I agree with Preet that Derek Chauvin clearly killed George Floyd. What remains to be determined are the details and legal liabilities.
I can’t watch the trial myself. Every time I try, I just feel sick. George Floyd was treated like an animal. I am so appalled and enraged that I don’t have a lot to say, but here’s a thread for anyone who wants to discuss the trial.
If you have been following the trial, I will be very interested to hear what you have to say.
Nope. Same reason.
Likewise. Can’t deal with watching it.
Actually, most animals are treated far better than George Floyd was.
What little I could watch seemed very slow and plodding, like asking the store clerk if he can tell the difference between good $20 counterfeit bills and bad counterfeit bills. And then followed by all the video that I can’t bear to watch.
Having been on a number of jury’s including one where we convicted a guy or rape who got 115 years + watching the testimony is compelling. The store clerk, the firefighter and the gentleman who tried to get Floyd to cooperate were all wrenching. If there is not a conviction there is going to be hell to pay.
@WaterGirl: That is what a trial is. My wife was an alternate and they made her sit in a fucking room for days and no reading material was allowed.
I’d listen to hear the verdict and then hope the penalty is death by a knee on the neck while wearing handcuffs.
I did put on CNN earlier and Brook Baldwin was in tears.
West of the Cascades
I can’t watch it, can’t even read about it. Chauvin’s culpability is clear – whether the state can prove the elements necessary for second degree murder (the highest crime he’s charged with), remains to be seen (in MN someone is guilty of second degree murder if he “causes the death of a human being with intent to effect the death of that person or another, but without premeditation”). It seems that the defense will argue he didn’t “cause” the death because other health factors intervened (which seems a pretty difficult defense to sustain), but also that he lacked the “intent to effect the death” – or, more accurately, will argue that the prosecution can’t prove “intent.”
The possibility of conviction on a lesser charge, or outright acquittal, are just too infuriating, and while (as a lawyer) I understand “putting the state to its proof” and would like to see more of that done on behalf of indigent/non-white defendants, it just makes me angry in this case and thus difficult to follow in real time.
I can’t watch it. I’m not sure there is anything additional that I could learn about the case that would change my mind one way or the other.
I’m just cringing about what will happen if he isn’t convicted. Cities across the country will explode. Not just Minneapolis. Too much hangs on this and none of it good.
@Ruckus: If Chauvin considers himself a christian, couldn’t we put him in a room with a couple of lions?
@Rocks: Yes. Weighing in to say exactly that. I could not watch the entire nine minute video. I found it to be too upsetting. I feel for these witnesses, having to relive this horrifying moment, and I can imagine that many may have a kind of survivor’s guilt that they did not try to do more.
I have been catching bits of testimony as it is reported on NPR and was just reading Twitter. Just about every witness has needed kleenex. I can’t imagine the guilt they are feeling now. The only justice is life imprisonment.
Can neither watch it nor bear to think about the aftermath, as we’ve found to our horror that there no longer are any consequences for even the most reprehensible behavior, at least not as long as the offender is white.
That was an incredible moment.
@debbie: They make think that’s the only thing they can do.
@debbie: An angry mob, like the firefighter from yesterday? Please. That is total bullshit.
(not directed to you, debbie) just in response to the “angry mob” bullshit that will be peddled.
When he said to her, “You were feeling frustrated,” and she says, “Not frustrated. Desperate,” I sympathized so much. “frustrated” is this patronizing thing people say to your rage
@raven: From what little I saw, the police were being intentionally intimidating, even before they got George Floyd out of the car.
@West of the Cascades:
The intimation that 200+ pounds of deadweight on a person’s neck for more than 9 minutes would not cause suffocation defies any laws of physics that I’ve ever learned.
I am not following the trial, and only read or listen to a few news stories about it.
I heard that they have an all white jury, with 2 nonwhite alternates. This alone drives me nuts.
The snippets I have heard about the testimony is tragic and infuriating.
@zhena gogolia: I thought her “desperate” comment was perfect.
You sure? I thought I heard differently.
@Brachiator: I am pretty sure that Preet said the jury itself is 4 black people and 2 mixed race.
4 alternates are all white.
