George Floyd

Derek Chauvin Argues That His Use of Force Was Appropriate and Did Not Kill George Floyd

The defense will have a hard time showing that Chauvin's conduct was justified by any threat Floyd posed.


Derek Chauvin's defense against the charge that he murdered George Floyd is based on two dubious claims. First, defense attorney Eric Nelson argued in his opening statement yesterday, the force that the former Minneapolis police officer used while restraining Floyd was appropriate in the circumstances. Second, Nelson said, Chauvin's use of force did not cause Floyd's death.

Nelson noted that Floyd resisted Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng as they attempted to place him in their squad car after arresting him for buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill on May 25. He noted that Floyd was more than six feet tall and weighed 223 pounds, which he said made it difficult to restrain him. Nelson maintained that Floyd's resistance continued even after he was handcuffed and pinned face down on the pavement, held there by Lane, Kueng, and Chauvin. "You will see and hear them continue to struggle with Mr. Floyd, as he's attempting to kick," Nelson said.

That version of events seems inconsistent with the widely viewed bystander video of Floyd's arrest. Although Floyd moves his head and his right shoulder, complains that he cannot breathe, and begs for relief, he does not appear violent. In circumstances like these, police may interpret as "resistance" what bystanders perceive as a man's desperate attempt to avoid asphyxiation.

Nelson also seemed to contradict the video by implying that Chauvin did not kneel on Floyd's neck. In Nelson's telling, "Mr. Chauvin used his [left] knee to pin Mr. Floyd's left shoulder blade and back to the ground and his right knee to pin Mr. Floyd's left arm to the ground." Floyd's shoulder, of course, was right next to his neck, and the video shows Chauvin kneeling on both—for more than nine minutes, according to prosecutors.

"Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career," Nelson said. "The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing."

Nelson undermined that claim by suggesting that Chauvin and his colleagues were distracted by the angry bystanders who were objecting to their treatment of Floyd. "They're called names," he said. "They're screaming at them, causing the officers to divert their attention from the care of Mr. Floyd to the threat that was growing in front of them." If everything the officers did was by the book, one might wonder, why is this distraction relevant?

Nelson noted that Floyd had ingested black-market "Percocet" tablets that contained fentanyl and methamphetamine, which he suggested helped explain Floyd's panic. But even if that is true, the propriety of the force Chauvin used has to be judged based on the threat Floyd posed after he was handcuffed and pinned, not on his previous struggle with Lane and Kueng.

An autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Floyd's death was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." An independent analysis commissioned by Floyd's family concluded that he died from "mechanical asphyxiation." Both reports agreed that the manner of death was homicide.

Nelson, by contrast, said "there was no evidence that Mr. Floyd's airflow was restricted" and no "telltale signs of asphyxiation." Rather, Floyd "died of a cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, his coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body, all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart."

That explanation, of course, elides the crucial question of whether Floyd would have died but for the force that Chauvin and his colleagues used against him. By deeming his death a homicide, both the autopsy report and the independent analysis imply that Floyd would have survived this encounter if the police had treated him differently.

Nelson was keen to distract jurors from what the bystander video seems to show, saying "the evidence is far greater than nine minutes and 29 seconds." He was referring to prosecutor Jerry Blackwell's opening statement, in which he urged the jurors to focus on "those nine minutes and 29 seconds when Mr. Derek Chauvin was applying this excessive force to the body of Mr. George Floyd." As Blackwell described it, Chauvin "put his knees upon [Floyd's] neck and his back, grinding and crushing him…until the very life was squeezed out of him."

While Chauvin did that, Blackwell said, he "was well aware that Mr. Floyd was unarmed, that Mr. Floyd had not threatened anyone, that Mr. Floyd was in handcuffs." Chauvin knew that Floyd was "defenseless" and "completely in the control of the police." Under Chauvin's knee, Blackwell noted, Floyd complained 27 times that he was having trouble breathing, cried out for his mother, and repeatedly exclaimed that "they're going to kill me."

Although Blackwell did not mention it, Lane twice suggested that Floyd should be rolled off his stomach and onto his side. "I am worried about excited delirium or whatever," Lane said at one point. Chauvin rejected his suggestions.

This was the horrifying spectacle to which outraged bystanders—some of whom testified today—were responding. Although Blackwell thinks their reaction reinforces the impression that Chauvin was using excessive force, Nelson argues that it somehow mitigates his actions, since it distracted him from "the care of Mr. Floyd."

For nearly a minute toward the end of his life, Blackwell noted, Floyd was "completely silent and virtually motionless with just sporadic movements." Blackwell described those "involuntary movements" as a "part of an anoxic seizure" caused by oxygen deprivation. But judging from Nelson's description of the movements that supposedly justified  Floyd's continued restraint, Chauvin may have thought Floyd was "attempting to kick."

Even after Chauvin is twice informed that Floyd has no detectable pulse, Blackwell said, "he does not let up" and "he does not get up." Chauvin maintains his position for "four minutes and 44 seconds" after Floyd is no longer responsive, even after an ambulance arrives. He does not remove his knee until paramedics "want to move the lifeless body of George Floyd onto the gurney."

Police are "not allowed to use any more force than is necessary to bring a person under their control," Blackwell noted, and "the use of force must be evaluated from one moment to the next moment," since "what may be reasonable in the first minute may not be reasonable in the second minute, the fourth minute or the ninth minute." He said he would be presenting testimony from experts who think Chauvin's use of force was patently unreasonable by that standard.

Once Floyd was unconscious, Blackwell said, the officers had a duty to render aid. Yet "when Mr. Floyd was in distress, Mr. Chauvin wouldn't help him," and "he stopped anybody else from being able to help him." Here, presumably, is where the angry bystanders come into play for the defense, since they allegedly "divert[ed]" Chauvin's attention "from the care of Mr. Floyd."

Nelson is certainly right that the jury needs to understand the context of Chauvin's actions, which can be illuminated by evidence that goes beyond what the bystander video shows. But that video raises an obvious question that Nelson will have trouble answering: What threat did Floyd pose that justified continuing to restrain him in the position where he spent the last moments of his life?




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  1. He didn’t use a fire extinguisher.

