If I Had Made the Closing Argument in Defense of Derek Chauvin . . .

At this writing, in mid-May, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted by a jury of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd during Floyd’s arrest.  Chauvin hasn’t been sentenced yet.  The first charge carries a maximum of forty years in prison.

Chauvin was one of four officers involved in the arrest of Floyd on May 25th 2020 for passing a counterfeit $20 bill.   They handcuffed him but were unable to get him to go into the back seat of a police car.  While Floyd was lying face down in the street, Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck and shin on his back for over nine minutes and he died.  Mobile phone video taken by a bystander recorded the episode.  The autopsy revealed that Floyd had COVID, heart disease, and high amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death.  The medical examiner’s opinion was that Floyd died of cardiac arrest and that his health condition contributed to his death, which he ruled a homicide.  The case received extensive attention because of its racial angle: Chauvin is White, Floyd was Black.  It fit the current widely-believed narrative of an epidemic of racism-motivated killings of blameless Blacks by White cops.

I didn’t follow the Chauvin case all that closely.  I sampled front-page news accounts in the paper and read daily summaries of the trial on the internet.  I watched the defense closing argument on television, which brought up questions for me and prompted this writing.  Later, I read a transcript of it.1

Defense Attorney Eric Nelson

In his closing argument, Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson, didn’t exactly hit the ground running.  It’s fifteen minutes into his presentation and he’s still defining reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence and I’m going, I got it, I got it, move it!   When Nelson finally got into the substance of what he had to offer, it seemed as if the word “reasonable” was in every other sentence: what was reasonable for a police officer to do in this circumstance; reasonable, reasonable, reasonable.  This from the transcript characterizes the thrust of Nelson’s closing argument:

And then you look at the direct knowledge that a reasonable police officer would have at the precise moment force was used. That includes information that they gather from dispatch, their direct observations of the scene, the subjects, and the current surroundings. They have to take into consideration whether the suspect was under the influence of a controlled substance. They can take that into consideration, because again, this is a dynamic and ever-changing. Just like life, things change.  It’s a dynamic situation. It’s fluid. They take into account their experience with the subject at the beginning, the middle, the end. A reasonable police officer tries to, or is at least cognizant and concerned, about future behavior, and that factors into the reasonable police officer’s analysis too, because sometimes officers take someone into custody with no problem and suddenly they become a problem. It can change in an instant.2

This went on for about forty-five minutes and I’m thinking, what’s he doing this for, reasonableness is the last thing you want to try to tack on to Chauvin.  What Chauvin did was, it seems to me, obviously unreasonable.  The reasonable thing to have done when all four officers couldn’t get Floyd into the police car—he was a really big muscular guy—was to call for a police van, or better, an ambulance and emergency medical personnel (Floyd was saying he couldn’t breathe), and let Floyd sit or lie somewhere handcuffed until they got there.   At least Chauvin could have taken his knee off Floyd’s neck as soon at Floyd stopped thrashing around.

And anyway, I thought to myself, Chauvin isn’t accused of being unreasonable. You don’t go to jail for being unreasonable.  You go to jail for breaking a law.  It struck me that, really, I didn’t know what law or laws Chauvin was accused of violating.   As did everyone, I had seen the video and assumed that it was to be taken as Chauvin out-and-out murdering Floyd, but I wasn’t up on the particulars—first degree, second degree, and so on–and Nelson going on about reasonableness wasn’t helping me out in this regard.

I quickly checked online while Nelson was making his presentation and learned that Chauvin was accused of second degree murder and two lesser charges, manslaughter being one of them.  I didn’t get into any details of the laws, wanting to get back to Nelson—or sort of; in truth, he was boring the hell out of me.  I kept waiting for him to deal directly with the charges against Chauvin and how the prosecution hadn’t proved them, but it never happened.  He jumped around, this, that, and the other thing—all the trouble they had getting Floyd to cooperate, what force is authorized, how long Chauvin’s knee was on his neck (or was the knee on his upper back?), Floyd’s cause of death, and the hostile bystanders, and what was reasonable in all of that.

It was clear Nelson was conscientious and had put in a lot of preparation time, but I’m reacting, “How exactly does all of this relate to what Chauvin’s accused of doing?”  The trial must be more than just whether Chauvin is a racist White cop like all the rest of them and oppresses Blacks for no reason at all and looked very bad on a video, and that if you agree that what was going on was evil personified, and who wouldn’t, put the creep in prison and throw away the key.  The law is more precise, nuanced, than that, or so I assumed anyway.  (Later: Yes, the law is more precise than that, but I’ve concluded from writing this up that Chauvin was indeed convicted of looking on the video like your typical racist White cop who tortures and executes poor, helpless Blacks, case closed, cart him off.)

I’m not an attorney, but I’ve taught school and written for publication, and I know that to convince people of something—which was the challenge for the defense here—you need to organize your presentation so that things tie together in an easy-to-understand, accessible, convincing way.  People ought to feel good about themselves for getting on board with you.  From watching his presentation and later reading a transcript of it, my call is that defense attorney Nelson didn’t bring that off.

 *   *   *

Take this for what it’s worth, I’m no expert on the details of the case and have zero legal expertise, but I’m going to be so presumptuous as to sketch out how I would have come at the closing defense argument in the Chauvin trial for your consideration.

