George Floyd

Upgraded Murder Charge Against Derek Chauvin Still Does Not Require Proof That He Intended to Kill George Floyd

Three other former Minneapolis police officers are now charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin.


Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced new criminal charges against the four former Minneapolis police officers who were involved in the May 25 death of George Floyd, an incident that set off protests across the country. Ellison upgraded an earlier charge against Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes while arresting him for passing a counterfeit $20 bill, and for the first time charged three other officers who were also at the scene, two of whom helped pin Floyd to the pavement.

Local prosecutors previously charged Chauvin with third-degree murder, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and second-degree manslaughter, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years. Ellison added a charge of second-degree murder, increasing the maximum sentence to 40 years.

The new charge alleges that Chauvin caused Floyd's death "while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense"—i.e., third-degree assault, which covers any attack that "inflicts substantial bodily harm." Like the earlier charges, that variety of second-degree murder does not require proof that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd.

Ellison also charged Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Lane and Kueng helped Chauvin restrain Floyd, while Thao was standing nearby but did not intervene. Video shows Thao pushing back a bystander who tried to help Floyd.

Local prosecutors said Lane twice suggested that Floyd should be rolled from his stomach to his side, presumably to avoid the risk of suffocation. Chauvin rejected those suggestions. He also ignored Floyd's repeated complaints that he could not breathe and the pleas of bystanders who were worried that Floyd's life was in danger.

Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe and Minnesota criminal attorney Albert Turner Goins argued that the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin was inappropriate. Minnesota law defines that offense as causing someone's death by "perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life." Tribe and Goins said state courts have interpreted the statute as limiting the charge to "reckless or wanton acts…without special regard to their effect on any particular person." Instead they recommended the sort of second-degree murder charge that Ellison has now filed.

Chauvin still faces the lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter, which alleges that he killed Floyd through "culpable negligence" that created "an unreasonable risk" of "death or great bodily harm." Unlike the murder charge, it does not require proof of an underlying felony.

Update: Contrary to initial press reports, the June 3 criminal complaint against Chauvin still includes the original third-degree murder charge, in addition to the second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. This post has been corrected accordingly.

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  1. The risk is in overcharging which leads to an aquital. I am not saying this doesn’t meet the 2nd degree murder, but we’ve seen in the past when prosecutors have overcharged and failed to get a conviction because of overcharging. Does Minnesota allow juries to lower the charge, e.g. if they don’t feel it is second degree to still convict on 3rd degree? Hopefully Ellison is doing this based upon the facts not for political points.

    1. Its normal practice for the lesser charges to be included as options for the jury to convict on should they not be convinced the most serious one is warranted.

      1. Which is a good thing. Trying to remember which case it was recently where it was obvious the cops actions were negligent to the level of manslaughter but the prosecutor decided to make the charge murder 2 and lost and everyone was up in arms. I remember pointing out that the prosecutor overcharged without evidence to support the charge for pure political purposes and the jury even stated as much. The jury foreman actually stated they wish the jury had a lesser charge they could have voted guilty on.

        1. I wish people would take this concern more seriously. Any thing this guy is found “not guilty” of is going to set off a social firestorm regardless of the legal framework. I get that there’s not a high enough tree to publicly hang this guy from, but risking letting him slip out of the noose to make charges that will be an emotional appeal to the mob is a huge mistake. It may seem semantic to people, but it won’t when the Molotov cocktails come back out.

          1. I think there is a good case for murder 2 and the manslaughter charges allow a back up. But, yes it is a worry.

            1. Just announce they’ll turn him loose at the corner of Main and First at noon on Friday, and let nature take its course!

              1. Give him the ol’ Momar Gaddafi walk of shame huh? I still don’t think that’s going to satiate the public’s blood lust.

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          2. I hate the fact that we’re watching a lynching.

            Derek Chauvin obviously murdered a man in cold blood, but awkward attempts like this to appeal to the angry mobs aren’t justice.

            Everyone from Trump to Keith Ellison to Black Lives Matter is fucking this up, and all were going to get in the end is moral posturing and a pile of stupid new kneejerk laws.

            1. A lynching? The arrest was delayed. The charges were short-armed. His accomplices’ arrests were delayed more. He was offered favorable bail. He has been moved to another county’s jail for protection.

              Trying to depict this as a lynching is silly.

