever been involved in a close-quarters struggle for physical mastery with another adult, you’re impressed that Chauvin managed to subdue Floyd.

In the famous kneeling video, Chauvin has a look of being somewhat pleased with himself. I would have been, too.

Aside from that look of muted pride, I thought from the beginning, and still think, that Chauvin did not at all have the appearance of someone who was aware he was doing something wrong.

Come on: If you are doing something grossly wrong, something that might end another person’s life, you know you are, and it will show.

Chauvin’s entire affect in that video was of someone who’s done an unpleasant job, and believes he’s done it rather well.

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Peak National Dysfunction, by James Howard Kunstler

Peak national dysfunction . . . so far. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

No need to argue anymore about defunding the police. The police across America have been successfully disarmed and castrated. Why would any cop with a sense of self-preservation interfere in the commission of a crime now? Just assume that the social contract is cancelled. You’re on your own.

Interesting factoids, by the way: rape reports are up 322 percent in New York City over the past year, shootings were up 97 percent and murders up 44 percent — a good start to the new era of all-against-all, where life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. But don’t worry, Benjamin Crump and his legion of super-hero personal injury lawyers stand ready to enforce the suspension of law, seeking multi-million-dollar payouts in civil suits, such as the $27-million recently settled on the family of George Floyd, which is $27-million more than Jesus of Nazareth got for somewhat harsher treatment years back, though, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, George Floyd has by far outpaced the old lord-and-savior in sheer saintliness mojo. Looks like George and Jesus will soon be vying for Speaker of Kingdom Come in the new, revised cosmos of American Wokery.

Anyway, New York’s City Council voted last month to end qualified immunity for police officers, which formerly shielded them from personal lawsuits in the performance of their duties. Predictable result: they will no longer perform their duties. This is on top of Mayor Bill de Blasio ending the age-old practice of posting bail for charged felons pending disposition of a criminal case. Meanwhile, the city’s main jail, Rikers Island, is scheduled to be closed down in 2026. Abolish incarceration! Well done, Big Apple!

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Triumph Of The Woke Mob Led By Two Doddering Old Fools, by David Stockman

The government is more to blame for the problems of blacks than racism. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via zerohedge.com:

Events of the last few days have made one thing crystal clear: The Democratic Party (and therefore the nation) is being led by two doddering old fools who should be domiciled in a rest home, not the Oval Office and the Speaker’s Chamber.

How that baleful reality coexists with Wall Street’s expectation of an awesome economic future and stock prices which never stop rising to the sky is one of the great enigmas of our times. Or maybe it’s just because $10 trillion of fiscal and monetary “stimulus” in the past year can turn the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse. For a time.

By now, of course, we expect idiocy from Sleepy Joe, especially on the economic front.

Accordingly, at his virtual global summit he will be reading-out from the White House teleprompter the demented agenda of the Climate Change Howlers. Therein he will promise to cut greenhouse gases by 50% by the end of this decade, which calamity we can also promise would cut America’s debt-entombed economy to its knees.

That comes after Tuesday’s White House contretemps when he first prayed for a guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial even as the jury was sitting in its deliberations, and then, afterwards, made the risible claim that this tragedy was the spawn of systemic racism.

In fact, Nanny State over-reach was the underlying cause of George Floyd’s arrest and unjust death—just as it is the source of most of America’s unfortunate violence between police and unarmed citizens, back, white and otherwise.

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After Chauvin Verdict, BLM Volunteers To Rebuild Minneapolis, Return All Looted Items

From The Babylon Bee:

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—BLM organizers celebrated the verdict of the Chauvin trial this week. In a touching and healing gesture, they have offered to rebuild the wreckage of Minneapolis and return all looted items back to their owners.

“We did what we came to do,” said one BLM organizer. “Now we have achieved perfect justice and our work here is completed. We are looking forward to being a part of reconciliation and healing moving forward.”

For the next several years, organizers will be donating their time to repair broken windows, restore torched cars, and return costly loot back to their rightful owners.

“It’s the least we can do,” said another organizer. “We are so thankful for the American justice system that gave the defendant due process and rightfully convicted him as guilty. What a great country we live in!”

The country is expected to now join in unity and hold hands in gratefulness– at least until the latest outrage is broadcast on the evening news.

The Lynch Mob Howled, by Jared Taylor

And the lynch mob got what it was howling for. From Jared Taylor at unz.com:

The jury has found Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts. It took fewer than 24 hours to reach a unanimous decision. I have argued all along that an acquittal was impossible, no matter what the evidence showed. No jury, anywhere in the United States, could have found Mr. Chauvin innocent after nearly a year of riots.

I had some hope that the jury might acquit on one or two of the more serious charges, but the guilty verdict was announced first on the most serious of the three, so the other two verdicts were inevitable. Under Minnesota law, Mr. Chauvin will be sentenced under only the most serious charge. It carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, but according to state guidelines, a first offence is supposed to get 12-1/2 years. Judge Peter Cahill said he would pass sentence eight weeks from now.

As the verdicts were read, the camera closed in on Mr. Chauvin for the first time since the trial began. He was wearing a mask, but appeared to show no emotion. He was led from the courtroom in handcuffs and will remain in custody.

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This Trial Was A Disgrace, by Kurt Schlichter

It’s impossible to believe that members of the jury that rendered the verdicts in Derek Chauvin’s trial weren’t intimidated. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

This Trial Was A Disgrace

I don’t pretend to know if Derek Chauvin is guilty in the objective sense – Judge Mom, a conservative who sent a lot of people to jail as a prosecutor before doing it from the bench, made a convincing argument to me for a murder conviction soon after the incident – but I do know one thing. This trial was a travesty, a kangaroo court, and as a country, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

This is not to argue whether he is innocent or guilty. I don’t know. There were arguments both ways, and compelling evidence for both points of view. There was powerful evidence for his guilt. Say what you want about that videotape, but it’s solid evidence. And there was powerful evidence for his innocence – George Floyd was clearly in mid-overdose and, after all, fentanyl does have the side effect of killing you. That’s solid evidence too. This was no slam-dunk. A fair trial required careful thought and sober deliberations. And it required a process where neutral citizens could act as jurors to sort it out try to find the truth based on the evidence and the law, and only that. It required a process free of fear and intimidation. But let’s not pretend we got that here.

From the beginning, we had politicians, media hacks, cultural poohbahs, and Twitter twerps demanding a pound of flesh. This was not outrage over a perceived crime – it was a mob interested in scoring points. A literal mob. People burned down the town where it happened. And a lot of other towns.

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