George Floyd

Does This Video Show a Cop Aiding and Abetting George Floyd's Murder?

Tau Thao repeatedly dismissed bystanders' concerns as his colleagues used a fatal prone restraint.

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The lawyers representing former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao, who is accused of aiding and abetting the second-degree murder of George Floyd, argue that his role in the May 25 incident, which triggered nationwide protests, was too peripheral to justify that charge. Newly released video from Thao's body camera sheds light on that claim, showing that he stubbornly dismissed the concerns of increasingly alarmed bystanders, repeatedly declined to intervene on Floyd's behalf or check on his welfare, and physically prevented pedestrians from approaching Floyd as he was pinned to the pavement in a prone position.

The 22-minute video begins as Thao, who was hired by the Minneapolis Police Department in 2012, and his partner, Derek Chauvin, hired in 2001, arrive at Cup Foods, the store where Floyd allegedly tried to make a purchase with a counterfeit $20 bill. The arresting officers, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, both new to the police department, are trying to force a panicked and resistant Floyd, who says he is claustrophobic and asks to ride in the front seat, into their squad car. "I'm not a bad guy," he says. "Please….I can't breathe."

Floyd tumbles or is pulled out of the car onto the street, saying, "I'm gonna lay on the ground." After some more struggling, that is where he ends up, handcuffed and face down as Chauvin kneels on Floyd's neck. Lane and Kueng help keep him down by applying pressure to his legs and back, respectively. "I can't breathe," Floyd says over and over, crying for his mother. "Please….I'm about to die." During the struggle and Floyd's subsequent restraint, the three officers repeatedly dismiss his complaints that he is having trouble breathing, saying the fact that he is still talking shows he is getting plenty of air.

Thao—who initially seems to make light of the situation, saying "this is why you don't do drugs, kids"—echoes his colleagues' assurance as he confronts six to 10 onlookers, several of whom express concern about Floyd. "He's talking, so he's fine," Thao tells them.

"He ain't fine," replies a bystander who says he trained at the police academy, suggesting that Chauvin's "jiu-jitsu" maneuver is obstructing Floyd's breathing. "That's bullshit, bro. You're fucking stopping his breathing right there, bro."

Thao reiterates that "he's talking," saying, "It's hard to talk if you're not breathing." The bystander says the cops should "get him off the ground" and berates Thao for failing to intervene.

"Is he talking now?" a woman who is recording the encounter on her cellphone asks about five minutes after Chauvin began kneeling on Floyd's neck. "Look at him. Bro, get the fuck off of him." The bystander who was the first to speak up lays into Thao again for doing nothing. "You're a bum for that, bro," he says, asking for Thao's badge number. When the guy steps into the street, Thao tells him to get back on the sidewalk. He gives the same order to other bystanders who step off the sidewalk.

A woman approaches Thao, identifying herself as a Minneapolis firefighter. "You should check on him then," says the man who spoke up earlier. "He's not responsive." Thao orders the firefighter off the street. "Does he have a pulse?" she asks, standing on the sidewalk. "Check for a pulse. Let me see a pulse." The man who asked for Thao's badge number reiterates that suggestion. "The man ain't moved yet," he notes. The two of them become increasingly insistent. "Check his pulse right now and tell me what it is!" says the firefighter.

"I'm busy trying to deal with you guys right now," Thao says. When the son of the store's owners steps into the street, worried about Floyd's condition, Thao pushes him back. Thao responds to the heated criticism of his inaction by saying, "If that makes you feel good about yourself, go ahead."

According to the initial criminal complaint against Chauvin, he kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, twice rejecting Lane's suggestion that they roll him onto his side. After five minutes, Floyd "stopped moving." A minute later, "the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak." Even after Kueng checked Floyd's pulse and said he could not find one, Chauvin remained in position, finally removing his knee two minutes later as an ambulance arrived.

It's not clear exactly how much of this Thao directly observed. But he had ample notice that the force used by his colleagues could prove deadly. Instead of taking that concern seriously, he, like Lane and Kueng, deferred to Chauvin, a 19-year veteran who was the senior officer on the scene.

Is that enough to convict Thao of aiding and abetting second-degree murder (or, alternatively, aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter, a lesser charge against Chauvin)? The charges against Thao allege that he "intentionally aided" the commission of either second-degree murder or second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, he could face the same penalty that applies to those crimes—up to 40 years and 10 years in prison, respectively.

Thao's lawyers argue that he did not know the other officers were committing a crime, let alone take any actions "to further commission of that crime." They presumably will say he was so focused on keeping the bystanders under control that he was in no position to make an independent judgment about the legality of the other officers' conduct.

According to the Associated Press, Thao "told investigators that his job was securing the scene and that he couldn't 'be in two places at once.'" He described himself as a "human traffic cone," and he showed about as much initiative.

[This post has been updated with additional information about the charges against Thao.]

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  1. “Human traffic cone”, that’s a new one. Is that on his resume? Maybe he can guide meter maid traffic at the Hall of Justice underground parking garage to keep his pension going.