Yeah, no…can’t watch. Bracing for yet another horrible miscarriage of justice.
I know what you meant. None of those cops looked at all intimidated.
That look on Chauvin’s face as he was crushing Floyd’s neck was a look that said, “You can’t stop me from doing what I’m doing. Wanna try?” His hand casually tucked in his pocket. Not even enough movement to jostle the sunglasses sitting on his head.
A true pig.
I have watched and listened to parts of it. I have been in the field of Labor Arbitration for over 40 years and thus have prepped, examined, cross-examined (as an advocate) and evaluated (as a neutral arbitrator) several thousand witnesses. I took my wife out to lunch today, so we listened to a couple hours of the trial today on our way to Ventura. In my opinion the prosecution is doing a solid job in presenting their case. In particular, the decision to put the nine year old girl on the stand was a bold move. The prosecutors obviously felt the impact of her testimony would overcome any nervousness and they were right. The Defense Counsel has made a decision on the path they will take and is losing the plot rapidly. I’m betting they do not put Chauvin in the witness box at this point.
@West of the Cascades:
I haven’t followed closely, but I did see something from a paramedic who was nearby and who offered to help but was blocked by the police. It’s wrenching testimony. Here was someone offering to try to save his life, and the police deliberately kept her from helping. It seems to me like that proves intent.
Yes, she’s the firefighter WG referred to above.
I hope you’re right about the defense. I hope he sees, with the witnesses being called and the testimony they’re giving, the futility of trying to say drugs killed George Floyd.
@feebog: Thank you for that. Can you say more about the 9 year-old girl? I have not heard anything about that.
Except in the general sense that the prosecution was going for more charges or more jail time, or something, because there were children present.
White cop kills Black man who uses illegal drugs. That is absolutely legal under the “drugs” exception to the 4th and 14th amendment, and the “white cop kills black man” exception to the criminal law. This case should not even have come to trial.
Derek Chauvin had agreed early on to a plea deal of 3rd degree murder. Bill Barr himself killed the deal, ostensibly because it was too early in the process and wanted the case to be more fully developed. I do not know what kind of sentence 3rd degree murder holds, and I wonder if Barr’s real purpose wasn’t to keep the issue, and Black Lives Matter, demonstrations alive through the election.
I do not know how federal interferes with state law, so perhaps the story is B.S.
Her cousin was the teenager who videoed the murder and testified (I think) yesterday. She had sent her younger cousin into the store so she would not see what was going on, but she managed to watch it anyway.
I heard the words “hog tie” about what they were trying to do with him in the police car, and George Floyd was clearly in a panic. That was one of the times I had to turn it off. I tried 5 different times to watch various parts, and every part was too upsetting.
That Chauvin will kill someone like this – someone he knew – was a pure power trip. I cannot think of a word that is strong enough to convey the evil.
I think you’re right about Barr.
@feebog: In the rape trial I was on they put an 8 year old girl on the stand. She had opened the screen door for the rapist (who the family knew) and let him in. My public defender friends hate it but if they had not allowed “similar transaction” testimony we would have NEVER convicted this clearly guilty dude. When the judge pronounced the sentence he didn’t bat an eye, three hots and a cot.
@patrick II: Speaking of federal law vs. state law, I feel certain that the DOJ will try Chauvin in federal court if they are not satisfied with the outcome in MN.
I haven’t watched continuously but feel it’s my absolute responsibility to listen and bear witness. I feel it’s my duty to bring my spirit to bear for justice. I am honoring his suffering and will not allow myself to turn away from it. All that pain must be reflected on Chauvin and most importantly THE SYSTEM OF POLICING and justice. I WILL NOT TURN AWAY
@debbie: oh. wow.
I didn’t watch any of that yesterday, but given how intimidating Chauvin was being, it was very brave of the teenager to video that. I’m surprised Chauvin didn’t try to take the device.
I can’t bear to watch, but I appreciated Preet’s view that the reason it’s being televised is that it’s possibly the most important civil rights trial since Rodney King. Before I heard that, the wall-to-wall coverage seemed like it was just spectacle.
@WaterGirl: The store clerk also took video and he deleted it when he knew Floyd was dead.
