George Floyd

Why Is the Justice Department Trying To Punish Derek Chauvin Twice?

The federal charges against Chauvin and three other officers involved in George Floyd's death are more about making a statement than seeking justice.

|

A Minnesota jury last month convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of three murder and manslaughter charges for killing George Floyd on May 25, when Floyd died while he was pinned facedown to the pavement for nine and a half minutes. Today the Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury has indicted Chauvin for violating 18 USC 242 by depriving Floyd of his constitutional rights under color of law.

If it seems like the federal government is trying to punish Chauvin a second time for killing Floyd, that's because it is. Under the controversial "dual sovereignty" doctrine, however, serial state and federal prosecutions for the same conduct do not violate the Fifth Amendment's ban on double jeopardy. Even if you accept that premise, it is reasonable to ask what purpose a second prosecution serves and whether it is just to punish Chauvin twice.

The most serious state charge against Chauvin, unintentional second-degree murder, carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a presumptive sentence of 12.5 years. The two federal charges, which allege that Chauvin violated 18 USC 242 by using "unreasonable force" and by failing to render medical aid after Floyd became unresponsive and no longer had a detectable pulse, carry a maximum penalty of life in prison or execution when the offense causes someone's death.

Douglas Berman, a sentencing expert at The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, notes that federal guidelines recommend that judges classify a crime like this based on the underlying offense. If that offense was deemed to be second-degree murder, for instance, the base offense level would be 38, which corresponds to a sentencing range of 235 to 293 months for a defendant with no criminal record. If the underlying crime was treated as voluntary manslaughter, the offense level would be 29, implying a sentencing range of 87 to 108 months. For reckless involuntary manslaughter, the offense level would be 18, meaning a sentencing range of 27 to 33 months.

Berman adds that "there can be all sorts of viable arguments for departures and variances." He says that is "one of many reasons I think this will get hammered out as a plea deal whenever Chauvin's status in the state system is 'settled.'"

The elements of the federal crimes, which require proving that Chauvin "willfully" violated Floyd's constitutional rights, are superficially different from the elements of the state crimes. But to convict Chauvin of unintentional second-degree murder, the state jury had to conclude that he intentionally committed third-degree assault, meaning he knew his use of force was not legally justified. If so, he also should have known that his use of force violated the Fourth Amendment's ban on "unreasonable" seizures, which is the essence of the main federal charge.

According to the Supreme Court, none of that matters. Even when two levels of government define the offense the same way, the Court has said, serial prosecutions do not qualify as double jeopardy. In a 2019 case involving a man who was separately prosecuted for violating state and federal laws that prohibit people with felony records from possessing firearms, the Court reaffirmed the familiar but puzzling logic of the dual sovereignty doctrine: Since two "separate sovereigns" had criminalized the defendant's conduct, it constituted two distinct offenses under the Double Jeopardy Clause. Notwithstanding appearances, then, he was not prosecuted twice "for the same offense."

Still, the fact that the Justice Department can prosecute Chauvin for the same actions that resulted in his state convictions does not necessarily mean it should. The situation would be different if a state were unwilling or unable to punish police abuse, as frequently happened in the Jim Crow South. In such cases, the possibility of a federal prosecution is an important backstop that clearly serves the interests of justice. And it is a legitimate function of the federal government to vindicate the constitutional rights of people victimized by police when no one else is prepared to do so.

By that standard, a second indictment that the Justice Department announced today, which charges Chauvin with violating 18 USC 242 by assaulting a teenager in 2017, is more defensible. According to that indictment, Chauvin, "without legal justification," held the 14-year-old by the throat and struck him "multiple times in the head with a flashlight." Since Chauvin was not charged under state law in connection with that incident, he was never prosecuted for this alleged use of unreasonable force.

In the Floyd case, however, the state vigorously prosecuted Chauvin—perhaps too vigorously, since Minnesota's quirky felony murder law allowed prosecutors to treat an unintentionally lethal assault, which ordinarily would be charged as manslaughter, as murder instead. But even without that count, Chauvin would still face a presumptive sentence of 150 months for third-degree murder (although the propriety of that charge is also a matter of dispute).