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  2. Congrats BLM. I do not give two shits what happened to Floyd and could care less if the cops intentionally killed him.

    They did not, but as of now, I do not give the slightest remote sliver of a shit.

    1. Of course you don’t. You were just looking for a talking point to latch on to so you could enable your violence. I love how the commentariat has become so forgiving of cops.

      1. Won’t lie. If a cop decided to pummel you, I’d fight hard…to not laugh.

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      2. “enable you violence”

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  3. Knowing what I know up to this point, as a juror I would vote to convict. No one could come to that man’s aid. People are witnessing a murder in progress and have no recourse to stop it solely because of Thao’s actions.

    Imagine if someone had managed to pull Chauvin off Floyd. If they themselves hadn’t been killed by police in retaliation, they would certainly be arrested, charged and convicted of assault. And with Floyd in this case now still alive, the mitigation of saving his life would not be in this hypothetical person’s favor because no one would admit that Floyd’s life was in actual danger.

    Think back to the murder by Fullerton Police of Kelly Thomas. Dying from a beating in plain sight and crying for his father, who could have intervened to save him? I consider myself a reasonable person by fuck these four sideways.

    1. You would vote to convict whom and for what? Chauvin’s actions likely don’t meet the statutory requirements for murder (except under the felony murder rule, which is very dicey in this case). Thao’s actions certainly don’t.

      1. Culpable negligence, dereliction of duty, malfeasance in office, etc. There’s a really long list of things of things of which they could convict Chauvin and Thao.

      2. Have to agree.

        There are more than enough extraneous circumstances to fail to meet the “beyond a reasonable doubt” threshold. Certainly not for second degree murder. Might have gotten it for manslaughter.

        Looks like another season of riots to contend with.

        1. I think it’s beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a high probability that Floyd was in serious danger, and that Thao was purposely preventing anyone from checking it out. IANAL, so have no idea how that plays out in terms of a crime and the charges in this case.

          1. I’m not either, so I could be wrong, but aiding and abetting a second-degree murder will be hard to prove. Manslaughter, and whatever charge interfering with stopping manslaughter would be seems like the appropriate charge, and likely a win.

          2. If that’s the case, it’s depraved heart/extremely reckless murder, which is third degree murder in Minnesota. Second degree requires intent, whether to kill (which will be basically impossible to prove) or to commit an underlying felony for the felony murder rule (which might be tenable in Minnesota due to its weird rejection of the merger rule, but basically nowhere else).

            1. idk, i think continuing to apply pressure to his neck for *minutes* after Floyd stopped breathing demonstrates intent. If I were a juror with the facts we have, I would vote to convict on 2nd degree murder.

              1. Intent requires establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had in mind the goal of killing (damned near impossible to prove without a confession) or that there was a substantial certainty (>99%) that death would occur. If there is one case of kneeling on someone’s neck that didn’t result in death, substantial certainty is out and, with in, intent. You can be damned sure that Chauvin’s high-powered, union-paid lawyers will be looking for such cases.

                And that’s just the weakness in the prosecutor’s case for intent. The prosecutor also needs to show a sufficient factual (but for) and legal (proximate) causal relationship between Chauvin’s actions and Floyd’s death. That will be very difficult, given the lethal doses of fentanyl and meth in his system and his general poor state of health.

                Finally, any juror who says s/he would vote to convict on 2nd degree murder given the facts as known will be struck either by the judge for inability to follow and apply the law or by the defense for being too prosecution-friendly. This will move the median juror toward the defense side. All of this means that a conviction on 2nd degree murder is extremely unlikely, as it should be if one intends to actually follow the law.

                3rd degree murder might be reasonable. Manslaughter certainly is. Not 2nd degree murder. Ellison way overcharged here.

        2. Just like Zimmerman, the mob causes the prosecutor to overcharge, then gets upset when the jury actually looks at the facts.

      3. His actions meet the requirement for premeditation by my standards. Might not in the first few minutes, but he kept it up far pas the point of death, and if that famous picture is anything to go by, he was bored to (Floyd’s) death and couldn’t be bothered to see if Floyd was still alive. That brings it into premeditation by my standards. A house owner chasing a burglar down the street doesn’t get any breaks, and that’s in the heat of the moment. This was cold-blooded indifference, and after a time, that becomes intentional in my book.

        1. “but he kept it up far pas the point of death,”

          That’s not premeditation. Nothing you posted is.

          “That brings it into premeditation by my standards.”

          Then your standards have nothing to do with actual premeditation.

          1. 2nd degree murder doesn’t require premeditation, just intent.

            1st degree murder (generally) requires premeditation.

    2. You’d convict on 1st degree? Okay.

      1. I can’t imagine a scenario where it’s okay to kneel on someone’s neck for 9 minutes once they are prone and subdued.

        Murder 1 requires intent right? I don’t think I’d be able to convict on that, unless they’re sitting on some evidence that Chauvin had it out for Floyd for personal shit. Murder 2, though? Absolutely.