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  2. I already shudder to think of what will happen if he isn’t convicted of something (and I think he should be and probably will be). There’ll be mayhem, destruction, and bloodshed, and that’s just from the Reason D.C. office.

    1. Don’t be fooled — any rioting will be entirely the fault of right-wing infiltrators. That’s exactly what happened with last year’s mostly peaceful protests.


      1. The real question is how will all this affect Charles Koch?

        1. As long as Biden continues to make clear he has no intention of implementing the racist policy of “border enforcement,” Mr. Koch should be fine.

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    2. Based on facts in evidence he followed procedure as trained by the academy. Floyd’s death is as likely from an OD than anything else based on toxicology and weight of lungs. This isn’t an open shut case. And he was way over charged based on known facts.

      1. “Based on facts in evidence he followed procedure as trained by the academy.”

        This assertion is a lie.

        JesseAz, your casual dismissal of the murder of a man by a racist police office is sickening to behold. Hope your karma catches up to you.

        1. Your casual assertion of guilt when we know Floyd wolfed fentanyl is a cheery and happy thing to behold. Your karma has already caught up to you.

        2. See my post below. Amazingly everyone is dismissing facts with emotion. Weird.

          1. Not surprising, this is Emote Magazine

      2. Yes, anyone knows all cops are trained to kneel on the neck of a corpse until EMTs are ready to take it to the morgue.

      3. Ok, think of this Scenario.

        Person A bashed Person B’s head in with a Sledge Hammer, right after Person B dies. Also Person B is a Morbidly Obese Man in his 90’s with Covid, dose that absolve Person A from any Wrong Doing

    3. Well, yell at the prosecutors. They’re the idiots who didn’t indict Chauvin with anything he can be assuredly convicted of.

      Every one of the charges against Chauvin includes the term “causes the death of another”. There’s not a single one of the charges that survives the existence of reasonable doubt as to what killed Floyd. And it’s somewhere between very difficult and impossible to actually prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the reason someone stopped breathing was not the lethal dose of a breathing-suppressing drug in their system.

      1. DRM, you are wrong. Chauvin murdered Mr. Floyd by pressing his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck for ~9 1/2 minutes, until Mr. Floyd had stopped breathing and had no pulse. You “reason” cultists disgust me with your sophistry to ‘excuse’ and ‘justify’ murder.

        1. You really, really don’t understand “reasonable doubt”, do you? Don’t be surprised at the successful appeal.

        2. B4, there are issues with this.
          First, Floyd’s autopsy did not show death due to strangulation. There was an uproar when it was released last year.
          Second, Floyd did have extremely high amount of Fentanyl in his system. The term “lethal dose” is a misnomer, as there is no fixed deadly amount, but it was potentially lethal at the least.
          Third, In 2019, Floyd was arrested, and to hide his contraband, he consumed all of his drugs at once. This put him in the hospital.
          Fourth, on the video it appears that Floyd might have been putting things in his mouth.

          So you have a man with a history of taking his drugs to hide them, a large amount of drugs in his system, who had a huge amount of drugs in his system. In 2019, it sent him to the hospital. The defense’s conclusion is that in 2020, the exact same scenario sent him to the morgue and the choke hold was incidental and did not kill Floyd at all.

          The scenario is not nonsense. However, it will be up to the jury to decide if it was reasonable. I continue to predict a hung jury.

          1. you’re trying to explain with logic, these lefties run on emotion

            1. One emotion that the defense is trying to play on is the righteous fury about being lied to.

              The vast majority of people in this country are unaware of any of my points. In fact, I wasn’t aware of the 2019 incident until the trial had already started.

          2. He also complained of breathing minutes before the cops ever put a knee on his neck. He was also showing paranoia which is a side effect of the possible overdose.

          3. Neither of the ME reports mention “strangulation” which is only one of the means of causing death by asphyxiation. County ME’s report ruled out death by asphyxiation either by knee on the neck or by position of the body. The hired gun ME’s report did list asphyxiation; however, experts who make their living by giving their opinions have low incomes if their paid for opinions don’t support the interests of the Slip & Fall lawyers that have to pay them to get their expert opinions.

        3. Why bother with facts of the case when you have emotion.

        4. Ahem…two or more autopsies state that the hold was the cause and it was a homicide. All murders are homicides but many homicides are not murder. It is a legal and moral definition, taking into account the state of mind. That you jump to murder automatically makes you like the all white juries in the South when a white man kills a black person.

        5. His last words were “Vote For Trump!”

      2. When all participants of a “system” are feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition — and are allowed (by your neighbors and friends — hopefully not you) to
        • Make the laws,
        • Enforce the laws,
        • Prosecute the laws,
        • Hire the prosecutors,
        • License the “defense” attorneys,
        • Pay the “judges”,
        • Build the jails,
        • Contract jails out to private entities,
        • Employ and pay the wardens,
        • Employ and pay the guards,
        • Employ and pay the parole officers,
        One can’t honestly call it a “justice” system. It’s a system of abject tyranny.

    4. I hope they hang that cop not because I like blacks I detest them but he unleashed an international war against whites and has forced whites in the US to cough up billions and worship blacks. he caused 40 cities to burn costing tens of billions because these scumbag cops have to arrest everyone the see. he coulda took the fake money off floyd smacked him around and told him better not see you here again. floyd would have died within a week. my father was a cop and then a detective in NYC and I know that is what he woulda did

      1. Better yet, imagine if Floyd doesn’t try to pass off a counterfeit bill? He doesn’t then need to ingest his stash or have another run in with police

  3. What’s your point? It doesn’t matter. This is a sbow trial with over-blown charges, and Chauvin is going to walk eventually. Even if he’s convicted initially of something, he’ll get off on appeal because there’s no way he could’ve gotten a fair trial with an impartial jury.

  4. “The defense will have a hard time showing that Chauvin’s conduct was justified by any threat Floyd posed.”

    Have they mentioned the toxicology report yet? Have they mentioned that Floyd tested positive for Covid-19?

    The defense may not need to show that Chauvin’s conduct was justified. They may just need to introduce reasonable doubt.