While some people might think that penalty is not severe enough, it is the punishment recommended by the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, which was charged with doing so by the state legislature. And since we still don't know what Chauvin's state sentence actually will be, it is premature to say whether it is proportionate to his crime.

In any case, federal prosecutions aimed at "correcting" the criminal penalties that states deem appropriate second-guess the good-faith decisions made by state legislators and judges. Given the broad sweep of federal law, that practice opens the door to routine interference in cases that should be handled by state courts. The Justice Department's history of bringing duplicative "hate crime" charges against people who also face state prosecution for the same conduct suggests how arbitrary those decisions can be. Since the Constitution does not give the federal government a general "police power," the Justice Department should step in only when there is a clear federal interest that cannot be vindicated by state prosecution.

The federal charges against the three officers who witnessed or assisted Floyd's prolonged prone restraint—J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao—are dubious for similar reasons. The indictment charges Thao and Kueng with violating 18 USC 242 by "willfully fail[ing] to intervene to stop Defendant Chauvin's use of unreasonable force." It also charges Lane, Thao, and Kueng with violating that law by "willfully fail[ing]" to render medical aid.

Although Lane helped restrain Floyd by holding down his legs, he also repeatedly suggested that Floyd should be rolled onto his side, a position in which it would have been easier for him to breathe. Those suggestions, which Chauvin rejected, may explain why Lane was not charged with failing to intervene.

Because the federal charges specify that the conduct of Chauvin's three colleagues "resulted in bodily injury to, and the death of, George Floyd," they carry the same maximum penalty (life or execution) as the charges against Chauvin. Meanwhile, all three officers have been charged under Minnesota law with aiding and abetting Chauvin's state crimes, which theoretically exposes them to the same state penalties that Chauvin faces. Their state trial is scheduled to begin on August 23.

Kueng, Lane, and Thao are all at least morally complicit in Floyd's death, although to different degrees and certainly not to the same extent as Chauvin, who was the senior officer at the scene and was mainly responsible for the assault that killed Floyd. Whether Kueng et al. are legally guilty of aiding and abetting manslaughter and murder is more debatable, especially with respect to Thao.

Thao, who began working for the Minneapolis Police Department in 2008, showed appalling indifference to Floyd's plight, assuring concerned bystanders that Floyd, despite his many complaints that he could not breathe, was fine. But Thao did not participate in restraining Floyd and was following Chauvin's lead in concluding that Floyd's life was not in danger. Kueng and Lane, both rookie officers, likewise can be expected to argue that they reasonably trusted Chauvin's judgment.

After the aiding and abetting charges were filed last year, Ted Sampsell-Jones, a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, noted that they are "legally valid under Minnesota law" but "rely on some fringe doctrines of accomplice liability." Those doctrines, "which have long been criticized by progressive reformers, create expansive strict liability for minor participants in group crimes."

Even if one or more of these three officers is acquitted in state court, they will still face federal prosecution for the same conduct. And if they are convicted in both state and federal court, they will be punished twice. That prospect is especially troubling given their limited involvement in Floyd's death.

The shocking bystander video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd rightly provoked nationwide outrage and led to protests across the country. But Chauvin and the other officers should be punished for what they did, not for the crimes of similarly brutal or negligent cops. If the Justice Department is prosecuting Chauvin, Kueng, Lane, and Thao to make a statement about the broader problem of police abuse, it is misusing its powers and perverting the criminal justice system.

NEXT: New Jobs Report Shows the Government Gets the Unemployment It's Paying For

George Floyd Excessive Force Police Abuse Search and Seizure Fourth Amendment double jeopardy Criminal Justice Sentencing Department of Justice Minneapolis

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

86 responses to “Why Is the Justice Department Trying To Punish Derek Chauvin Twice?

  1. Double secret guilty.

    1. Because the constitution is dead.

      1. USA Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regularS S office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
        on this page…..VISIT HERE

      2. Dead for straight white males anyway.

        1. Whining, disaffected, bigoted, right-wing clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties.

          1. Here is Job opportunity for everyone! Because of Corona Work from comfort of your home, on your computer And you can work with your own working hours. You can work this job As part time or As A full time job. SDc You can Earns up to $1000 per Day by way of work is simple on the web. It’s easy, just follow instructions on home page, read it carefully from start to finish Check The Details……Home Profit System

          2. Hey fag, what’s goin’ on? Being stupid again?

        2. Ok; I’ve finally muted the asshole rev. He’s basically a spammer without the malware links.

          Rev Kuck is reported safe from muting.