        1. It’s crazy the deference we give in gang murder when one of the gangs sports badges. Procedures trump all.

          1. If neither/none of the gangs sport badges, then isn’t it just a gang war? Would you feel better if they were wearing flags on their shoulders?

            If you don’t support gangs with badges and/or gangs with flags on their shoulders, how do you defend yourself against someone who does?

            I’m in favor of ending QI, police unions, asset forfeiture, the state pension gravy trains, etc. but going after every cop on the scene to the fullest extent of the law because someone who poisoned themselves wound up killed (or other analgous situations) doesn’t solve those problems and, as can be seen, creates or at least enables a few more.

            1. I describe my problem with the others in my original comment. Their (as we see here for some) righteous authority creates a virtually impenetrable wall that precludes any outside aid coming to the defense of the defenseless.

              George Floyd was by most accounts not a good man. Kelly Thomas and so many others in moments of crisis encounter a mob of law enforcement, all single minded in protecting their own, which makes it impossible for anyone to help in that moment. That cannot be allowed.

              1. That cannot be allowed.

                So whom are you appointing to watch the watchers?

                1. I’m not anti-police or anti-law enforcement. The same criminal justice system that should hold looters and vandals to account.

        2. In Minnesota, murder 2 also requires intent. Murder 3 requires extreme recklessness and indifference to the value of human life.

          1. Based on that Minnesota standard, it should be at best murder 3 … which would incite the mob again, because their emotional blinders have convinced them that the officers intended for Floyd to die (because, racism? Not.). I distrust cops, but it’s ridiculous to think that any of the other 3 actually had the intent of letting Chauvin kill Floyd.

            Any police department who paid attention to the Tony Timpa case should have trained their officers properly, and maybe this sad affair wouldn’t have happened. Shouldn’t the police department also be on the hook?

            Tony Timpa who? There was no furor, no rioting, no threats, no violence, nothing, after Timpa was killed almost the exactly same way in Dallas a few years ago. Why not? Because he was a white guy. So yeah, apparently only black lives matter… not abuse of police power in general.

            Maybe white people should be smart enough to protest this shit irrespective of who gets killed by the cops.

          2. DJK: Premeditation was the word I was looking for, not intent, but I didn’t know that Murder 2 required intent, so I can understand why a murder 3 charge would be appropriate.

            Jeff: I love in Dallas and didn’t hear about Tumpa until fully a year later.

    3. Yep. Fuck’em all. The other three officers are basically a tacit threat that anyone attempting to assist Floyd is going to be shot. As a result, Floyd got no assistance.

    4. So you don’t know anything? The knee on his neck had nothing to do with his death, he died of a heart attack which started before he was ever put on the ground and the cops mistook for resisting. None of the cops should be charged, much less convicted. You’re the same brainwashed turd that most of America seems to be, so eager to see ugly that you desperately avoid truth at all costs. BLM activists have murdered more unarmed blacks in just a couple months than cops killed criminals all last year.

      1. Great, another moron who doesn’t understand the coroners report and who is directly contradicting what it actually said: that he died from homicide when his heart stopped (cardiac arrest) as a consequence of manual compression of his body. It does not say he died from cardiac infarction (a “heart attack”). The coroner’s report *directly* contradicts your statement, but why let facts get in the way of your narrative?

        That’s a separate issue from whether what Chauvin did was justified or met a legal bar, but, legally, Floyd died from homicide and would have still be alive but for Chauvin’s actions.

        This is all a matter of public record, so there is no excuse to keep repeating this “he died of a heart attack not from being choked out” bullshit that is easily disproven.

        1. The coroner’s report shows the presence of confounding factors (fentanyl, meth, poor general health) that calls causality into question. The prosecutor must prove that but for Chauvin’s actions, Floyd would not have died in the manner he did. He also has to prove that Chauvin’s actions were also proximately causative of the death. And he has to do both of those beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s the real importance of the coroner’s report. Yes, there are two conflicting cause of death reports. But that establishes reasonable doubt in itself. This is a very tough sell as murder. Maybe a jury will vote to convict. Very unlikely an appeals court will uphold the conviction.

        2. Repetition of bullshit like Floyd dying due to homicide, to manual compression is cool, because it supports your viewpoint. The medical examiner’s report said nothing of the kind. It states that the neck tissue damage was inconclusive. The autopsy conducted by the man paid to find the cops culpable, found them culpable. I am not up on MN law, but accessory to negligent homicide seems the very best, and a reach. To manslaughter likely, if that’s possible. Points for the ad hominem attack, it really supports your argument to the fullest. Your pointed avoidance of discussion about the massive amount of morphine, fentanyl in Floyd’s tox screen and the fact he said that he couldn’t breathe multiple times before Chauvin arrives, and gets on the ground himself says more.

      2. You convinced me with brainwashed turd.

    5. Floyd would almost certainly still be dead. He died of an OD from fentanyl, the only thing that qualified it for 3rd degree murder was Chauvin continuing the restraint hold for 2 minutes+ after being informed that he did not have an identifiable pulse.

      1. This fact alone throws out murder 2. Murder 3 is still on the table. Juries are very friendly to cops. Very little chance there’s a murder conviction of any degree.