              1. Wow, this feels like I’m going through the looking glass here, but I have to admit you make some good points. I feel a little better about this now.

                Did someone hijack Kirkland’s account?

                1. You’re always welcome to climb aboard the libertarian express, Mother’s lament.

                2. OMG I too am stunned by this.

                  Kirkland is making sense.

                  I have read some crazy Kirkland stuff in the past but this is spot on. Sorry Kirkland…

                  I read Napolitano today. He makes the case for murder 1. I always thought this made sense given the taunting.

                  I think the issue with ‘overcharging’ isn’t that the cop didn’t do the crime it was charged for. It’s that after the prosecutor makes the charge so the public won’t complain, he then presents exculpatory data to undermine it on purpose to get the cop off the hook.

                  This leaves the public angry with itself just like suing cops only sues the public. Same tyranny. Same game.

                  The problem with policing isn’t just police. It’s the dirty judges and DAs who conspire with them.

              2. Kirkland being reasonable now? And SPB was making decent jokes the other day.

                This really is the fucking end times.

              3. No, dummy, the 3rd degree was almost a default win, while 2nd degree will likely fail to meet standard, and the arrests were made after the cases were ready (which is how it’s done in the real world). But, to give you credit, you ALMOST sound like you know what you’re talking about, which is a new achievement for you!

              4. The arrest was delayed?! It took TWO MONTHS to arrest Mohammed Noor for killing Justine Diamond. It took 4 DAYS to arrest Chauvin.

                1. It would have taken 2 minutes to arrest anyone who wasn’t a cop.

            2. “stupid . . . kneejerk”


          3. So, mob reaction dictates that he be found guilty?
            Sounds like rioting converts our system to guilty until proven innocent.

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      2. You only get less included charges as an option if the defense agrees. The defense can demand the charges as the government presented them or nothing. Sometimes a defendant will roll the dice and not allow lesser included hoping for an acquittal at the risk of getting the most serious charge.

        1. Look at John “lawersplaining” to the rest of us. Just kidding, John, I’m glad for your insight.

    2. They could approach this as the do with other arrests, charging him with everything from murder to loitering in the hopes that when facing a bajillon years in prison he cops a plea. That the prosecutors are so selective in this instance is interesting to say the least.

      After seeing the fallout from the King trial, I am really not looking forward to another go on the media blitz of a trial. At this point even Chauvin should realize he is probably safer in prison than out.

      1. Yeah, that guy is going to get the aforementioned Gaddafi walk of shame whether he’s behind bars or not. The best thing he can do is take the Epstein way out. Only in this case, he’ll want to do it to himself.

      2. And he’s getting a preview of prison life right now. They moved him from the Hennepin Co Jail to Oak Park Heights Prison for his safety.

    3. They could have had 3rd-degree, easy. The Somali cop who shot that white Australian woman was convicted of 3rd degree murder and got 12 years in jail. Chauvin would have gotten at least that much.

      I doubt the upscale in the charges will lead to an acquittal, only because the jury is going to be loaded as hell with people looking to hang they guy, and even if they were actively objective, they don’t want to see Minneapolis burn again if he gets off. That was probably the biggest reason that OJ was acquitted, simply to avoid a repeat of the LA riots. I’m honestly surprised that Ellison didn’t go for first-degree, but maybe he figured 2nd degree was the max he could get with little fuss or trouble.

      1. The Somali Cop’s case was much worse than this. The woman he killed wasn’t even a suspect. He just shot her and it was clearly what he meant to do. He deserved a lot more than 12 years.

        1. As well, as I understand it, the neck on the knee hold, if executed properly, is not against the policy of this police department nor is it considered lethal force. It’s likely used regularly if it is in fact allowed and a reasonable officer might, in that case, well use it without the expectation that it’s likely to kill the suspect.

          Of course, Chauvin got carried away with it and used it irresponsibly in a situation where it wasn’t necessary, but that’s quite different than pulling out a weapon that is expected to kill the person and shooting them – there is no other reasonable expectation as to how that will end except in the death of the other person.

          1. I feel the defense is going to destroy the narrative that is established fairly easily. EMS field. George was clearly having a heart attack before he was even placed on the ground. Poor health, drug use, and stress of situation triggered it. His airway was clearly not compromised by the officers as he was yelling non stop easily. The indifference of the officer when he went unresponsive is what good get him I would think. He didn’t cause the heart attack, he didn’t make it worse knowingly, he just didn’t render aid of any kind. Not sure if they are cpr trained there. It’s almost like they want him to get off imo.