  2. The feds did this years ago after the cops who assaulted Rodney King were acquitted. At the time most people cheered while I saw it as a horrible precedent. Expect to see a lot more double-jeopardy in the future.

    1. This is NOT a violation of the double jeopardy clause. Derek Chauvin was convicted in STATE COURT FOR STATE CHARGES. He is now being CHARGED AND PROSECUTED FEDERALLY FOR FEDERAL OFFENSES of civil rights violations. Why? Because the D.O.J. is hedging their bets. They know full well Derek Chauvin has multiple grounds for appeal of this state conviction. If they nail him on federal charges, he can be cleared of state charges, but still be held in prison on the federal charges.

      Also, the federal charges encompass another incident that has yet to be adjudicated; the alleged incident with the 14-year-old.

      Double Jeopardy only applies to the same legal sovereign.

      1. Bunk!!! WHO or which government entity brings charges has naught to do with the accused being held to account in two diifferent proceedings but for the same set of actions.This IS double jeopardy.

        Can both a city and a county prosecute a trial for the same actions taking place at the same time? No,of course not.

        This is simply more political theatre. FedGov attempting to get up in front of the nation. Funny thing, though… they DO want to take up the matter of justiceo bob

        1. USA Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regularS S office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
          on this page… CLICK IT

      2. It is obviously double jeopardy by the plain meaning of that term. The 5th amendment contains no exceptions for distinct “sovereigns”. The 14th amendment does not allow states to abridge the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.

        Just because SCOTUS has said otherwise at some point in the past does not make it legally or morally correct. It does make it law, a law that needs to be changed by a more libertarian SCOTUS.

      3. In the military, we were informed that crimes committed by service members were punishable by both the sovereign government in which the crime was committed and the authority of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They specifically referred to this as Double Jeopardy.

        So, yes. It is double jeopardy.

      4. Lighten up, Francis.

      5. I should also say, WC46 is technically correct as far as I can tell. (which is the best kind of correct, according to Futurama).

        However, from a libertarian perspective, the current legal status of what is considered ‘double jeopardy’ is absurd, and not only because Ken Jennings isn’t involved.

      6. WC you bootlicking fuck – hasn’t it been long enough since the last time you self harmed? Fuck you. Fuck you and die hihn venerator. .Fuck your mother for not flushing when she had the chance.

      7. No, it damned well IS a violation of the double jeopardy clause, which doesn’t say diddly squat about dual jurisdiction. Which per the 10th amendment isn’t supposed to be a thing in America anyway.

  3. Attorneys like to collect fees and prosecutors at every level like to pad their resumes. It’s not like the various levels of government are going to run out of legal funds.

  4. The socialists strangled the economy with a casual cruelty to rival Chauvin’s, wrecking businesses, careers and the physical, mental and financial health of millions. They left the country trillions deeper in unnecessary debt. This is them gloating that they got away with it and would do it again.

    1. More importantly, does anyone know if any ink made from the blood of slaughtered pandas has been found on any bamboo paper ballots in Arizona?

      1. In AZ, the issue about the bamboo in the ballots is that there were allegations that many of the presumably fake ballots came from China. Legitimate ballots didn’t come from China, and don’t have bamboo in the paper they were printed on. Moreover they don’t have watermarks, and had folds when delivered in the mail and didn’t have folds otherwise. They are trying to detect fake ballots, mixed in with the legitimate ones. Maybe they will find them. Maybe they won’t. Rumor is that hundreds of thousands of questionable ballots have been found. We shall see, one way or another.

      2. “More importantly, does anyone know if any ink made from the blood of slaughtered pandas has been found on any bamboo paper ballots in Arizona?”

        Even more importantly, is anyone fooled into hoping this stinking pile of lefty shit has more than one brain cell?

  5. But Chauvin and the other officers should be punished for what they did, not for the crimes of similarly brutal or negligent police officers.