    6. He died of a Fentanyl overdose. That’s why he couldn’t breathe with no one on him. This will be an even more stubborn narrative to dispose of than Hands Up Dont Shoot, but people better be ready for the trial and acquittal, because it’s coming

    7. READ the autopsy report first then go back and pay particular attention to the Tox panel which is part of that report.
      LEARN what comprises a lethal dose of fentanyl and compare that to what was recorded in Floyd’s blood at hospital. Do the same for the meth and speed he also had in his system..Now go and learn about the speical training the MPD had held, multiple times, and which if any of those four officers had taken it. The training of which I speak is precisely layed out for cases identical to Floyd’s. Learn the protocl two of these four men had been trained in, and compare to what actually happened. George Floyd killed himself by taking a many times lethal dose of a number of illegal drugs, any one of which WAS in process of killing him before the cops ever got that call about the counterfeit bill he had tried passing.

      Now, last of all, study the transcripts of the body cams on those four officers, pay attentioni to their dialogue. as they describe whatFloyd is doing, saying, unable to do, and compare these things with the known effects of these drugs he had, in lethal doses, in his system.

      NOW come back and try your “he was urdered
      whinge again, this time with more feeling, cause that’s ALL you;ve got there.

      1. Is this where I come back at you with “boot licker”? I love this dance.

  4. replies a bystander who says he trained at the police academy

    What the fuck is this bullshit? Did he stay at a Holiday Inn Express too?

  5. “I’m not a bad guy,” he says.

    Between 1997 and 2005, Floyd was sentenced to jail terms eight times on various charges, including drug possession, theft and trespass. In 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison for armed robbery in a home invasion and was paroled in January 2013.

    He shouldn’t have been killed, but he was, in fact, a bad guy.

    1. How is armed robbery only 5 years???

      1. It was armed robbery where he pointed a loaded gun at a pregnant woman’s stomach. It happened in Texas, which has a maximum penalty of 99 years for armed robbery. No idea how he got out in 5 years.

    2. At least one of those charges was made by Gerald Goines, wasn’t it? Kind of makes you wonder.

      1. Ya, Floyd managed to run across two of the most notoriously bad cops in nation.

      2. Goines, ah yes thanks for the reminder.

        “Systemic racism?” No. Police corruption is about abuse of power and the sick sort of people that power attracts. And it’s easy to abuse people who don’t have a lot of clout–socioeconomically disadvantaged folks, of whom blacks happen to have a lot.

    3. At least one of his convictions was in Houston by the same cops who faked everything in order to conduct a SWAT raid. I’d need better evidence to believe he was actually guilty of what you say.

    4. He wasn’t even killed. He had a heart attack, how so many people can’t see that I don’t get. He had a history of heart problems, he had major clogging in 3 arteries, he was high as a kite on meth and fentanyl and was being arrested. If anyone killed him he did, it was closer to suicide than murder.

      1. Learn to understand a coroner’s report and come back when you know what the hell you’re talking about because it’s clear you don’t right now.

        1. Learn to understanding but for and proximate causation and come back when YOU know what the hell you’re talking about.

      2. Was he going to drop dead off he had sat in his own car and nothing else had happened? Cuz if you can demonstrate that, then you have a point, otherwise I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that having a guy kneel on his neck for 9 minutes including well after he stopped struggling in any capacity and in contravinction to police guidelines and practices might have been another contributing factor.

        1. Was he going to drop dead off he had sat in his own car and nothing else had happened?

          If you’re going to be a pedant, the correct question is “Are we sure beyond a reasonable doubt that the arrest and his resistance wouldn’t have lead to his death?”

        2. Here’s the thing, “might have been another contributing factor” is not enough, legally, for a criminal conviction. Similarly, the burden of proof isn’t on the defense to demonstrate anything.

          No, the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a guy who had 1) severe heart disease, 2) COVID-19, 3) a lot of fentanyl in his blood, 4) a lot of methamphetamine in his blood, and 5) who was announcing his trouble breathing before he was restrained, was not going to die on his own.

          If, looking at all that, you conclude that “Well, Chauvin’s actions probably contributed to his death”, then as a matter of law you’re supposed to acquit. Not just of the murder charges, but the manslaughter, too, and let him walk free; all the charges against Chauvin require that a jury unanimously conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Chauvin caused Floyd’s death.

          Note that if Chauvin didn’t, beyond a reasonable doubt, cause Floyd’s death, it doesn’t matter what other crimes or torts he committed handling Floyd. He isn’t charged with battery, or violating police procedure, or the like.

  6. On an article discussing the final few minutes and his claims of not being able to breathe, it would seem important to include the multiple times during the arrest prior to being pulled from the car Floyyd also told the officers he couldn’t breathe. One would think this would be relevant to a discussion.

    1. I’m also noticing a loophole to the increasing sensitivity to mental health movement. If the “You’re going in a fucking cage.” cops show up and you shout “I’m claustrophobic!” do they stand down and wait for the touchy-feely let’s-talk-this-out police? What specific phrases and/or conditions trigger the stand down? Or is it more of a “I’ll know it when I see it.” situation.