Someone else was filming, but one of the other cops intimidated them into stopping, and they did. I think there needs to be a law stopping this.
@raven: Why did the clerk delete it?
@debbie: I agree. There was a law for awhile in Illinois that you could not record the police. I believe that got overturned. thank god.
I’ve heard several comparisons to Rodney King, both nationally and on the local news I watch at 11.
I hope the Right Wing keeps quiet because they don’t want these reasonable winesses’ testimony to be viewed.
Who am I kidding? Will these witnesses be doxxed? My partner is sure the jury will be.
The bits I’ve seen it seems the defense attorney, Nelson?, is leading the witnesses. He’s trying to put words in their mouths after first seeming to be sympathetic.
@WaterGirl: He said he was so distraught that the ambulance dod not go toward the hospital and he felt guilty already. He’s a young kid, 19 I think.
@Dan B: The clerk quit the store out of fear.
The police code of silence and intimidation of potential witnesses, not to mention helping to help hold George Floyd down, is an indication of how very deep our problems with the police lie. Police culture needs to change at a very basic level, and it will not be easy with powerful police unions and police forces unwilling to enforce laws when they don’t like being held accountable.
Chauvin didn’t kill Floyd by himself.
An NPR story notes that the jury is mixed, with some interesting details.
The radio news story I heard also talked about the trial of police officers in St Louis.
Police unions are the only unions I’m against, and I hate them with a firey hatred.
I was once on a jury where a boy about 10 was the key witness. The defendant had broken into his apartment, only he and his older brother were home. The defendant took a few items and left. About a month later there was a guy passed out on the median outside their apartment. The boy identified the passed out guy as the thief. Had it not been for his testimony, we could not have convicted the guy.
Twitter is reporting that the friend who passed the counterfeit bill to Floyd will plead the fifth if he is forced to testify.
I just came to this thread and haven’t read anything yet but MSNBC will have the info on what is going on.
Please, please let this sociopath be convicted.
Debbie got it right in her response. Her older cousin shot the video that went viral on social media. I caught most of her testimony on the radio, but I thought her testimony was captivating. The point is that the prosecution did not need her testimony. After what were no doubt multiple interviews and prep sessions they made a risk/reward decision to put her on. They also bet the defense would not cross examine her, a good bet, because cross-examination of a child is always tricky. It’s really easy to come across as a bully or overly aggressive. Her cousin was also an excellent witness.
@feebog: I appreciate the additional information. And the perspective that your work experience brings. Thank you.
Waiting to see if they introduce evidence that Chauvin and Floyd knew each other before the incident. I mean, this was not a typical random encounter. They knew each other, pretty well from the sound of it.
@Martin: Interesting that the fellow changed his story. Seems like he knew both of them well enough, hard to believe he got it mixed up.
Threats from the police?
Sounds like someone got to that witness.
@debbie: My thought exactly. I’m sure the club and the club owner are vulnerable to bad cops who have it in for them.
I feel the same way. I’m catching what I can and what I can bear. I feel I must bear witness. That it’s my duty to do that despite the pain it causes me to do it.
@WaterGirl: My impression from what I think I heard the clerk reply, was something along the lines of, he thought it would be disrespectful (and/or possibly dangerous??) to retain the video.
I am not watching directly. But, I am checking in on testimony and && from time to time. I feel an obligation to stay informed. It’s horrifying, but at least it’s horrifying in a courtroom. I *hope* that matters, but wow cynicism is so strong, eh?
I just can’t watch these sorts of things. I couldn’t watch the video from the insurrection when the woman who was trying to storm the House chamber was killed; I certainly couldn’t watch 9 minutes of man’s life being drained from him.
From what I’ve read, I feel like the defense may be making some mistakes here – they started with the idea that Chauvin was doing what he was trained to do, which it seems pretty obvious he was not (and nobody will want to admit that’s what he was trained to do even if he was). But I also know that if you’re not in that room, you can’t really catch everything that’s happening, so there’s a good chance I’m missing things.
I can’t believe that anyone can watch that video and say there was no intent to kill. Anything after Mr. Floyd stopped struggling was unnecessary, and continuing to constrict his airway continued for how long!?!? That was just making sure he was dead.