    1. That assumes there are 12 people on the jury with enough intestinal fortitude to do the right thing based on evidence (or lack thereof), and not convict on SOMETHING just due to sheer terror of the mob. I don’t have a lot of faith in that.

      Chauvin will eventually walk. If he doesn’t walk immediately, I’m sure there will be plenty of grounds for appeal.

      1. “sheer terror” is an understatement. There’s no possible way you can get an impartial jury on this case.

        1. The Rodney King cops were probably acquitted because they moved the trial to Simi Valley, away from Downtown Los Angeles, so they could get an impartial white [different] jury. Regardless of what motive you want to assume, the defense argued that they couldn’t get an impartial jury in Los Angeles, and the prosecution either didn’t fight the change of venue or lost that fight. Home field is definitely a serious advantage.

    2. It is clear beyond a reasonable doubt, to a non-racist person, that Officer Chauvin murdered Mr. Floyd.

      1. The only thing that is beyond reasonable doubt is that you are a colossal buffoon.
        Sharpton was at the trial today. It doesn’t get anymore racist than that.

        1. Truer words…..

      2. Yeap, you’re an emotional idiot.

    3. Yeah I don’t understand the need for a trial. He tested positive and then he died, so he’s a covid death.

      1. His defense attorney will probably make that argument and even call CDC officials to the stand.

  5. All this is just courtroom mumbo-jumbo! At the end of the day it comes down to Floyd was alive before his attempted unjustified arrest and dead after his unjustified arrest. Quite simple actually so let the heads roll!

    1. unjustified arrest

      Passing a counterfeit bill is a crime.

      1. Has anyone seen this counterfeit bill and do we know that Floyd actually tried to pass it?

        1. We need notarized evidence.

          1. No, but any evidence would be nice.

        2. That’s what I’ve been asking and there is no amswer.

        3. The clerk that received the bill called the cops. It was all on video.

          1. He should have bolted right then

        4. Yes. The real question that we will never get an answer to at this point is did Floyd know it was counterfeit before he tried to spend it?

          1. Was he buying Skittles?

          2. The person he was with attempted to pass the counterfiet bill earlier that same day in the same store. So, yeah, Floyd probably did. The clerk testified that he took the bill because Floyd was in very bad shape and clearly on something.

            1. Amazing that the consequences of his actions being the catalyst here is just ignored

        5. Yes, the media, the court, and now the general public

      2. And it was reported by an Asian shopkeeper.

        1. ‘Activists stress that the recent uptick in violence against Asians in Minnesota is acceptable because of an Asian calling the police on Floyd for having attempted to pass off funny money.
          “These Asian muthafuckas used their status as allies to white supremacy by calling the po-po. They gots to pay”. KTVU continues to monitor the story. In a related story, the family of George Floyd intends to sue the Minneapolis Police Department for the lost revenue of the drugs Floyd swallowed to hide from police….’

      3. Passing a counterfeit bill is a crime that is NOT punishable by death.

        1. Very good. Now do unlawful entry at the Capitol and Ashlu Babbitt.

        2. But it is punishable by arrest. His death was unjustified, his attempted arrest was not

  6. This is going to turn into the next trayvon Martin trial where media and idiots (I repeat) push the emotional fact free version of events and the defense pushes facts and law.

    Fhey over charged. At best he could get negligent manslaughter, but even that is a stretch based on the actual evidence.

    Most likely cause of death is an OD on fentanyl based on the autopsy. But most will ignore that due to emotions.

    1. Someone ODing on opiates wouldn’t be screaming “mama” and “I can’t breathe.”

      You only have a problem if the cops go after your (white) fascist pals.


      1. My top three most likely candidates for who you are:

        1) Mary Stack
        2) Matt Welch
        3) Dave Weigel

        1. 4) Dunphy

          1. Not enough surfing contests. And he liked Morgan Fairchild, not young Mormon men in short-sleeved white shirts.

            The funny thing is, from yesterday, it looks like most of the lefty idiot troll herd are all socks of one poster. Which is astoundingly pathetic. I mean, who has the time to do this?

      2. You’ve never been around anyone overdosing on anything. The reason why is you’ve never taken any illegal drugs, and no human would ever offer them to you. It’s because you’re a sad sack cock sucking asshole with no friends and no life.

        1. Why does me doing drugs matter?

          I’ve known several people who’ve OD’d.

          You bigot fascists are looking for any reason to let your fascist buddy Chauvin off the hook.

      3. You’ve already tried to claim to be an expert at watching people die. Nobody believed you then.

      4. Someone choking to death wouldn’t be able to scream. It takes air to do that.

        And yes, people scream they are dying all the time when they are being arrested, just like cops yell “stop resisting” when the subject is not.

        1. Shhh. Was waiting for someone to claim he choked to death while screaming… leaving tbe issue being a blood choke… which doesn’t keep someone conscious for 8 minutes.

      5. “Someone ODing on opiates wouldn’t be screaming “mama” and “I can’t breathe.”,who%20died%20solely%20of%20fentanyl.

        Pulmonary edema was present in 96% of those who died of fentanyl alone and in 94% of those who died of opioids excluding fentanyl.

        The results validated correlation between opioid intoxication and pulmonary edema, cerebral edema, and bladder distension. Cerebral edema and bladder distension suggest opioid intoxication, but arise less frequently in fentanyl intoxication. We hypothesize that fentanyl causes death more rapidly than other opioids leading to these results. “

      6. They all yell “Mama” and “I can’t breathe”, even when they get shot by their own.

      7. Yet he did say those things the last time he swallowed his drugs to keep the cops from finding them.
        People overdosing on fentanyl exhibit irrational behavior and extreme paranoid fear. They say crazy things.
        They also often foam at the mouth and have trouble breathing.

    2. JesseAZ…..Sorry, but no way. You’re a little off-base on this one.

      Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd. Chauvin had complete and utter indifference to George Floyd’s life when he killed him. The video does not lie. Looks at the crowd literally screaming and begging Chauvin to let the Floyd breathe. Now I tend to give cops the benefit of the doubt, and I was prepared to do so here. What did it for me is that Chauvin has been cited for use of excessive force in the past. There is a record. There is a pattern of behavior that is evident. That will be presented at trial. I myself am following trial coverage over at Legal Insurrection.

