Seven jurors were selected this week for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who, on May 25th, 2020 brutally murdered a Black man, George Floyd, by throwing Floyd facedown on the ground, handcuffed, and then keeping his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes. With only two more jurors to be chosen, I would expect the trial to begin next week.
Keep your eye on this one, folks, for there is so much evidence I don’t see how Chauvin can possibly escape conviction. But he is white, Mr. Floyd was Black, and this is the United States of Bigotry.
My understanding is that Chauvin’s lawyers plan to try to make the claim that it was not Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck that killed him, but rather that drugs were found in his system that led to his death. ‘Scuse me, but that is the biggest load of crap I’ve heard in a long time. The video plainly shows the truth, that Mr. Floyd was gasping, saying, “I can’t breathe,” while Chauvin kept putting his weight on Floyd’s neck and the other three officers stood by doing not one damn thing.
The coroner’s report indicates that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death but not that the drugs were the cause of death. Both the coroner’s report and an independent autopsy report have ruled Mr. Floyd’s death a homicide. Can’t get much clearer than that.
On Friday, the city of Minneapolis approved a $27 million payment to the family of George Floyd to settle the wrongful death lawsuit brought against the city. No, it can’t bring him back into his children’s lives, but it will at least ensure those children will have their needs met since their dad can’t be there to take care of them. Said Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender …
“No amount of money can ever address the intense pain or trauma caused by this death to George Floyd’s family or to the people of our city. Minneapolis has been fundamentally changed by this time of racial reckoning and this city council is united in working together with our community, and the Floyd family to equitably reshape our city of Minneapolis.”
A twist, though. Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, sought to block any mention of the payout by the city to the Floyd’s family, arguing it would be prejudicial. Yes, perhaps it would be, but in the most honest way … the city is admitting that it was their officer(s) who murdered Mr. Floyd. Well, it was … it’s all right there on video for the world to see! What, is Nelson next going to request that the video not be played in court? Or, what happens when Nelson realizes that every person on the jury is already aware of the city’s payout, as surely they must be, since it has been widely publicized in the press. Will Nelson then move to declare a mistrial?
Time after time after time, police officers have gotten by with murdering Black people in this country and not been held accountable. This time damn well better be different! Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The evidence is plain for all to see. If he does not go to prison … then there is no justice left in this country.
On a related note …
On March 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Once again, the bill passed along partisan lines with two democrats voting against, and one republican voting for, but he later said it was a mistake, that he meant to vote ‘nay’ but accidentally hit the wrong button. When the bill reaches the Senate, it will no doubt be subjected to a ridiculous filibuster by the republicans and will fail. Let’s take a look at what these damn fools will be voting against …
The bill would ban chokeholds, end racial and religious profiling, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants. It also contains several provisions that would make it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct in civil and criminal court. One proposal long sought by civil rights advocates would change “qualified immunity,” the legal doctrine that shields officers from lawsuits, by lowering the bar for plaintiffs to sue officers for alleged civil rights violations.
Do you see anything … one single thing objectionable in that? I don’t. It means that even someone the police are arresting has the right not to be murdered, and it means that police will be held accountable for their actions, just as they should be. A person in a position of trust must be trustworthy.
Derek Chauvin had 18 complaints on his official record, two of which ended in discipline, including official letters of reprimand. He had been involved in three police shootings, one of which was fatal. And yet, he was still on the police force and was still allowed to carry a gun … and use his knee to murder a man! This is why we need the bill to pass in the Senate … Derek Chauvin is the poster boy for bad cops, and he is not alone.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act must pass, for if it doesn’t, it will be a thumbs up to every police officer that it’s okay to be a racist, that it’s okay to use excessive force, and that there will be no consequences. Do your job, Senators! By the same token, Derek Chauvin must be prosecuted and found guilty, else it will open doors that nobody in their right mind wants to walk through. Do your job, jury!
Remember the Black Lives Matter protests last summer? Almost all were peaceful until outside influences intervened, but I’m not sure the same will be true this summer if justice is not done, if Derek Chauvin is found to be above the law because his skin is white.