    For as long as there has been law enforcement, individuals paid to police their fellow man have been themselves at many times acting against the law, and for almost all of that time the vast majority have been unaccountable when doing so. For all of that this is the reckoning (fruitless as it actually will be), and these four are paying for the sins of their kind. Their multiple sacrifices are extra-showy appeasement to the masses.

    1. That’s a real, real bad road to go down there.

  6. Because they can.

  7. Because Kamal Harris always gets her man.

    1. She also gets her pork chop.
      https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris/status/1160619350434492417

      I’d link it but it seems linking to twaddle gets me perennial “awaiting moderation” because as we all know there is no moderator only a black hole that doesn’t grab the real spam.

      1. One link good, two links bad

  8. Because it is a political prosecution.

    1. Your government murdered an American. How does it become apolitical, voter?

    2. How is prosecuting a police officer who abuses his power political?!?
      It would only be political to not prosecute that.

  9. Maybe congress should pursue impeaching Chauvin as well.

  10. Because FYTW.

    Because they can.

    Because they lust for power.

  11. Remember how, during the trial, the judge let Floyd’s drug dealer get away with refusing to testify after he said he was afraid of being charged with murder for all of the Fentanyl he gave to Floyd? Pepperidge farm remembers.

  12. Only now at the end do you understand.

    1. And only at the end does Derek Chauvin realize he should have taken the stand under oath. Whoever told him he shouldn’t testify was leading him to his guilty verdict.

      1. I don’t agree. How would he answer the question “Why did you continue to kneel on his neck for four minutes after he stopped moving and after your fellow officers suggested you turn him over and check for a pulse?” I don’t how that ends well for him.

      2. The prosecution would have torn him to shreds. It was better for the defense to appeal on technical issues. They had nothing.

  13. Simply speculation, but perhaps the DOJ got wind that Chauvin’s sentence was not going to be what some people feel is sufficient for this “murder” (which wasn’t a murder), and they want to make sure the “right” outcome is reached one way or another.

  14. The only new federal agency I wouldn’t mind being created is one to specifically police the police. One of the main issues with bringing accountability to police is that we have to get their coworkers to investigate and punish them. Obvious conflict of interests and bad system of incentives.

    1. I don’t think that works out as well as you think it might.

      The real solution is to eliminate police unions, have police employed at will, and have their conduct reviewed by a civilian board with no connections to the police department.

      1. I like those ideas too. However, local civilian boards have been tried in oakland and other places, and haven’t accomplished much.

        1. They have not been tried in the absence of police unions. Typically these ‘civilian oversight boards’ are manned by police union appointees, not the average citizen.

    2. “…The only new federal agency I wouldn’t mind being created is one to specifically police the police…”

      Simple solutions from the simple-minded.
      Should it be a cabinet-level post? (just pointing out how simple-minded your ‘solution’ is)

      1. Internal audit for police. That exists in most countries with a civilized police that is serving the people and not themselves.

        1. Funny, we have it in France, don’t change the fact that we have your BLM like activists.
          You know, Assa Traoré, the one being published in the fucking New CIA Time ! She is a retarded usefull idiot, every body know that here, because we know the full story and what that “kind” of people is. (ie very uneducated and criminals.)

  15. Feds think they’re behind on their virtue signaling quota for this quarter.

  16. Because when his conviction is overturned and a new trial is ordered because of that biased juror who attended the blm protest, the leviathan will make sure Chauvin will pay for the alleged sin of systemic racism. This goes for his three partners too. They are being sent the message that they going up the river, no ifs, ands, or buts.

  17. Charge him enough and maybe the savages will leave them alone.

  18. “there can be all sorts of viable arguments for departures and variances.”

    Well, Justice may be blind, but apparently her hands aren’t tied.

  19. And it begins… strap in folks, things are about to get real.

    This Administration is all in. No apologies, no prisoners, no rules. Keep your Truth close and love in your heart. You’re gonna need it.

  20. Double charging government agents is entirely appropriate. Especially in the vast majority of cases where states and localities fail to convict or even charge at all. In this case I’d rather they wait and see what happens with appeal and instead focus on the cold blooded murder of Andrew Finch.

  21. Oh boo hoo- a murdered gets charged, legally mind you- as you yourself noted, by the feds.

    I and the rest of us disgusted by this murdered won’t lose any sleep over it.