      Yes, George Floyd was a bad man. He was a criminal. A felon, in fact. I would not be at all surprised to have read of his demise in a drug dealer shoot-out, had Chauvin not killed him. Or OD’ed.

      Chauvin never should have had a badge (a debate for another day). He killed George Floyd, and that happened before a global audience. There are certain things we cannot tolerate from police, and one is killing citizens with utter indifference to their lives, regardless of the circumstance. Cops get trained for that. To me, Chauvin gets the needle. He knew WTF he was doing.

      The jury ultimately decides Chauvin’s guilt or innocence, but the SOB looks pretty guilty of killing George Floyd to me.

      1. No, I’m not off base. I posted the actual coroner’s report in the other thread. Feel free to read them over. Youre simply wrong here.

        No evidence of strangulation. Lethal doses of fentanyl and other drugs present. Lungs 2-3 times normal weight, pointing to a fentanyl od. He died from internal drowning. A year previous he swallowed drugs prior to an arrest in the same manner and had to be transported to jail.

        A blood choke doesn’t take 8 minutes to die out. It is much quicker. The od also points to feelings of drowning and paranoia.

        His first statement on not breathing well was well before the choke hold when he was first being put into the officers car. There is a reason they haven’t shown the entire video yet

        You’ve just reached an emotional set of facts as I stayed prior. Sorry, you’re wrong.

        1. Transported to a hospital*

        2. The jury will decide this one, JesseAZ. I know what my eyes saw.

          1. Did your eyes bother to see the entire tape and the corners report? Did they have xray vision to see his lungs? Can you see drug levels in somebody?

            You’ve only presented emotions as evidence. So I’ll harken back to my original post.

            1. My eyes saw Chauvin’s lawyer fuck up royally yesterday, asking the teenaged girl (who recorded the video) if seeing this horrendous killing changed her life. A totally unnecessary question. Of course it did…duh! The prosecutor on redirect totally smashed Chauvin, asking the witness to describe how it changed her life. Jurors were in tears.

              Chauvin’s lawyer lost this case. Chauvin will not get the needle, unfortunately, but he will go to prison. His lawyer just sucks.

              1. XY, you’re reasonable, so I’ll just say that you should take Jesse’s advice on this one, and go look at the public documents on this case. Particularly the autopsy report and the powerpoint slides showing that their PD was trained to put individuals in the positions you saw on video.

                It looks bad on video. But it’s not even close to murder or manslaughter.

                1. Gray_Jay…I’ll look at the evidence, 100% no debate. I mean, the coverage over at Legal Insurrection is outstanding. And if the evidence shows that Chauvin is not guilty of killing George Floyd, I will be the first to go to JesseAZ with a ‘mea culpa’.

                  But the SOB Chauvin looks pretty fucking guilty to me right now. He killed George Floyd. And that I cannot countenance.

                  1. I’ll look at the evidence, 100% no debate …


                    But the SOB Chauvin looks pretty fucking guilty to me right now. He killed George Floyd. And that I cannot countenance.

                    Why bother pretending? It’s ridiculous.

                    1. It’s not pretending. It’s someone who has a strong initial story in their head that explains the facts they know. They’re open to new information, and they honestly believe this, but the new information is going to be assessed in light of their understanding of the situation: the story where these facts make sense.

                      People do this all of the time. We do this. Which is why, in advocacy, it’s so important to get your belivable story out there first, give people a framework they can use, and then flesh it out with the new information you provide them. It’s a lot tougher to make people later decide to throw out the old framework, the story that no longer fits, and have them adopt a new framework.

                    2. They’re open to new information …

                      It does not seem like that is the case at all. If Commenter_XY was a potential juror and I was handling the voire dire, I’d tell him to get lost without a second thought.

                      “I’ll look at the evidence but it is never to change my mind” is not being “open” to new information — it is being open to a new level of willful ignorance. People that have already made up their minds cannot be swayed.

                    3. I was super pissed and wanted Chauvin taken out back and shot the first time I saw the video.

                      Then I saw the first 10 minutes of the encounter where he squirreled out the window of a squad car while crying he couldn’t breathe while no one was touching him. Then the autopsy report got changed.

                      Chauvin is an idiot. Many cops are. If convicted, it will almost certainly be overturned on appeal. They overcharged. There is reasonable doubt about cause and no proof of intent.

                      Intelligent people update their opinions based on new evidence. Lefties stick to the narrative.

                    4. Geiger….In the words of that noted intellectual luminary, POTUS Biden: C’mon Man. 🙂

                      Yeah, I have beliefs and an opinion. If the evidence contradicts this, then guess what? I change my mind. I’m following the coverage.

                      If asked to serve on this jury, I would refuse.

                  2. The question is guilty of what. Based on what I’ve seen in the coroners report, maybe gross negligence, but definitely not murder.

                    Likewise the fact that the state conditioned a second report after outburst over the first reports findings is very telling. It is a political prosecution.

                  3. Of course you believe it. We have been slammed with the media version for months. You have to search to find the full length video, you have to search for the training slides. When you push past the BS murals of George Floyd with angel wings you see a much different picture. Watch the entire video of Floyd fighting the cops. The first cops on scene were working with him, trying to calm him. They were very patient. They are asking him what he took but Floyd denies that he took anything. This goes on for 30 minutes. You can actually watch him start to OD. Fentanyl is very fast acting. You can see it start to work on Floyd when he starts fighting and elevates his heart rate. Watch the entire video and you will soon see that the first cops on scene were not the “evildoers” that the media casts.

                2. Negligent homicide.

                  Of course nobody knows what would have happened if events transpired differently. It seems clear that 5 minutes into the knee restraint Floyd was no longer capable of resisting.

                  The knee restraint was ok, until it was clearly no longer necessary. Not a bright line, but “unresponsive with no pulse” is over the line.

                  1. I can buy negligent homicide, depending on how MN caselaw parsed the reasonable police officer’s standard of care towards a criminal suspect having a medical emergency. At a certain point, the suspect isn’t moving and isn’t breathing; maybe try something else?