      Either way, you’d think after multiple incarcerations he would’ve either gotten over his claustrophobia or figured out a better way to avoid ending up locked in a box.

    2. Which is entirely possible that he was poorly communicating, “I believe I am in medical distress and am having trouble breathing.” The fact that he suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest and died might substantiate this claim, and having his bod forced into a stress position with a knee at his neck can’t have been therapeutic.

      1. Or it could have been the drugs he was on.

    3. I have noted that even among people trained, or in training, as experts in preservation of breathing, trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, and intensivists, patient complaint of inability to breath is sometimes met with the physician reply to the effect, ‘if you are talking, then you are breathing.’
      Practically for the first time, a few months ago, when I stared down a trainee who uttered such a phrase did they get it. Maybe it was because they pictured how they would be viewed in a video failing to appreciate the patient’s distress. Recognizing that someone is in fact dying before your eyes can be surprisingly difficult to note, and surprisingly hard to teach.

      1. Recognizing that someone is in fact dying before your eyes can be surprisingly difficult to note, and surprisingly hard to teach.

        Especially if, as an instructor, you are told that the phrase “I can’t breathe” is too political of an expression to even address.

        1. Especially if Floyd was saying “I can’t breathe” for quite a while before he was even taken into custody.

  7. Waitaminnit… the guy was handcuffed and dying of a narcotic–SEVERAL narcotic overdoses–and four God-fearing, clean-living, physically fit weaponized union cops could not get him into the paddy wagon. So they knelt down to ask Jesus to give them strength to uphold THE Law, and the almost-dead resister of arrest jammed his neck under the nearest knee right before croaking “I can’t breathe!” Does any of this sound farfetched? Maybe the NY “I Can’t Breathe” guy with the loose cigarettes was also dying and the cops had the bad luck to jump him as it happened.

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  9. I’d like to know if he intentionally passed a fake 20. Where is it? Has it been sent to the Secret Service? Did they even have probable cause to arrest him? What kind of an investigation did they do? A lot of unanswered questions.

    1. I actually still don’t know what the arrest was for. Was he arrested for passing the counterfeit bill, or was it because he was apparently intoxicated while being behind the wheel of his vehicle?

    2. He was caught stashing the bills under the seat when the police approached him so he knew they were fake.

      1. Or was trying to avoid a potential (unreported) civil asset forfeiture.

  10. I think we should continue to pound on questions like this–at least until Job Biden makes his position on defunding the police clearer.

    And he should be made to clarify it over and over again, too. And over again. And after we’re bored to tears of Joe Biden explaining whether he’s for or against defunding the police and what that means, we should make him explain it again.

    And again.

    And again.

    1. P.S. And again.

      1. Like he would or could remember what his stance was.

    2. It’s cute you think anyone that will get to question Biden between now and the election doesn’t already want him to win.

      1. It’s cute you think anyone that will get to question Biden between now and the election doesn’t already want him his team to win.

        FIFY

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  12. Regarding preserving George Floyd’s life, he didn’t show as much initiative as a *human* traffic cone, he showed as much initiative as a *plastic* traffic cone.

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  13. Isn’t “reckless indifference to human life” a thing? It’s pretty clear Thao just Did. Not. Care. Maybe premeditated murder isn’t the right charge, but definitely manslaughter.

    1. Reckless indifference only defines the accused’s state of mind. This is only one element of the crime that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. I can walk around with reckless indifference to the value of human life in my heart or mind all day long. So long as my actions don’t lead to someone’s death, it doesn’t matter what my mental state is.

      The prosecution must also prove but for and proximate causation. That is, they must prove that but for the accused’s actions, the victim would not have died and that the accused’s actions were also sufficiently related to the death. Under causation, American law generally does not recognize a duty to intervene to help someone. There is zero chance that a prosecutor could establish causation on a murder charge against Thao.

      1. On the charge of aiding and abetting murder, the prosecution would have to prove that Thao had the intent to help Chauvin get away with murder. Intent is a much harder state of mind to prove than reckless indifference. It can be established by showing that the accused wanted the murder to happen, which is pretty much impossible to demonstrate unless he admits this. It can also be established by showing that it was almost certain that the murder would occur. If the defense can point to a single case in which Chauvin knelt on someone’s neck and they didn’t die, the prosecution can’t prove intent. There’s no such thing as aiding and abetting manslaughter, as manslaughter is unintentional by definition. This is the trouble with inchoate crimes. They’re very hard to prove and often require a confession.

  14. This wouldn’t be much of a discussion had the state appropriately charged the suspects. Instead, there’s been a strong whiff of overreach, and eventually Minneapolis will burn again for that bit of prosecutorial stupidity.

  15. When police are making an arrest is no time for public interference.

    At the beginning of the interaction both Floyd and the belligerent black onlookers escalated the tension.

    The police went wrong in my opinion by continuing physical restraint after Floyd was no longer a threat or a flight risk, when he was handcuffed.