    1. It wasn’t murder, despite the highly politicized conviction.

      1. The jury and I say you are a liar. Do you lie to murder Americans because you are stupid, evil, or both?

        1. Murder, by definition, REQUIRES forethought and specific intention. Neither were part of this situation. If prior intent is not present, the action devolves to manslaughter.

          If I take my car and deliberately ram another and some people die, it is not murder unless the deaths are a desired outcome before the cars collide.
          Chauvin had no more desire that Floyd ended up dead than he ished to fly to the moon. The jury did not return their three “guilty” verdicts based on carefully considered facts, but upon their own fear that any other verdict would lead to massive rioting and destruction.

          Fliyd died from the massive four-tines lethal dose of fentanyl he delibarately ingested. Chauvin acted precisely according to the training he recently underwent, to deal specifically with recognissing and responding to exactly this sort of drug overdose. He HAD called the medics and advised them of his assessment, that is, serious overdose of opiate drugs. Had the cops never come accross this man when they did, he still would have died at his own hand from the drugs, at just about the exact same time. The judge acted with extreme prejudice from the beginning of this case. HE should be disbarred and debenchec.
          If these convictions are allowed to stand, it will set a precedent strongly reminiscent of the old Soviet modus operandi we saw working in the post-Second German War period.
          Read Franz Kafka’s novel “The Trial”. Change Mr. K’s name to Mr. C.

          1. Derek Chauvin should have taken the stand. Whoever advised him not to was leading him down the garden path.

    2. “…I and the rest of us disgusted by this murdered won’t lose any sleep over it.”

      Speak for yourself scummy pile of lefty shit; only assholes like you prefer double jeopardy.

  22. Ok. At the time that George Floyd supposedly became unresponsive, they had called for an ambulance, then had upped the priority to Code 3 (lights and sirens). All before he became unresponsive.

    Moreover, there was repeated testimony that prisoners often play possum, in order to get the cops to lower their guard. What were the officers supposed to have done? They couldn’t roll him onto his back, because then he was likely to inhale the aspirate the vomit from his probable narcotics (fentanyl) OD. They suspected some sort of drug overdoses, and he very likely was ODing at the time (despite the state’s testimony that three times the lethal limit foaming at the mouth etc, did not indicate a narcotics OD). They couldn’t realistically be expected to undo his handcuffs, or move them to his front, because that is why people in police custody often play possum. They couldn’t up the priority of the call for an ambulance, because it was already on the way, with lights and sirens.

    What were they supposed to have done? They weren’t medical professionals. Their medical training wasn’t that much more intense than many civilians have. Their training said to call an ambulance, and hold their prisoners on their side, in order to keep them from aspirating their vomit, until the ambulance arrived, and emergency medical professionals could take over. That is what they did.

    1. He was on drugs but also conscious enough to play possum? What?

    2. You murdered a man while he was handcuffed

      1. You’re not terribly intelligent, are you?

    3. “Moreover, there was repeated testimony that prisoners often play possum, in order to get the cops to lower their guard. What were the officers supposed to have done? They couldn’t roll him onto his back, because then he was likely to inhale the aspirate the vomit from his probable narcotics (fentanyl) OD. They suspected some sort of drug overdoses, and he very likely was ODing at the time (despite the state’s testimony that three times the lethal limit foaming at the mouth etc, did not indicate a narcotics OD).”

      Well said. Speaking from a position of professional expertise, the state’s “medical expert” testimony that this couldn’t be a drug overdose or unrelated medical emergency was horseshit. Per the medical examiner’s own notes, Floyd had several times the potentially lethal levels of both opiates and methamphetamines in his system, levels that are often used to certify a drug overdose death. He had apparently taken them moments before arrest and they may have had varying rates of absorption as well as combined effects, some counteracting. His agitation and complaints of shortness of breath prior to restraint clearly indicated a developing medical emergency not due to restraints. And the opiates may have ultimately caused respiratory depression as the methamphetamine effects subsided. Moreover, methamphetamines can cause a fatal arrhythmia. This would not have shown up on autopsy.