                    OTOH, it’s difficult to argue that Chauvin’s conduct caused Floyd’s death beyond a reasonable doubt, given Floyd was going to die very soon after he decided to eat his drug stash. Did any of the officers even suspect an opiate overdose? Or have the tools to address one?

                    1. Agreed. I don’t think Chauvin killed Floyd.

                      I do think Chauvin willfully neglected Floyd, and is responsible (along with the rest of the officers on the scene) for preventing any chance of keeping him alive (recognizing also that there is a chance that nothing could have stopped him from dying.)

                    2. “preventing any chance of keeping him alive…”

                      As far as that goes, why not start charging the crowd with a crime as well? They were the ones causing a disturbance such that EMS couldn’t get to Floyd quickly.

                      “Wilfully negligent”, isn’t negligence, FWIW. You’re describing something more akin to reckless disregard for the risk that Floyd might die, or purposefully withholding treatment in the hopes of same. Neither of which I think described Chauvin’s behavior. Negligent conduct isn’t as purposeful as “wilfully” would suggest.

                  2. Whether or not the knee restraint was “necessary” is not the relevant metric. Did the knee cause Floyd to die? If not, then the knee does not matter.

                    1. Sure, the knee didn’t kill him. It’s arguable, but it is highly unlikely.

                      Maybe it isn’t relevant to the actual charges brought up on Chauvin, but it’s relevant to my personal opinion. Which is that it’s reasonable to believe that while Chauvin didn’t kill Floyd, he did prevent him from having a chance at living.

                    2. To be clear, I’m not arguing the case, or the facts of the case. I haven’t even looked at the case, or seen what Chauvin is actually charged with.

                      I’m merely expressing my own opinion.

                      Attempting to use a counterfeit 20 (if that even really happened, did it?) is not a crime punishable by death. Neither is “resisting” arrest. And, I don’t think Chauvin deserves the death penalty. Prison and forfeiture of pay and never being allowed to be in a position of authority, but not death.

                    3. “Attempting to use a counterfeit 20 (if that even really happened, did it?) is not a crime punishable by death. Neither is “resisting” arrest.”

                      Couldn’t agree more. But the cops didn’t punish him with death. Floyd did it to himself when he swallowed his drugs. Again, like he had the year prior.

                      I think you can make the case that Chauvin breached his duty to Floyd to maintain Floyd’s physical condition as a reasonably prudent police officer would do with an detained criminal suspect. You can also say Floyd died as a result. Where I’m not sure the prosecution can get there, assuming breach of duty is even proven, is whether Chauvin was the legal cause of Floyd’s death.

                      Take Chauvin and the other three cops out of it. Floyd dies in the driver’s seat of his car, or arrests in the back of the police car. Maybe the police realize what’s going on, and hit him with Narcan, maybe they don’t. But I don’t think you can state that, beyond a reasonable doubt, but for Chauvin’s actions, George Floyd wouldn’t have died. And that’s what you need to show for a criminally negligent homicide charge to stick, nevermind homicide charges with greater mens rea elements.

                      Not that the jury will be thinking of that. Or anything beyond, “Holy Fuck, the New York Times just told everyone where I live!”

                3. Did the training slides instruct officers to remain kneeling on a suspect’s neck even after they’ve stopped registering a pulse? I certainly hope so, because faking cardiac arrest by completely stopping the regular flow of blood through one’s body is the oldest trick in the book.

                  1. Chauvin’s knee was pressed tight to Floyd’s neck that he was able to move it freely and speak clearly while dying of an overdose.

                    But hey, “let’s just make shit up” is what this trial is all about. Welcome to the party.

                    1. I’m not making anything up. It’s documented that Chauvin remained kneeling on Floyd’s neck until well after he stopped registering a pulse.

              2. So your facts was an emotional witness who didn’t see the toxicology report, his lungs etc.

                Youre not helping your case. You’re proving my original assertion.

                The prosecution is using emotion to win, not facts.

                1. “The prosecution is using emotion to win, not facts.”

                  “Pound the law, pound the facts, and, if all else fails, pound the table.”

                  A win’s a win, bro.

                2. Let’s see what evidence is presented JesseAZ. I don’t have a problem saying: You were right and I was wrong.

                  God knows, I say that plenty in my life. 😉

          2. libertarians really are a bunch of pussies. Why dont you make yourself feel better and wash a black persons feet?

            1. It’s the right week for it!

            2. At least four of my associates would deck anyone who asked if they could wash their feet

        3. The question will be, I think, would he have died from OD if Chauvin hadn’t knelt on his neck for nine minutes.

          Maybe he would have, but cops should not be able to kneel on someone’s neck for that long without some kind of consequences and repercussions.

          1. Of course, “some sort of consequences and repercussions” is not synonymous with “convicted of whatever crimes the prosecutor decided to charge”.

            1. Of course.

              They overcharged, as they usually do with cops so they can look like they take it seriously while hopefully ensuring the cop walks.

              1. There is a manslaughter charge…

          2. If Floyd would have not resisted he would have never have et Chauvin. He would not stay in the vehicle. Watch the entire video, not the short CNN version.

            1. “But for his behavior, Mr Floyd would have been out the next day and back at coding school where he was developing an application to help report and track incidents of Anti Asian Hatred…..”

      2. That’s a whole lot of emoting ….

      3. Commenter_XY said “There are certain things we cannot tolerate from police, and one is killing citizens with utter indifference to their lives, regardless of the circumstance.”

        Yes, Chauvin murdered George Floyd with utter indifference to Floyd’s life.

        There is another person who has killed Americans with utter indifference to their lives, donald j trump.

        trump has killed Americans via involuntary manslaughter [criminally negligent delayed ineffective response to the trumpvirus, aka SARS-CoV-2] (or was it voluntary manslaughter?) and 2nd degree murder [when a victim, e.g. Herman Cain, died as a result of trump’s extreme indifference to the value of human life, having an utter disregard of the possibility that his trumpvirus super-spreader events would kill someone].

        trump needs to be prosecuted for his crimes of involuntary/voluntary manslaughter and 2nd degree murder in a court of law.