    That’s when the physical police restraint became unnecessary assault/murder.

    At that point all the police involved became complicit in a murder.

    1. Unlikely. It will be very hard to prove all elements for murder, as there are huge questions about the officers’ mental states and the causal connection between their actions and Floyd’s death. The prosecution must show both of these beyond a reasonable doubt. There’s maybe a 10% chance a jury would vote to convict and I’m only giving it that high of a chance because juries can go outside the law. There’s a 0% chance an appeals court would uphold the conviction.

      1. The point I made was that when force becomes unnecessary, after being cuffed, it is illegal and when it results in death it’s murder.

        It’s only common sense.

        1. The point I made is that the law doesn’t necessarily codify “common sense.” If it did, it would provide legal support for the type of mob-fueled thinking based on lack of evidence that we’ve seen over the last few months. The law defines different crimes based on elements that all must be satisfied for a conviction. We do this for very good reasons, especially if you accept general libertarian ideals about respecting the rights of individuals against abuse by government. And the elements of murder 2 simply aren’t all met in this case. Murder 3, maybe. Manslaughter, sure.

          1. I don’t think the cop wanted to kill Floyd.

            I don’t even think he thought he was using excessive force.

            But he was and he did.

            1. Excessive force is not an element of murder 2 or murder 3. The only states of mind that will support a murder conviction are intent for murder 2 or extreme indifference for murder 3. These are both very specific states of mind and are pretty difficult for a prosecutor to prove. Regular old recklessness, which is probably what’s meant by excessive force, will only sustain a manslaughter conviction. Negligence, which is the other possibility, will sustain negligent homicide. Both are lesser charges than murder of any degree. Murder is a term with a precise legal definition. It makes very little sense to claim that someone should be convicted of murder when your own words would support negligent homicide or manslaughter at best.

              1. Well maybe the problem is that killing someone with excessive force in police custody isn’t considered murder by the courts.

  16. “When police are making an arrest is no time for public interference.”

    Yeah, because interfering after the fact would have been real effective here.

    Stopping evil is the sole domain of the cops even when cops are committing the evil. Do not dare treat your brother as you would want to be treated and the exercise of mercy is to be limited to those exercising Them’s state authority over you.

    “At that point all the police involved became complicit in a murder but should not have been stopped because it was not the right time.” FTFY

    1. If there was a clear law that was being broken, like exercising force after being cuffed, then maybe the other police wouldn’t have stood idly by and maybe a bystander attacking the offending officer wouldn’t be arrested or killed by the other officers.

      This is just common sense, but don’t let it interrupt your looting on black Floyddays.

  17. But he didn’t die from the restraint. He died from cardio-pulmonary failure (per the autopsy) which he was already suffering from before he was pinned down.

    It’s clear that he was already suffering the effects of an overdose if you watch the bodycam footage, which the DA hid from the public for months. I believe he did that because it detracted from the “murdering racist cops” narrative that is being pushed for broader political reasons.

    1. Lots of people have health complications. Police are paid to serve and protect us all.

      The knee to the neck was In place before during and after he died. It was unnecessary after he was cuffed.

      It’s an unfortunate reality that we need law to enforce common sense.

      1. If I were the defense lawyer, I would raise a bunch of objections to your supposition. First, there was some evidence that Floyd was suffering from a fentanyl-induced severe respiratory depression (SRD). Second, he was complaining of being unable to breathe for minutes before the police even handcuffed him. Taken together, this destroys the element of causation required to prove any degree of murder.

        Third, the Minneapolis PD handbook said that the best way to deal with SRD was to have the subject on their stomach. Fourth, Chauvin put far less than his body weight on Floyd’s neck, which the defense will argue he did simply to keep Floyd from getting out of the position that gave him the best chance at survival. Taken together, this destroys the element of mens rea (intent for sure, and probably extreme indifference/recklessness) required to prove any degree of murder.

        I’m not saying that this is exactly what happened. But remember that a criminal conviction requires proof beyond reasonable doubt of all elements of the crime. If I were the defense lawyer, this would be a pretty easy case.

        1. Having a cardio pulmonary weakness doesn’t excuse the use of excessive force.

          Being a policy of the force is probably the best defence they have. I bet the chief will deny it.

          He put enough weight on Floyd’s neck to kill him. Unless you’re ready to demonstrate how Floyd was going to die even without a knee on his neck.

          1. Again, excessive force is not an element of murder. The charge of murder is what’s being discussed here. It has very specific elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. It seems very unlikely the prosecutor can do so in this case. Other felony homicide charges that carry stiff penalties (just not as stiff as murder) are available which the prosecutor actually will be able to prove. For instance, manslaughter (maybe) and negligent homicide (likely).

            The policy was written and is readily available. No evidentiary problem there. Floyd was loaded with lethal amounts of fentanyl and meth, had poor general health, and had recently contracted covid. He had already claimed to be unable to breathe before the interaction with the police. Pretty easy for a defense attorney to introduce a hell of a lot of doubt based on this. The burden of proof is on the prosecutor, and strongly so.