      2. Ellison is the weakest link in this case, and can blow the whole thing

      3. I think the upscale WILL lead to acquittal — either in the trial or on appeal.

        Under Minnesota law, conviction on charges of Murder in the 2nd degree requires either intent (without premeditation) OR non-intent while committing a felony. I doubt that they can prove intent, and what the cop was doing was not a CRIME (much less a felony) until the victim died.

    4. I think that’s a feature not a bug. The upgraded charges allow Ellison to get back in front of the cameras and looking he’s serious. But since it raises the bar and increases chances of acquittal, the ensuing riots will bring the cameras back later.

  2. Does continued force ever turn “heat of the moment” or “self-defense” into “premeditated”?

    For instance, in a street fight, if one person had his opponent on the ground and no longer resisting, it would be sensible to hold him there for a few seconds to make sure he wasn’t faking in order to resume as soon as he was let up. But if the winner held him down long enough, could that justify increasing the charges?

    I’d guess so, but I don’t know the legal niceties. Does it ever turn from, say, negligent homicide into first degree murder?

    1. I imagine the prosecution will argue something along those lines. 9 minutes gives one a long time to think about exactly what one is doing. Proving intent is going to be the big stumbling block for giving people what they want to hear.

      1. What I wonder is how often intent has been proven by how long someone was held still like this, and how long it takes.

        I don’t understand why the other cops didn’t try to tie him up or otherwise restrain him so their buddy could get off him. I wonder if that is part of the aiding and abetting.

        Is aiding and abetting small potatoes, and if so, is that because they agreed to testify against Dauvin, and will the results of Dauvin’s trial affect their charges?

        A lot of chess being played here, and I don’t know about enough the legal worlds to understand much of it, other than it stinks.

      2. Didn’t they stop at one point to check his pulse?

        1. There was one report I heard today that one of the other officers checked his pulse and noted he didn’t have one, and that one of the officers suggested turning him over.

          Reporting that Chauvin refused multiple times.

          1. Yeah, I thought I had heard something about that too.

            Why the fuck would you keep restraining a dead man.

            1. Why would you keep restraining a dead man? Even I know the answer to this one!

              “STOP RESISTING”

              That’s like 1st page of the cop manual.

              1. He kept stiffening up against the cop, so… oh wait, that was just rigor mortis. Oops.

      3. Intent is difficult to prove. You have to prove that he had the purpose to kill or that he actually knew it was practically certain that death would occur. There’s no way that he’s going to admit he had the purpose to kill. If I’m his defense attorney, I’m introducing evidence of all the times he’s kneeled on someone’s neck and they DIDN’T die as evidence that there was no practical certainty of death. The prosecutor will have a very difficult time showing intent in this case. But in MN, he doesn’t have to. Felony murder to the rescue! Usually, Reason would be against the felony murder rule. Yet they’re silent here. Hmmm….

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised that it comes out during the trial that they actually did know each other (not just work acquaintances that worked separate shifts), Floyd had done something that pissed Chauvin off at some point, and when it turned out that counterfeit bill call was him, Chauvin decided to take advantage.

          Ultimately, it’s more likely that he was just an asshole who was being over-forceful.

          1. I would be shocked if that is not the case. The tell is how the other cops stood around so long while he did this. Not that the cops would run over to save the guy, they wouldn’t, but they would have told him to put the guy in the car out of boredom if nothing else. The only way to explain them standing around letting this happen for so long is that they knew he had some personal beef against the guy and they were staying out of it because of that. I bet it turned out Floyd was banging the cop’s wife or owed him money or something.

            This had nothing to do with race. It was about some personal beef.

            1. HERESY!
              Something bad happened to a black man – racism has to be there.

            2. Weren’t they waiting for an ambulance for the suspect? I would imagine that the general rule is, when someone needs an ambulance, they should be left where they are unless there is a compelling reason to move them. Moving the suspect to the police car would violate this general rule and risk additional injury to the suspect and create liability (and, if the suspect died as a result of being moved by those not trained in medical care, this could result in riots and looting if the suspect were of a “repressed minority”).

              (Although I doubt the “general rule” also says you should keep your knee on the suspect’s neck while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.)