        (Search for trumpdeathclock)

        1. Wow. You got even more idiotic.

          1. When you are running on emotion and not facts, doubling down is easy. It is the “elixer of the looters”.

        2. This guy must get $.75. He really gets his tongue in there.

        3. Is this a media matters raid or something? The idiocy on this thread is just astronomical.

        4. Donald J Trump

        5. biden has killed Americans via involuntary mental retardation

          (Search for b4integrity licks the Jotard’s cock)

    3. Come on guys, the cop didn’t kill him. He just knelt on his neck while he was dying from something else and under threat of force prevented anyone, including a city firefighter, from rendering aid. Whats the big deal?

      1. Actually there is another more recent case of someone dying after spent time cops kneeling on his neck.

        A US Military Vet with PTSD issues.
        No drugs in his system.
        None of the other pre-existing conditions Floyd had.
        The time the cops were on his neck was half what it was for Floyd.

        1. And no one gave a shit.

          Was this the guy up in Dallas, Matthew?

            1. I thought he was referring to Tony Timpa. E.g.,

              1. Timpa is a far clearer case to be outraged about.

        2. The lefties choose who to portray as a victim very carefully. They rally around cases like George Floyd and Jacob Blake because they know the likelihood of the cop being convicted is small and they need those dismissals to prop up their claims of of institutional racism. Fear and anger is their staple diet. Deeper division of the populace is their goal.

          Angelo Quinto was a Filipino veteran with PTSD. Nobody will riot over his death or if the cops who killed him face no consequences. He is useless to the left, so they just ignore him.

          1. “Fear and anger is their staple diet. Deeper division of the populace is their goal.”

            This, this: all of this. Justice for victims—like Atatiana Johnson, killed in her own home by Fort Worth PD—isn’t the point. Division is.

          2. He is useless to the left, so they just ignore him.

            Is he not Asian? Or would just saturate the grievance market?

        3. Was the vet white? Then it doesn’t matter to the media.

    4. Now explain away the official cause of death.

      An autopsy report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said Floyd’s death was caused by “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.”

      1. You mean the one that was modified after the original report initially leaked, and the coroner was trying to keep protesters from burning the building down?

        1. I particularly enjoyed that cause of death statement not mentioning the titanic dose of fentanyl he had in his blood. Or a finding of neck compression without attendant bruising or other indicia of same, or of strangulation.

      2. Matthew this where I’m confused the title of the report says but doesn’t seem to mean death caused by:

        Then below in the report it says:

        III.No life-threatening injuries identified A.No facial, oral mucosal, or conjunctival petechiae B.No injuries of anterior muscles of neck or laryngeal structures C.No scalp soft tissue, skull, or brain injuries D.No chest wall soft tissue injuries, rib fractures (other than a single rib fracture from CPR), vertebral column injuries, or visceral injuries E.Incision and subcutaneous dissection of posterior and lateral neck, shoulders, back, flanks, and buttocks negative for occult trauma

        If I read that and please I’d love someone to help me clarify it, it seems the title is just a title not the cause as what you say and there weren’t neck injuries. I don’t know if I misread so I’d be appreciative of an explanation because as how I read your and sullum’s writings it doesn’t seem like a true assertion currently.

      3. Usually when prosecutions change evidence based on political pressure, people are outraged. Here they accept it gladly.

        There is a reason a coroner is supposed to stay away from the facts of the case while coming to his conclusions.

        1. That’s because this leftist world view is sadly starting to infect even reason.

  7. Flat Foot Chauvin and Floyd, Floyd
    Flat Foot Chauvin and Floyd, Floyd
    Flat Foot Chauvin and Floyd, Floyd
    Floyd-oy Floyd-oy Floyd-oy


    1. love Benny

  8. Oh they’re gonna convict him on something all right. Nearly all the jurors were biased going in. The city already paid off Floyd’s family (publicly, skewing opinions again). The county, city and state governments are doing a full court press to make sure they get a conviction. They could have moved the trial elsewhere to avoid some of the bias but didn’t.

    For a libertarian magazine, you’re having a hard time understanding that the state power here is gonna get its due regardless of the evidence. Oddly ironic isn’t it.

  9. “The defense will have a hard time showing that Chauvin’s conduct was justified by any threat Floyd posed.”

    Then it’s just as well it’s not the defense’s job to prove innocence.

    At least not in theory.

  10. > If everything the officers did was by the book, one might wonder, why is this distraction relevant?

    Because the book probably includes monitoring the detainee in ways that are difficult to do while trying to keep an eye on a crowd that looks like it is about to mob you. Shouting angry mobs never have and never will deescalate a situation or make it better.

    > That explanation, of course, elides the crucial question of whether Floyd would have died but for the force that Chauvin and his colleagues used against him. By deeming his death a homicide, both the autopsy report and the independent analysis imply that Floyd would have survived this encounter if the police had treated him differently.

    Differently, but effectively, I assume you mean? The cops could have just let Mr. Floyd go as soon as he resisted, and if the “he died due to adrenaline” claim bares out, then one has to wonder if ANY arrest would have left Mr. Floyd alive. Getting arrested is presumably always going to be stressful, particularly if you spend the first several minutes of the encounter resisting it.

    To me, the dueling autopsy reports are the crux of the case. If Mr. Floyd was asphyxiated due to trama to the neck, then Officer Chauvin is guilty of something. If Mr. Floyd died due to a heart issue so subtle that even Mr. Floyd was unaware of it before the issue was triggered by a litany of causes, then it becomes a lot harder to argue that Officer Chauvin took action that a reasonable person would foresee as going to cause death or injury.

    1. Trump killed him with COVID-19.

      1. As far as I am aware, COVID is much more gradual. People don’t have the energy to fight the cops then drop dead 15 minutes later due to COVID. It is possible it contributed, but I very much doubt it was the primary factor.

        1. Doesn’t matter. Positive test = covid death. Case dismissed!

          1. Or at least, Medicaid billed. Which is the important thing here.

    2. If Mr. Floyd died due to a heart issue so subtle that even Mr. Floyd was unaware of it before the issue was triggered by a litany of causes,

      Considering his history, I have a hard time believing he had any kind of situational awareness or long future-time orientation on anything, much less his own health. The gangbangers I went to high school with were just like that, too, except they were far more violent than even Floyd’s criminal record showed.