            1. Again

              Well maybe the problem is that killing someone with excessive force in police custody isn’t considered murder by the courts.

          2. The full autopsy report is available online and it says that there were no external or internal injuries found on or in Floyd’s neck and that the trachea was fully intact. So evidently the officer didn’t “put enough weight on Floyd’s neck to kill him” unless you can explain how he did so without causing any actual injury to the area where he was placing his weight.

            1. Your own link says,

              “ As was released earlier by the medical examiner’s office, Floyd’s cause of death is listed officially as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restrain, and neck compression.””

              Did you even read it?

  18. So a police officer who is the relative use-of-force expert here should have done what exactly? Ignore his training on the use of prone restraints, overrule his superior by force, and put Floyd in a MORE life-threatening restraint while waiting for the ambulance to arrive all because a moron bystander thought that prone restraints were martial arts?

    1. Use common sense.

      Cuff him fast and without incident.

      Then stand back and process him.

      1. Maybe that’s common sense to an outsider, but the issue here was excited delirium syndrome, or ExDS. Lane even mentioned it to Chauvin and Chauvin told him that’s exactly why I’m keeping him prone.

        We’ll learn more as its argued in court, but I believe Chauvin maintained this specific restraint to stop Floyd from aggravating himself. He was very clearly in physical distress from the beginning, long before police arrived. His condition worsened even when the police were more friendly with him and he was sitting upright and standing upright. Continued movement would strain his heart and increase the risk of cardiac arrest. Chauvin knew this the moment he arrived on scene, which is why he called an ambulance that early. Chauvin did exactly what he was trained to do, which is to restrain the individual for their own safety. Many people exhibiting ExDS symptoms are going to die even if you do nothing at all. If the officers just stood back and left Floyd be, he still was highly likely to die. Then the officers would still find themselves in court for refusing to administer aid while an innocent man was dying.

        1. “ If the officers just stood back and left Floyd be, he still was highly likely to die. ”

          I’m no expert but I don’t buy that.

          Maybe the jury will.

        2. awildseaking, this is exactly what the defense will argue. And they will strike anyone from the jury who isn’t open to this line of argument. Ellison is a moron who way overcharged here and he is going to get crucified by this jury. If he doesn’t, no appeals court will allow a murder conviction to stand on this evidence.

        3. I don’t know how the officers could accurately diagnose ExDS But fail to recognize that he was dying from the knee to his neck.

        4. Shit. From wiki EXDS

          The condition is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association or the World Health Organization.[26][27][28] Critics of excited delirium have stated that the condition is primarily attributed to deaths while in the custody of law enforcement and is disproportionately applied to black and Hispanic victims.

          Yeah , no wonder I hadn’t heard of it. Sounds like a police excuse for excessive force in custody. Good luck in court with that.

          1. The fact that the cops are heard mentioning it actually works against them as it is A police code word For using excessive force.

        5. Looks like retards bailed.

  19. I’ve seen the expert footage on this. After beating the victim unconscious and rifling through his stuff you get a bunch of street medics to crowd around him, dump water on him, and argue about whether he should be rolled onto his side or whether his neck might be broken.

    If these officers had simply argued about whether his neck was broken or, at the very least, allowed completely untrained bystanders to dump water on him, Floyd might be alive today.

  20. Was Thao an anti black Asian cop? Probably not.

    The officers are in the wrong here and it cost a man his life, and BLM shenanigans don’t change that. But we should mind some possible context given the hysteria sweeping the nation.

    Floyd was semi resisting arrest or at least uncooperative. The officers initially put him in the car and could have been on their way to the station, never to have bothered with him again. But Floyd insisted that he was claustrophobic and requested to lay on the ground as he was taken out.

    This type of encounter was likely common for these police officers. They used a maneuver from the police manual they probably used several times on suspects that put on a show as they were being arrested. They emphasize “You’re breathing if you can talk” because they heard that kind of line before. Thao didn’t shoo away bystanders because he was participating in a murder. This was routine for him and he probably didn’t think the outcome would differ from any other encounters.

    None of the officers thought they were doing anything out of the ordinary. An obvious problem with police is that they don’t use good judgement or deviate from protocol depending on the situation. They have to shoot a guy crawling towards them for allegedly reaching for his pocket, even though it’s just no possible for him to hide a long gun in his pocket.

    Chauvin is likely guilty of manslaughter. But I think charging Thao with accessory to murder is overkill.

  21. The benefit of the doubt being given to a cop on a libertarian thread, who even the worst Republican cop suckers aren’t supporting, is so heartwarming. What a robust and principled philosophy this is.

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  23. A lot of people in this thread are not paying attention and have missed an enormously significant piece of information: it has been proposed that Chauvin had specific training to do exactly what he did. If that is the case then he is not a murderer, or even showing depraved indifference. The other officers would also be fully justified in preventing the public, who did not understand what they observing, from interfering.

    This may be one of those times where the righteous outrage needs to be tamped down in an effort to obtain all the information before innocent men get lynched. This is not a case of a scaredy cop executing someone attempting to comply. Let the evidence get presented before judging.