      4. And that’s my biggest problem with this whole thing: racism being assumed as the motive. That’s the narrative that the whole world has accepted, even though there is no evidence that race contributed to this case, and there is lots of evidence, some from his wife who wants to divorce him, that he’s just a piece of shit who gets off on power trips. But, now, I’m being advised that myself, simply by being born white (in a majority white nation) that somehow I am complicit, and must now acknowledge my White Priviledge, and confess my sins of being both white and male.
        Well, people saying that can just fuck right the fuck off. I am proud to say that I have never killed another human being, ever. Not in war, not in peace, never. And this is not a dig at those who have killed for our country- just a blanket disavowal of killing on my part.

        1. They knew each other. I would bet you a paycheck Floyd was fucking the cops wife or owed him money or there was some other beef. It had nothing to do with race.

          1. I’d take that bet only because I suspect that your paycheck is a bit larger than mine. Otherwise, yup. Just like that cop that accidentally entered the wrong apartment and killed the rightful owner.

    2. Napolitano makes this exact case today.

  3. So is reason for upping charges due to mob fervor now? Where were all the articles on the death of Tony Timpa?

    Reason now seems to actually be arguing for political prosecution. Manslaughter is a reasonable charge. Careless and reckless actions lead to a death. The problem is the cop was likely trained to restrain in this manner and had done it prior. It doesnt excuse the death, but also doesnt promote the charges to higher levels.

    Since when are we for prosecuting at the fullest extent for political reason?

    1. 3rd degree murder was a reasonable charge. I don’t know about 2nd.

    2. At least this time it’s a clear-cut case of a totally unjustified killing! A lot better then a few years ago when these fake libertarian assholes wanted George Zimmerman to be convicted even though that one was a pretty clear-cut case of justified self-defense.

    3. If it’s come out in the investigation that Chauvin actually knew Floyd personally and that there was a beef, getting a second-degree charge is a lot more doable. Either way, Chauvin and the other cops are going to be in prison for a long-ass time.

      1. Not that long. Seriously, what do you think the life expectancy of a cop is in prison? He’ll be dead within weeks, if not days.

        1. They tend to segregate them out instead of keeping them in general population.

          Not saying he won’t die (look at Epstein) but it’s not like cop are thrown to the wolves either.

        2. They’re letting all of these criminals out, because they are worried that they might get the chinavirus but for these cops, they’ll put them where they’re sure to get killed by other inmates?
          Quit jacking off to fantasies about prison “justice”.

      2. Not once someone gives him his belt back. Cops don’t normally get put in general population, because then there’s a whole other murder to deal with and no one wants that paperwork. Leaving him alone for a few minutes will probably do the trick.

  4. Proof?
    We don’t need any proof.
    Just lynch him.
    We’ll worry about those pesky legal details later.
    That’s what progressive beliefs are all about.

    1. Kavanaugh and Title IX already taught us everything we need to know about the left’s attitude towards due process.

      1. A confirmation hearing is not a trial. There’s no due process, and no presumption of innocence, in a confirmation hearing.

        I know that doesn’t fit the talking points.

        1. When you call for an investigation, it ceases being “just a job interview”. Or do you believe due process doesn’t start until you’re charged with something?

          1. That’s not true. Government employees at certainly levels are routinely investigated as part of their job requirements. I have given interviews about my neighbors when the investigators rolled through my old neighborhood. I don’t recall them looking for a criminal investigation on Kavanaugh, just a more thorough background investigation (FBI had already done one) after new “facts” came to light. Mind you I think the Kavanaugh accusations were complete bull shit.

        2. Precisely. It was letting a lot of outrageous accusations fly (gang rape parties anyone) and destroying someone in in the court of intentionally misinformed public opinion. The way they would like all their political opponents to be tried.

        3. Defamation has no place in a job interview. (Which, lacking anything even mildly corroborative, is what the accusations were).

    2. It’s hard to argue with video evidence. He’s clearly guilty. The trial should be little more than a formality but with cops, they seem to get away with everything. The defense will spin a “feared for his life” narrative out of it somehow.

      The Chauvin is a real piece of shit obviously. but will he get convicted? It’s hard to say. They convicted Noor and his case was not as egregious as this one I would say.

      1. The guy who did it is going down. I think you can have a nice theoretical legal argument about how he probably isn’t guilty of murder 2, but no jury is going to be sympathetic enough to him to ever have that discussion. They will believe their lying eyes and convict him. The problem is going to be convicting the other cops.