@Nutmeg again: I think it’s the hope that things could turn out differently this time that makes the pain from the travesties of justice even more painful.
But I still hope that this time it will be different.
The Moar You Know
@patrick II: I don’t wonder at all. I’m sure if anyone dug into Officer Chauvin’s finances they’d find some real interesting transactions.
Guys, it takes just one to acquit. The fucker walks. I just can’t see a cop getting found guilty for killing a black man in this day and age, no matter how obvious or senseless. It fucking sucks. This country sucks.
A few have commented about there being no interference with those taking video. There’s a reason for that. They wanted this out there.
@JaneE: Yes, yes, yes and yes.
@The Moar You Know: The DOJ can still bring a case if justice is not served.
The Moar You Know
@WaterGirl: They can and will, and maybe he’ll get popped for a civil rights violation. Maybe. It should be first-degree murder, we all know he did it and he meant to do it from the get-go. But you don’t dare try a cop for that in the United States of America. No jury in the land will convict. No prosecutor will even try.
I have no faith in anyone of my own race to do the right thing anymore where black people are concerned, is my issue. I better get out of this thread.
J R in WV
@The Moar You Know:
This is just wrong…
It takes 12 not guilty votes to acquit, but one person can prevent a guilty verdict, called a hung jury.
In that case, a second trial can be held, or a third. Unless all 12 jurors vote not guilty there can be subsequent trials, although that is pretty uncommon.
ETA: I think premeditation is pretty clear here.
If Floyd had died in the first few seconds or a couple of minutes of the torture, maybe there would be a question. But in this case it took nearly 10 minutes to kill the victim, so the killer had plenty to time to reconsider his actions. To me there is no question that he intended to kill the victim, once he continued while people begged him to stop. No question!
@The Moar You Know: It takes one for a hung jury and a mistrial. That is not that same as an acquittal.
As long as they haven’t been fed in the last 24 hrs.
@The Moar You Know: Second degree is intentional murder. First degree requires premeditation. Perhaps you should just shut about legal shit in general.
I studiously avoided seeing the video when all this first went down although I did see the photos of Chauvin on George Floyd’s neck. I have zero interest in seeing another human being get snuffed out. But I got snagged into watching today when I went looking for live coverage of Biden’s infrastructure speech. My overall impression is that the cops were acting “professionally” for the most part. However, when the off duty EMT demanded they take a pulse and they defiantly stayed their course — even when at least one of them believed she really was an EMT — they crossed the line. Reckless indifference is the most generous description you could give.
When Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe he pretty clearly meant he couldn’t catch his breath, not that he couldn’t breathe at all. It looked like he was having a panic attack and he told them he had just recovered from COVID (which could effect his breathing capacity). But the cops were treating him like he was faking it so he didn’t have to go to jail.
A big part of the problem is that their “professional training” is producing just piss poor police officers. And I fear that this is why they may get off. I hope I’m wrong and the prosecution will make a strong case that their actions were unprofessional and over the line.
I’m late to this thread. I cannot watch the trial in real time, but I am watching witness examination because bearing witness is required of me. If children can bear this burden, I owe them the respect for what they are enduring. Same for every single witness who has had the courage to do what must be done no matter the cost.
James E Powell
That’s how most trials are.
By the way, you asked a question last night and I didn’t see it until very late. The reason the judge admonished the witness with the jury not present is because it would be really wrong for the judge to do so in front of the jury. Judges should not show any feelings at all toward any witness, though I’ve seen some do it.
I am watching as much as I can bear and the coverage on MPR as well as the call in shows has been good. It was heartbreaking listening to the 9 year old and her 17 year old cousin who had the courage to record it. It broke my heart to hear her say she apologizes to Mr. Floyd every night that she didn’t do more. I will be devastated if they don’t convict. It will be many more nights in the street and I fear for my city.
Derek Chauvin has been accused of tax evasion (9 felony counts) and some other financial crimes so he will go to jail.
@Laura Too: Thanks for the link. This seems odd:
Why is the tax on almost a half mil under 10%, not to mention with penalties tacked on?