      The guy had enough drugs in his system that day to kill a horse, because he was an addict. If he had COVID, it’s possible his lungs were already fucked up, but he wouldn’t have known or cared either way because he would constantly be chasing that next high. Hell, he may not have even known that he passed a counterfeit bill because he was already strung out. The issue is whether he was already dying of an overdose, and Chauvin and his team just had the misfortune of catching him in the middle of an OD, or whether anything Chauvin specifically did is what caused his death.

      1. Shut the fuck up you pussy ass little bitch traitor

        1. pussy ass?

          1. It’s prison talk for “Moneymaker”

    3. Iridium, it is astonishing that you can watch a video of Chauvin murdering Mr. Floyd by pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck for ~9 1/2 minutes, past the point where Mr. Floyd was able to breathe and past the point where Mr. Floyd had a pulse and assert that the “autopsy reports are the crux of the case”.

      Simply astonishing!

      1. Yeah, why would anyone read an autopsy report? How dumb, huh? Just watch the edited video and put on your looting suit, right?

      2. No-integrity’s mind is made up, don’t confuse him with the facts!

  11. Trump and Epstein Florida running buddy under investigation:

    Matt Gaetz under investigation for alleged sexual relations with 17-year-old: report

    1. 17 is about 9 years too old for you, right?

    2. You posted child porn links buddy.

      1. That is what you Denny Hastert types do. Blame innocent people for your crimes to deflect.

        1. Youre not innocent. You posted child porn and were banned. You created a sock to come back. You are scum.

  12. More on the Gaetz and Trump/Epstein collabaration:

    The examination of the 38-year-old congressman’s alleged personal relationship is reportedly part of a larger probe into Gaetz’s political ally and former local Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg, who faces charges of sex trafficking a child and providing payment to people, including at least one female minor, in exchange for sex.

    A photo posted to Twitter in 2019 showed Greenberg, who has since resigned from his Seminole County post, visiting the White House with Gaetz.

    (same source)

    1. Why didn’t QAnon go after this gang of child predators?

      Because (like JesseAz and others here) their job is to BLAME OTHERS to distract from the real criminals.

  13. Didn’t blame anyone. Posted the fact that you posted child porn on this site and were banned. Youre a sick fuck.

    1. Meant for pedo above of course.

    2. JesseAz, you’re projecting.

      1. Sit this one out fifty center.

  14. Not to excuse what happened, but what Chavin was doing to Floyd was a mirror image of what the socialists were doing to the country: pinning us down until we stopped breathing. The goal was to wreck the economy as a pretext for pushing their various socialist schemes (medicare for all, UBI, etc). Chauvin was reflecting that back to us by pinning down Floyd, and it worked because the effect was that people poured out into the streets after months of oppressive restrictions. We could finally breath again. Chauvin will be remembered as a hero for giving us the prompt we needed to get out.

    Of course you’ll say, “My state never locked down so I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Chauvin is a monster.” But many states are still under various levels of decommission today. The situation would be worse without this event, terrible as it was.

    1. AddictionMyth, I didn’t realize there are so many evil people posting at this Reason comment site!

      It was donald j trump who wrecked the U.S. economy by downplaying the trumpvirus and by his criminal negligence killed over 500,000 Americans by involuntary/voluntary manslaughter.

      If trump had not disbanded Obama’s pandemic group, had not thrown out Obama’s pandemic playbook, had acted on the intelligence he received in January/February 2020 to immediately institute social distancing and mask wearing; it is likely that fewer than 200,000 Americans would have died from the trumpvirus and the economy would not have crated.

      Then again, after trump destroyed the farmers’ markets with his tariff war (which China won), trump’s socialism in handing out over 28G$ in welfare to the farmers, whose markets he had destroyed, seems to not have registered on your fevered brain that is so concerned about “socialism”.

      Why do you approve of trump’s socialism?

      1. Trump was the other hero of this pandemic. He was the only senior who said, “The country wasn’t meant to be shut down.” And he was right. We totally overreacted. We should have protected the vulnerable and otherwise returned to normal. Now the country is trillions deeper in debt (caused mostly by Mnuchin) and there is extensive damage to our economy, business and personal finances, and we’re also much fatter as a result of unnecessary restrictions (e.g. gym closures) – harming public health far more than the virus.

        But thanks for proving my point: Chauvin allowed the country to break free from your liberal tyranny, at least briefly. He exposed liberal hypocrisy on public gatherings. The country could breath again. I don’t think it was conscious/intentional, but it was the result. And it wouldn’t have happened without his actions.

        The commentariat here is woefully unprepared for the socialists like you. I’m almost scared for them.

        1. “Chauvin allowed the country to break free from your liberal tyranny, at least briefly.”

          You admit to being an accessory & accomplice to the murderer Chauvin.

          Got it.

      2. Trump was the only decent president of the last 12 years. Much better than barack hussein mom-jeans obama

        1. trump was the only decadent President of the last 12 years, and the WORST President* ever!

  15. Does anyone know how police officers who use excessive force against minorities do in prison?

    1. Probably the same your uncle did to you as a dirt-munching hicklib.

        1. Hey asshole you got bitch slapped hard above and yet you came back for more. That’s some serious ass fisting and you liked it.

    2. Rev. Kirkland, there are so few “police officers who use excessive force against minorities” that have been convicted of their crimes and sent to prison, that it is difficult to tell.

      1. Well I am sure we three all hope they are treated well and look forward to the restoration of their voting privilege

    3. They are treated like heroes by the rival gang of the excessive force recipient?

  16. That explanation, of course, elides the crucial question of whether Floyd would have died but for the force that Chauvin and his colleagues used against him.

    It is indeed the crucial question. And since this is a criminal trial, the burden is on the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, every element of the charges against Chauvin.

    Every single one of the charges against Chauvin includes, in its definition, the phrase “causes the death of another”. Which means, it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that that Floyd would not have died, but for Chauvin’s actions.

    Accordingly, in order to lawfully convict Chauvin, the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Floyd did not stop respiration because of the overdose levels of a known respiratory suppressant in his system.