        1. IDK, John. Has that particular restraint technique ever been found illegal by the courts? He skates on qualified immunity is my prediction.

          1. QI only applies in the Civil suit

            1. Ok. Thanks for the 411.

        2. Where will they find an impartial jury? The murder 3/manslaughter was probably a slam dunk except for the whole “fair trial” bit, which would prompt the cop to take the deal or just check out completely. Now you make it a little easier to get reasonable doubt about knowingly doing it? He can say “I’ve done this dozens of times and never killed anyone and had not reason to think it would kills this guy”. But that whole “fair trial” is going to be appealed endlessly.

          1. will they even need a jury? i feel like i’ve read (maybe even here on reason) that cops on trial often take a bench trial instead.

      2. Yeah, but Noor was convicted of murder 3, not murder 2.

  5. Are the protesters going to be satisfied now? Their voices have been heard. Philly protesters have indicated they will keep protesting as long as it takes to get (unspecified) reforms. This means wandering all over center city streets during what should be prime rush hours. How long until the other citizens get to use their streets for vehicular traffic?

    1. It goes on until Mayor McDrunky sobers up and turns the Philly PD loose.

    2. Sure. They are demonstrating here in Denver against the DPD- please tell me what the Denver Police had to do with what a Minneapolis police officer did.
      It’s just an excuse to attempt to gain political power by using the mob. It is revisiting the French Revolution.

      1. There are no good police. If there were, they would have stepped up to stop the thuggery. And yes. There is plenty of video of DPD being thugs in the past few years.

        Support your local sheriff and the US Constitution. Abolish all police.

  6. All well and good, but what does the Union think?

    1. The police union and Antifa are on the same side.

  7. I suspect the VC will have fodder for a million articles when this gets to jury selection and media coverage.

    1. Good point, finding a jury for this case will be difficult…. To put it mildly. I doubt it will be found in Minneapolis.

      The other part I’m expecting is a qualified immunity appeal by the cops lawyers.

      1. Well, for sure no cop before has been found guilty of kneeling on a suspect for exactly whatever time it really was; somewhere around eight to nine minutes depending on the ‘source’, but never exactly that long. So qualified immunity for sure.

      2. Qualified. Immunity. Has. Nothing. To. Do. With. Murder. Charges.

        Sue the officer under Section 1983 for money damages, it might apply. It doesn’t apply to a state law charge of murder.

    2. It’ll be just like when Henry Virkula was murdered not far from there in 1929. Customs Agent Emmett White’s trial was repeatedly delayed until a suitable judge was found to give the verdict Herbert Hoover wanted years later, and that was that. Senator Tydings exposed and published about a thousand additional authoritarian dry killer cases. Tydings got reelected.

  8. hey if anyone sees OBL ask him why he’s afraid to bet

    1. What should I bet? My username so you can steal that one too?

      1. losing a bet = stealing

        I know you’ve lost to me so often that you get irrational but make sense man

        1. It made sense to me amd was a good burn

          1. Are your patients aware that you’re retarded?

            1. Fuck you!

              1. ahahahahah you thought something that didnt make sense was a burn gramps be old harder ahaahaha

                1. I see Tulpa has finally gotten around to impersonating me. Ah, well, it’s a rite of passage around here, I guess. Doesn’t take a whole lot of creativity to substitute a capital i for a lowercase L, though.

                  1. It’s the level of creativity someone stupid enough to think that was a burn deserves tho

  9. Yes, charge the four cops (appropriately) and try them (fairly), because we don’t want police to hide behind their badges.

    And then prosecute all people who do things that lead or contribute to physical harm or death.

    No exceptions means no exceptions.

    1. Cops should have special circumstances added to their sentence. No question.

    2. That’s funny. They’ll just charge the goons with something so absurd as to be a travesty, and they’ll walk. It’s what Lysander Spooner meant by “try them in OUR courts…” The new twist seems to be “bake some evidence in OUR autopsy room.” I’m sure glad not to be a Democrat or Republican at a time like this, but I won’t miss them.