      You make some valid points about the uncertainties of correct actions and they did take several appropriate actions. It is arguable, however, that they should have assessed his condition more promptly and rendered aid when they could not obtain a pulse. That is a valid argument which might lead to a manslaughter conviction. But it’s not murder.

    4. No that is not what they did.

      Anyone can learn and use two very simple techniques.

      Recovery position. If the individual has a pulse or is breathing.

      CPR. Even if you do not want to do mouth breathing. Place the individual on their back and do chest compressions.

      Neither was done and the evidence is right in front of us.

      I would encourage everyone to learn these simple things.

      Here is a link to recovery position.

      https://www.procpr.org/blog/training/basic-first-aid

  23. Most popular theaters run a matinee.

  24. “more about making a statement than seeking justice.”

    Justice? – You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.

  25. “Why Is the Justice Department Trying To Punish Derek Chauvin Twice?”

    What’s now known as “optics”.

  26. “If it seems like the federal government is trying to punish Chauvin a second time for killing Floyd…”

    …to an imbecile. The people paying attention know Chauvin’s story is not finished until he has exhausted appeals. The government has deliberately screwed the pooch in the past when prosecuting one of their own just so they can get their guy off after media scrutiny passes

  27. I believe that Derek Chauvin contributed to George Floyds death and abused his authority to exert reasonable force. I also believe that Derek Chauvin should server time in prison for his actions.

    There are several this that disturb me with how this has gone down. During trial and deliberations, Maxine Waters goes to Minnesota to incite unrest demanding that the jury find Derek Chauvin guilty of all three counts. The Judge excoriates all politicians and tells them to refrain from Jury tampering. Basically telling them to shut their mouths and let the Jury do it’s job without interference.

    Afterward President Joe Biden makes public comments directly against the Judge’s comments. This is inexcusable actions taken by President Joe Biden and reveals him as a toxic politician and not worthy of respect.

    Now the Federal government after the State government convicted on ALL counts is doubling down. This is absolutely Double Jeopardy and all arguments stating that it is not Double Jeopardy ring hollow.

    The Federal government is Virtue Signaling at best, but the precedence this sets is downright scary. The effect is for the defendant to be buried forever.

    To reflect on the precedence this sets substitute the defendant to someone who has rankled the feathers of the ruling class elites and government bureaucrats. The precedence is purely oppressive and ripe for abuse by the woke leftist currently in power and whomever hold power next.

    Remember that power tends to vacillate or fluctuate. Those in power will over extend and abuse the power then have. Eventually those in power find themselves with diminished power and find themselves subject to the practices that they used to prosecute others.

    Call it deserved karma, but I prefer to not escalate the rise of the authoritarian state. I want the fluctuations in power to be mellower with a heavy dose of individual freedom instead of the heavy hand of Big Brother.

  28. Another vantage point: most police officers, FBI officials and other security officials are criminally indicted (or fired) for being DISLOYAL to their Oath of Office (to protect the constitutional rights of all persons within their jurisdiction. These officials voluntary agreed to this supreme loyalty oath under Title 5 US Code 3331 and Article VI.

    This supreme loyalty oath, governing job authorities, was ratified in 1789 under Article VI of the U.S. Constitution. In other words this loyalty oath was the law of the land before any of these agencies were ever created.

    During the Jim Crow era, some (not all) local police chiefs were DISLOYAL to their Oath of Office and it was perfectly constitutional for the federal government to check & balance those disloyal police chiefs. If federal officials are disloyal to their Oath of Office, it’s perfectly constitutional for local officials to check those disloyal federal officials.

    It’s not complicated or hard. A judicial-warrant does not interfere with any legitimate constitutional police practices. In the 21st Century, judicial-warrants can even be obtained online in less than 5 minutes, if there is legitimate probable cause of a past crime – as the the 4th Amendment requires.

    Using a “Needle in the Haystack” metaphor, simply eliminating unconstitutional surveillance altogether (“Carpenter v. US” ruling) essentially makes the haystack of suspects smaller and makes it easier to find the real bad guys. So eliminating illegal surveillance reduces crime.

  29. Chauvin hasn’t even been sentenced yet. His lawyers immediately filed an appeal and could be given bail pending the appeal hearing. He wasn’t charged for violations of civil rights so both the state and the federal government can (and f**king well should) go after him on those charges as well.