    Absent the prosecution proving that negative beyond a reasonable doubt, Chauvin is fully entitled to be acquitted; anything else is a perversion of the basic principles of American law.

    1. DRM, perhaps you will end up on the pavement with a cop’s knee pressed into your neck. Maybe in your last moments you will think of your murderer getting off because the prosecution did not ‘prove’ beyond a ‘reasonable doubt’ that your murderer murdered you.

      1. And maybe you will end up seeing a guy like George Floyd put a gun to your pregnant wife’s belly. Clown.

      2. You fifty centers are overpaid.

        1. Why do you call them 50 centers?

      3. “Better that 10 guilty men go free than to convict a single innocent man”
        Yes, this is one of the core principles of our legal system for good reason.

      4. Hilarious, an outright fascist lecturing me on the dangers of police brutality.

  17. I am a bit shocked that Reason would permit someone to write about this trial who has apparently not seen or have much awareness of the much longer video available of Floyd’s death, video that shows him resisting arrest, struggling with police, claiming an inability to breath long before he was on the ground and under Chauvin’s knee. None of that may ultimately exonerate Chauvin’s actions, but to pretend it doesn’t exist and that only the bystander cell phone video is pertinent is something I’d expect of, oh I don’t know, the Washington Post, perhaps?

    1. New to the 2020-21 version of Jacob Sullum?

      I’m not thrilled about it either. Guess it pays well, though.

  18. Chauvin’s use of excessive, inappropriate force killed George Floyd. Chauvin is a murderer and must be convicted of murder.

    1. Most of the people in this country don’t care about your dead Junkie. Those violent bufoons won’t be burning our towns and neighborhoods, they will only be burning theirs.

  19. “The defense will have a hard time showing that Chauvin’s conduct was justified by any threat Floyd posed.”

    On the larger charges, all the defense has to do is create a reasonable doubt that Chauvin’s conduct directly led to Floyd’s death.

  20. I suspect Derek Chauvin will be found not guilty on all the charges. George Floyd killed himself with a drug overdose.

  21. There is zero evidence of racism. It just shows how irrational this has gotten. The “mind readers” are out n full force.

    I think he’s guilty of manslaughter but not murder. There was no intent. The restraint is not deadly by itself. They could reenact the hold in the court room and show that by itself it’s not fatal? Now if you’re all hopped on drugs maybe it is.

    And there was no need for it after he was cuffed.

    1. You know he was cuffed when he kicked his way out of the backseat of the cop car prior to being held on the ground, right?

  22. Yesterday an off duty first responder testified that she attempted to get the officers to address Floyd’s condition and that she was rebuffed. I think this will be difficult testimony to refute and that it will go a long way toward conviction. The officers were told by a knowledgeable person that a change in action was needed and they continue the action that killed Floyd.

    1. If it was excessive force or negligent manslaughter, I might agree. However, these murder charges aren’t supported by this testimony.

    2. And if I walk up and claim to be Hawkeye Pierce that doesn’t mean I am qualified to perform surgery on him

  23. This would be a great article if Chauvin was on trial for excessive use of force, but he’s on trial for murder.

    1. There are a number of charges for which Chauvin can be convicted in this trial, and my understanding is that manslaughter is among them.

      1. Yep. And manslaughter is not murder. I was thinking earlier today that I need to look at the Minnesota criminal code to see the legal definitions of each. That matters. A lot.

        “Excessive use of force” does not equal “homicide.” That also matters. A lot.

  24. I would have thought that we had beaten this dead horse sufficiently.

    At this point what else is there to say – except to either defend or defame the accused despite not having any actual evidence – that won’t be covered in the trial?

  25. The facts:
    Floyd’s cardiovascular system was very unhealthy, including an enlarged heart and a 90% blocked artery, despite his outward signs of physical fitness.
    He had more than enough fentanyl in his system to kill a non-addict, but it’s highly unlikely he died of an overdose, as the expected symptoms would include lethargy and not delirium.
    While a typical MMA fighter would seek to choke off blood supply from both carotids to his opponent, it’s likely that someone with Floyd’s vascular condition could lose consciousness with compression of a single artery.
    It seems pretty clear this is a homicide, so the question becomes to what degree is it criminal?
    While Floyd is pinned, he is saying he can’t breathe and they’re gonna kill him. Unfortunately for the prosecution, he’s been frantically begging not to be killed every since they got him out of his driver’s seat.
    Furthermore he was saying he couldn’t breathe even while sitting alone in the back of the police cruiser.
    The defense should argue Chauvin thought Floyd was merely having a panic attack and that Chauvin had no idea how vulnerable Floyd’s cardiovascular system was.
    Unfortunately for the defense, Floyd makes only minimal efforts to resist, and Chauvin continues to kneel on Floyd for almost 5 minutes after he is unresponsive.
    Even after the other officers question whether Floyd should be rolled onto his back, and after EMT’s have found no pulse, he keeps kneeling on his neck.
    This is a strong argument for malice.

    1. Floyd makes only minimal efforts to resist

      You’re fucking joking, right? Did you see the resistance he put up to being put in the back of the cop car? There were three cops trying to wrassle him into the back seat and he continues to resist.

      The MI was probably just starting when he was first yelling about being claustrophobic

      1. Sure, he panicked upon entering the car, and I’m sure the cops considered he might be faking, but he doesn’t fight much on the ground.

  26. Chauvin’s actions were excessive, thoughtless, malevolent police aggression at their worst and he needs to go to jail for a long, long time

  27. And BTW there was a cover up in the Freddie Grey case. I saw an early video where police hauled him to his feet under the armpits wherupon he lets out a scream of pain and his legs go limp and his feet are trailing. A nurse friend saw that too and so did the surgeon she was working with and they were all talking in the OR about how Freddie Grey was clearly paralyzed before they threw him in the van. That brief cry of pain was the moment they snapped his spinal cord. They should have suspected that the reason he could not rise at their command was because he had a serious back injury. The proper treatment for that would have been a stretcher and a brace, but police showed worse than zero concern, whick killed him.
    The cover up is that that video has never been shown or seen again and has probably been destroyed.

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