    3. Those cops should have paused to loot a nearby store, then they wouldn’t have to worry about this.

  10. Just throw him in the volcano already. Otherwise the blood god may never be satisfied!


  11. Anyone saying it would be difficult to get murder 2 is not thinking logically. Whether he intended to kill Floyd is immaterial. He intentionally restrained a suspect in a manner which any reasonable police officer has to know could result in the death of a person so restrained. It did. That is all that matters.

    – Start the video –

    “Floyd is clearly not a deadly threat to Officer Chauvin when the video begins. Use of potentially deadly method of restraint is certainly not an appropriate response.”

    – Remain silent for 4 minutes –

    “Even when Floyd falls unconscious, Chauvin refuses to relent in his use of deadly force.”

    -Remain silent for 4 minutes-

    “You just witnessed Officer Chauvin’s choice to choke a suspect for 8 minutes, continuing even after he became unresponsive. ‘I only meant to choke the guy, I didn’t mean to kill him’ does not in any way absolve the officer of his intent to harm the victim. Any reasonable police officer has to know that.”

    Start the video, say those words, sit down.

    1. Murder 2 still requires specific intent to kill. The difference between murder 2 and murder one is that murder one requires premeditation and murder 2 does not. The classic example of murder 2 is the crime of passion; man walks in on his wife in bed with another man an in a fit of rage he kills the man. There, he didn’t premeditate killing the guy. It is not like he walked in the room planning it. But, he still intended to kill him.

      In this case, the government will have to prove that at some point during the attack the defendant decided that he wasn’t just going to hurt him but that he was going to kill him. That is going to be difficult to prove. It is hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what is going through someone’s head. Here, it seems reasonable to think that the cop wanted to retrain him and hurt him but didn’t realize he was killing him when he did. He intended to hurt him but never made the decision to kill him. That is reasonable doubt about his intent and means Murder 3 or manslaughter not murder 2.

      1. “It is hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt what is going through someone’s head.”
        Not at all; happens every time a hate crime is charged.

      2. They’re charging murder 2 based on felony murder, with assault as the predicate felony. The prosecutor only needs to prove intent for the underlying assault. Interestingly, MN is one of the minority of states that has NOT adopted the merger doctrine, which would prevent assault from serving as the predicate felony. However, the MN Supreme Court does not seem particularly friendly to the felony murder rule. Any competent criminal defense attorney should appeal the hell out of this case.

        1. That would seem to make every assault that results in a death murder 2. I am not sure an appeals’ court would be too keen on that.

          1. Assaults that result in death are very often prosecuted as 2nd degree murder. It depends on what the prosecutor wants to do.

  12. Like I said, they should blanket the country with troops during the trial and in the aftermath, just in case, contrary to everything the media is telling us, there turns out to be reasonable doubt of guilt or the degree of homicide the jury agrees on is too low to satisfy the “healing process.”

    “Nice country you have there – would be a pity if we had to burn it down just because a jury gives the wrong verdict.”

    1. Reason has not said a word about reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, or the right to a fair trial. Joining a lynch mob is part of the “Libertarian Moment” by reason’s estimation.

      1. It’s not just Reason – I’ve been trawling the bowels of the alt-right and all but a couple of them have been presuming Chauvin’s guilt.

        Here’s a rare don’t-rush-to-judgment article, and it comes from, believe it or not, Ann Coulter:

        1. The problem with this “wait-and-see” attitude is that there’s no facts that really discredit what we see on the video. He put his knee to the man’s neck, which is a position you’re not supposed to hold a man in after he’s cuffed (based on what I’ve read) and even after the man had passed out and had no pulse.

          Now bumping things up to murder 2 may be uncalled for, but that’s still sickly depraved. Moreover, every little extra bit of video we get seems to paint the officers involved as even bigger liars-there’s not a missing 30 seconds of video that’s changing the context. There’s even an officer saying, “Dude, he’s got no pulse, should we do something different?” And the answer, to learning the man he’s pinning down doesn’t have a pulse, is to say, “We’re staying right here like this.”

          Maybe he was having a heart attack and the officers didn’t directly cause his death. But there’s still a cruel and heartless neglect for his well-being even as he’s begging for his life and crying for his mama.

        2. We’ve seen the video.
          I don’t particularly care if he died of asphyxiation or something else. He died in the process of being choked by Chauvin.
          Yes, I’m presuming guilt.
          Doesn’t mean there’s no room for a trial.
          But the only thing that would create reasonable doubt for me would require the defense to show that it was very likely Floyd wouldve died in that exact same time frame even if he hadn’t encountered the police at all.