    Tionico
    August.19.2020 at 6:37 pm

    LEARN what comprises a lethal dose of fentanyl and compare that to what was recorded in Floyd’s blood at hospital. Do the same for the meth and speed he also had in his system..Now go and learn about the speical training the MPD had held, multiple times, and which if any of those four officers had taken it. The training of which I speak is precisely layed out for cases identical to Floyd’s.

  24. I don’t see how the autopsy could find that the cause of death was homicide. What evidence is there that the pressure on his neck was sufficient to cause death? Or even hasten his death from his drugs and his heart disease? That is surely just speculation, and maybe speculation influenced by the public outrage.

    1. I guess that’s because you’re not a coroner.

      1. So your belief is that pressure which was so weak that it didn’t cause any injury, was nevertheless not merely excessive, but was so excessive that it caused death. And you believe that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

        1. It’s not my belief.

          The medical examiner listed “neck compression” as the cause of death.

          Based on what authority do you believe otherwise?

          1. “As was released earlier by the medical examiner’s office, Floyd’s cause of death is listed officially as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restrain, and neck compression.””

            So the ME is saying that the neck compression COMPLICATED the heart attack. Which seems to merely mean that it made it more DIFFICULT to determine the cause of death. So the neck compression MAY have contributed to the heart attack, OR it may have LESSENED the attack – specifically, by keeping Floyd still, it may have PROLONGED his life.

            1. Like I said,

              “ I guess that’s because you’re not a coroner.”

              1. I doubt there’ll be any coroners on the jury either. With the official report stating that he died of a heart attack, and neck compression MAY have contributed to that, the required standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” will not have been met. If the trial were held now, while there is still considerable community outrage over his death and protests against police brutality, there might be a conviction, but not in a couple of years when the outrage has diminished.

                By the way, are you a coroner?

                1. Nope, but I can read and the coroners report says “heart attack complicated by neck compression” not “heart attack maybe complicated by neck compression”.

                  The coroner has authority regarding the cause of death.

                  What is the source of your delusions of authority?

                  1. So you are saying that he died of a heart attack which was complicated by neck compression, but was NOT CAUSED by neck compression.

  25. If we had decent news and commentary cover, ALL stories on this would like to the TRANSCRIPT of the bodycam footage, published even in the NYT (and elsewhere).

    Why was George Floyd foaming at the mouth? He answered ‘I was hooping earlier’. Hooping means shoving drugs up your rectum to get high. The REASON he was foaming at the mouth is because that is a SYMPTOM of overdosing.

    Of course Floyd said ‘I can’t breathe’ when he was still upright (READ the transcript). But that is how he INTERPRETED it. When you OD on fentantly and a range of other drugs, your breathing gets shallow and your organs do not work right; you can’t get enough oxygen into your bloodstream; THIS is why the officers called medics early on; it’s also what they meant by ‘excited delirium whatever’ they mis-remembered the name of it from their formal training on ‘excited delirium syndrome’. But it really ought to just be called ‘IMMINENT OVERDOSE’.

    So the 11ng/mL of fentantyl that killed George Floyd are guilty of systemic racism AND hate crimes. They also conspired with the speed and meth in his bloodstream. They should all go down for hard time. But they DO need to go into solitary confinement, lest any of the residue end up some inmate’s bunghole. Those 11 ng/mL are really evil, if they could vote, they would probably even vote Trump.

    The cops SHOULD have elevated the medic call to higher urgency level, that was a minor mistake but Floyd would probably have died of OD either way. And they CERTAINLY are not guilty of manslaughter for that oversight. Remember, Floyd was not getting enough Oxygen into his blood even when he was upright. They recognized that, the foaming at the mouth, and the paranoid behavior. So they were pretty well trained for coppers.

    1. Good comment but here is one small correction:

      “The cops SHOULD have elevated the medic call to higher urgency level,”

      They did: “At approximately 8:22, the officers called for an ambulance on a non-emergency basis, escalating the call to emergency status a minute later.” (Wikipedia, Killing of George Floyd). (I don’t approve of the title of that article. It implies he was killed, implying killed by the police, whereas the most we can say is that the police actions MAY have CONTRIBUTED to his death.)

      1. Thanks for this correction; I missed that part of the transcript. The arrest alone, and the simple physical exertion of resisting arrest, may well have contributed to Mr. Floyd’s death. He was in a very precarious condition (overdosing in front of them). I do not believe there is any significant chance of the State proving manslaughter because the officers were responding in the way they were trained, and in my opinion they were well trained to deal with an OD. One huge problem I have with coverage is that Floyd is not treated as though he had agency; the obvious overdose is not mentioned — he was foaming at the mouth because his lungs weren’t working properly — he chose to take a massive amount of drugs, mixing drugs, and had problems breathing as a result. That was very reckless. He chose to pass a fake $20 leading to his arrest. Exactly WHAT were the cops supposed to do? Wish him a nice day and allow him to drive off in this condition, endangering others as well? Chauvin wasn’t some thug, he was a trainer for his fellow officers.

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