  30. I hope I live long enough to see SCOTUS determine that these Federal laws are indeed ‘Double Jeopardy.’

    1. Of course they are. They are only used as political virtue signaling

  31. A vital distinction is that these Federal charges are specifically for these government agents’ crimes during their government actions, while the state charges were simply for generic individual crimes. Their exploitation of their government status and role to commit their underlying crimes are additional and arguably worse separate crimes. Due to the extreme risks and history of such crimes by government and its agents making this distinction and fully prosecuting under it is vital, even more so than prosecuting the simple criminal state charges.

  32. It seems that anyone who participates in deliberately violating Chauvin’s civil rights by knowingly pursuing double jeopardy using federal courts (which no involved can pretend they are unaware of double jeopardy), are open themselves up to future prosecution for the very crime they accuse him of.

    1. “Amendment V

      No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

      The grand jury hath spoken.

      Due process of law has yet to be determined for the federal charges.

  33. White cop black victim. That’s why. No other reason.

    Reverse it like I don’t know maybe the Ashli Babbitt case no charges at all

  34. “more about making a statement than seeking justice”

    Well if that isn’t the statement banner of all Democratic regime’s; I don’t know what is. The [WE] mob has a statement to make because [WE] mobs/gangs live for *forced* Gov-Gun power.

    Thus is why the USA isn’t designed to operate by [WE] Gov-Gun Gangs. It was designed for Individual Freedom and Justice from [WE] mobs.

  35. “ Floyd died while he was pinned facedown to the pavement”. HANDCUFFED “for nine and a half minutes.”

    Being handcuffed changed the crime from negligence to murder.

    Police are daily involved with and well aware of the criminal justice system and the consequences of crime. Sentencing parameters for the general public don’t apply to them.

  36. Chauvin might arguably be guilty of manslaughter, at most, due to a failure to render aid promptly when a pulse could not be detected. But even that is clouded by reasonable doubt given the possibility of a drug overdose or other medical event as a cause of death (Floyd complained of shortness of breath prior to any restraints and had several times the potentially lethal levels of both opiates and methamphetamines in his system per the medical examiner notes).

    His prosecution was a disgraceful show trial with overcharging, a hostile venue and jury intimidation. And the prosecution of other officers are show trials as well. They are arguably not guilty of any crimes – only one other officer apparently had any significant field experience and Chauvin was in charge. But they almost certainly will be convicted regardless of guilt.

    This entire disgraceful matter shows how politicized and unfair our justice system can be. This is about a criminal who placed himself in harm’s way as well as suboptimal police tactics and judgement. But it’s not murder and it has nothing to do with race. Ironically, the system is prosecuting the officers in a racist manner. These police officers are being disgracefully sacrificed to appease the mob.

  37. Wakanda justice

  38. This article is making it sound like this sort of thing is unprecedented. It’s not. People want to make this about politics or race. It’s not. It’s about the murder of a civillian by a cop – PERIOD.

    Let’s not lose sight of what that “rogue”, rare exception to the rule, cop did. What do I mean “exception to the rule”? The “rule” so-to-speak is that an overwhelming majority of cops do their jobs as they should and swore an oath to do. There is a small percentage, and Derek Chauvin falls into that category, of “rogue” cops who think and act like the rules don’t apply to them and the oath they took was just something they had to do to get the badge.

    Derek Chauvin had a total disreguard for human life for 9 minutes & 29 seconds, the last 3 1/2 minutes of which George Floyd wasn’t breathing. He was MURDERED by Derek Chauvin.

    As far as the MN court sentencing, I can see the judge putting the “aggravated” tag on the charges, opening the door for more severe sentencing. Unfortunately, it is likely that the jail time for the 3 convictions will be served concurrenty. They should be the max penalty, consecutively served and the “no possibility of parole” tag added.

    Maybe the DOJ case will keep Chauvin in jail for the rest of his life: EXACTLY where he should be.

  39. Chauvin and Company are murders and deserve all the punishment anyone can pile on them and more.

    1. Right …because street fighting with police officers while passing counterfeit money and having major health issues on top of being cracked out on drugs is certainly a legitimate excuse to hang a law enforcement employee from the local tree… Right, Right??

Comments are closed.