          1. When you see a story like this, and especially if there’s a video, it’s always good to ask, “What facts could I learn that would completely change my mind about this?” (HT to Viva Frei, who recently enunciated this for me, even if it’s something I’d thought about before).

            I’m with you. In this case, the cop is a complete asshole regardless what further evidence arises. He was a walking time bomb-even if Floyd would have died regardless, this guy was dangerous and insane. And his fellow cops were callous to the point of cruelty.

            1. It’s not so much that I think him innocent (it’s doubtful), but I’m against the subtle (or unsubtle) subtext among the media and activists that “this guy better be convicted, and convicted of a more severe charge, or else grieving protesters are going to burn some more stuff and kill some people.”

              Even if it was a serial killer arrested in his basement room adorned with human skins, we still insist on a trial (or plea) rather than viewing a trial as a formality or suggesting that if the jury goes the wrong way it’s time to burn, baby, burn.

  13. This is the first mention I’ve seen of what the victim was suspected of. The last guy was goon-murdered by strangulation for one or two cigarettes. This guy was killed by a similar gang of republicans and democrats, but for something more like a _carton_ of cigarettes. Why are the cop unions not bragging about how much progress this represents?

    1. Cigarettes are bad, hmkay?

    2. I’m thinking you haven’t bought cigarettes in a while… A carton is more like $80, even on the Rez.

      1. $50 in Missouri. We have the 2nd-lowest tobacco taxes in the country.

  14. Charging the other officers is of immense importance; because, as nonsensical as is the police’s and government’s excuse of one “bad apple,” the chronic fact that the many officers that aid and abet abuse skate away free from consequences aids and abets that excuse.

    1. This is very true. The “one bad apple” theory quickly breaks down if the other apples are covering for the bad apple.

  15. So all of my liberal facebook friends are ranting and raving about how Trump has made police brutality so much worse. They have no actual facts to support this assertion. And I have made a point of calmly pointing out to them that this has been a problem for decades and is something neither party seems interested in addressing. I also point out that these cases happen almost exclusively in Democratic run cities where police unions are the strongest and there are more laws that give police the power and excuse to screw with people.

    Every single one of them when confronted with this reality, just throw up their hands and mumble something about Trump and then refuse to continue the discussion. They seem genuinely incapable of accepting the Democrats’ share of the responsibility for this problem. And it is a share. Both parties bear some of the blame. Even worse for them is that to the extent the Republicans are to blame, Trump isn’t part of that. Trump hasn’t actually done anything to contribute to this problem and has to at least some degree made it better via his prison reforms. That is a reality the liberals I know just cannot face or even talk about.

    This whole thing is very interesting. The center cities, all of which are run by Democrats and subject to every policy and law liberals support, are burning down before their eyes. Reality is repudiating their entire political world view. And as desperate as they are to blame all of this on Trump, so they can feel good about themselves and feel like they are on the right side of everything, I think even they deep down know that isn’t true. They won’t accept it, but they know it. I am starting to think they have hit the denial phase of the grief cycle.

    1. Reality is repudiating their entire political world view.

      I understand where you’re coming from here, but these people view reality through a completely different lens than you do. Black people kill each other on the streets every day, and their solution is to ban firearms, not take a look at their rotten, caste-driven cities. These morons are talking about banning police departments entirely, which is going to result in the same type of feudal protection rackets that crop up in ghettos and third-world countries (considering how much these people fetishize those places as Domains of the Noble Savage, I guess this shouldn’t be much of a surprise), especially after all the businesses that just got torched fuck off permanently. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Minneapolis turn into Detroit 2: Somali Boogaloo over the next 20 years.

      1. Kind of curious if the outlying regions won’t accept Cornel West’s observation that America is a failed social experiment.

        At least the metros are.

        As more and more video filters out from the protest, it’s not looking good, and I doubt there will even be the will to protect, much less rebuild.

        Just mark it as a loss and move on.

      2. These people are not quite the level of moron who wants to ban police departments. They don’t support that but refuse to accept that the morons who do are part of the problem and thus by extension they are as well by not standing up to the morons you describe. Their entire sense of self is based on the idea that they are liberals and liberalism is a force for good and they are good people by being part of that. So, accepting that the morons really are the problem is very hard for them.

        1. Sheriff is in the Constitution and swears an oath to the Constitution.

          Police swear an oath to uphold the the law of whatever government is in power at the time.

          Sheriff is elected.

          Police are appointed.

          Abolish the police.

    2. Reality is repudiating their entire political world view.

      You need to read some Haidt.

      1. Haidt explains how this happens:

        Scott Greer
        Libs, literally a week ago: “im proudly calling the police on you for not wearing a face mask”

        Libs now: “ABOLISH THE POLICE!! ACAB”

    3. We have a front row seat for the suicide of a civilization.

      1. Maybe.
        Definitely witnessing mass psychotic breakdown on a scale never seen before.
        But that is limited to a certain politico-religious sect.
        We just have to withstand their lashing out

    1. There was one below that complaining that an account that cut-and-pasted Trump’s tweets was suspended.

      Well, no shit–one’s the President of the US, whose tweets drive thousands of responses, millions of clicks, influences media narratives, and has been one of the most viewed accounts for years. The other is a joke account doing a social experiment.

  16. George Floyd had COVID-19, according to the autopsy. I honestly don’t know what this does in terms of the case. On the one hand, it lends another contributing factor to his death. But on the other, it does lend credence to him complaining that he was struggling to breathe while he was dying, and the officer surely wasn’t helping him by keeping him pinned down.

    1. Just a hunch, but I don’t the prosecution will do much with him saying “I can’t breathe” because the defense will have a line of cops testifying that half the people they arrest say “I can’t breathe.”

      1. Though I would honestly be happy to see that issue addressed, because it’s kind of the elephant in the room.

        That said, the video I saw seemed to show Floyd complying until he collapsed next to the cruiser. And the officers immediately decided he was resisting instead of suffering medical distress. It’s all a bit sickening.

        1. Source for “collapsed next to the cruiser”?
          They try to put him in, on the sidewalk side of the car, but he’s being held down by Chauvin, on the street side.
          How did that come about?

  17. I want to say let nature take its course!

  18. I don’t know Minnesota law. In some jurisdictions the jury can decide on the lesser charge. While the policeman is obviously guilty of something, the trial will end up political, and the make up of the jury will determine the outcome. All white jury? All black jury? Other minority jury? Predominately white jury? Predominately black jury? All could have different outcomes. Will the trial take place in Minneapolis? If change of venue is granted, then where will the trial be held? The voir dire should be very interesting. If the officer(s) are not convicted will there be additional Federal charges? All we can really do is wait and see.

  19. The guilt, or innocence of this cop should be decided without regard to how the mob will react.
    Any verdict based on a fear of that reaction will not be justice but mob rule.
    Almost everyone posting here seems to think that’s A-OK.

  20. The murder charges are theater and politics. Mr. Ellison wants back in Congress.

    Manslaughter is the correct charge and the only one that has a chance of returning a guilty verdict.

  21. Remind me: Ellison’s the one who belongs behind bars for beating women, right?


  22. I still don’t understand why the courts couldn’t just handle the case. It’s quite obvious he wasn’t intentional killing the guy and statistics don’t prove anything in regards to racism in police brutality, yet, here we are with many kids (young adults) being manipulated by the media, by the educational system, hurting by militant protesters and panicked cops, all in turmoil.. over something which has been improved exponentially down to 9-10 unarmed blacks being killed by cops all of last year. This might go down as one of the most dangerous hoaxes to ever hit the America, the world, now with 10 or so deaths from the violent demonstrations. And, it’s actually controversial to say this stuff, sadly.

  23. I see lots of mentions of a jury. If the defendants want a bench trial, is that it or can the court force a jury trial?

    i assume if its up to the cops, bench trials all around.

    1. then again as soon as i hit post, i realized any judge would be under considerable pressure to convict.

      imagine being the judge who let any of these guys walk? especially if he’s white?

      or maybe that’s how the system will rig it for these guys..bench trial with a black judge willing to play ball, to give them all cover when he sets them free

  24. My impression is that Chauvin acted recklessly; he should probably be convicted of manslaughter and serve several years in jail.

    Everything else is overcharging. Two of the four officers involved were rookies being trained, former grocery clerks. This will probably blow up in Ellison’s face. And if they manage to make this stick, urban police departments will have an even tougher time to recruit.

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  25. Minnesota law defines that offense as causing someone’s death by “perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.” electrician oxnard

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