I’d have grounded my presentation in the specifics of the laws Chauvin was accused of violating and argued that the prosecution hadn’t established beyond a reasonable doubt that he had violated them.  I’m not contending this would make any difference in the verdict, just that it would have been better than what Eric Nelson did.  This was a rigged proceeding from the get-go, right out of Stalin’s time or East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It was a show trial.   Here’s an enemy of people, nail him good (and, in this instance, if you don’t, it’s an apocalypse, and we know where you live).  Clarence Darrow couldn’t have won this case.  But even if a cause is futile, we still are obligated to do the right thing the best we can.  We can push the rock up the mountain even if it is sure to roll back down on us.  Here’s how I would have pushed the rock.

In the closing argument, I would have put the Minnesota legal statutes Chauvin was accused of violating on big pieces of cardboard and set them on easels.   I looked it up, there were three of them, three counts.   With a pointer that had a rubber tip on it, I would have directed my presentation at what was on the three pieces of cardboard.   If it wasn’t on the cardboard, I wouldn’t deal with it (with one exception, which I’ll get to right at the end of this writing).

As it was, in no time at all, the jury found Chauvin guilty on all three counts.  One juror after the trial said that eleven of the twelve were ready to convict twenty minutes into the deliberation, but one juror held them up a bit on some technicalities.  Count I was second degree murder.  Count II was third degree murder.  Count III was second degree manslaughter. Wielding my pointer, I’d have said to the jury, “These are the three laws that Derek Chauvin is accused of violating.  Let’s go through them one at a time.  The question for you is whether the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin did these things.  Men and women of the jury, much less a reasonable doubt, there is no doubt that Derek Chauvin didn’t violate any of these laws.”

I’ll go through the three counts here and briefly say how I’d come at them.  You can add your own thinking to mine.   The counts are taken from the formal charges against Chauvin.3

COUNT I

Charge: Second Degree Murder – Unintentional – While Committing a Felony

Minnesota Statute 609.19 (1)

Maximum Sentence: Imprisonment for not more than 40 years.

Offense Level: Felony

Charge Description: That on or about May 25, 2020, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of a human being, George Floyd, without the intent to effect the death of any person, while committing a felony offense other than criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree with force or violence or a drive-by shooting, namely assault in the third degree.

This is the big one, forty years.   What jumps out here is that in order to be guilty of violating this law, it isn’t enough that Chauvin caused the death of Floyd, he had to do it while committing a particular felony, third degree assault (which usually isn’t a felony, but sometimes is if the offense is bad enough).  Subdivision 1 of the Minnesota statute for third degree assault applies in this case:

609.223 ASSAULT IN THE THIRD DEGREE

Subdivision 1.   Substantial bodily harm.

Whoever assaults another and inflicts substantial bodily harm may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

The issue with this count is whether the prosecution has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin was assaulting Floyd rather than restraining him.

To the jury:

“Are you certain enough that Chauvin was assaulting Floyd to put him in prison for forty years?   The video has this exchange:

Chauvin:  Relax.
Floyd: I can’t breathe!
Chauvin: You’re fine. You’re talking fine.

And this:

Officer: I just worry about the excited or delirium or whatever.
Chauvin: That’s why we have EMS coming.

“Does that sound to you like assault with the intent to inflict substantial bodily harm, no reasonable doubt about it?   Could it be that Chauvin thought he was restraining Floyd until the medical people got there?  He may have been unreasonable, or unwise, in doing what he was doing, but that is not the issue in this count.  It is whether he was committing the felony offense of assault against Floyd.   Ask yourself, ‘How has the prosecution demonstrated to me beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin was assaulting rather than restraining Floyd?’  They haven’t, and there is no doubt about that.”

The second count, third degree murder. 

COUNT II

Charge: Third Degree Murder – Perpetrating an Eminently Dangerous Act and Evincing a Depraved Mind

Minnesota Statute 609.195 (a)

Maximum Sentence: Imprisonment for not more than 25 years

Offense Level: Felony

Charge Description: That on or about May 25, 2020, in Hennepin County, Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of another, George Floyd, by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.

The key elements here are perpetuating an eminently dangerous act and evincing (revealing) a depraved mind, without regard for human life.

“Has the prosecution demonstrated to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the neck restraint Chauvin applied is eminently—exceedingly, extremely—dangerous?  No, it hasn’t. This restraint is authorized by the Minneapolis police department, is widely used by law enforcement throughout the world, and is not known for causing death; it certainly hadn’t in Minneapolis before the Floyd incident.  Are you sure beyond a reasonable doubt that Chauvin thinks to himself, ‘Here’s my chance to perpetrate an eminently dangerous act right here in front of all these people and with this young woman taking a video on her cellphone.’  Conjecture isn’t evidence. Presumption isn’t evidence.  What hard evidence has the prosecution given you that supports you being so certain that this human being—Chauvin is a human being, just like George Floyd, just like you—was perpetrating an eminently dangerous act rather than trying to do his job that you are willing to put him in prison for 25 years?  Twenty-five years from now is 2146.  And how have you been shown that Derek Chauvin is no less than depraved?  Not just performing an ill-advised act, but depraved.  And that he is without regard for human life?  The prosecution has established this?   When?  How?  This count takes the cake.  It’s absurd.”

And the third charge, second degree manslaughter.

COUNT III

Charge: Second Degree Manslaughter – Culpable Negligence Creating an Unreasonable Risk

Minnesota Statute: 609.205 (1)

Maximum Sentence: Imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

Offense Level:  Felony

Charge Description:  That on or about May 25, 2020, in Hennepin County, Minnesota, Derek Michael Chauvin caused the death of another, George Floyd, by his culpable negligence, creating an unreasonable risk and consciously took the chance of causing death or great bodily harm to another, George Floyd.

The angle here is the part about consciously took the chance of causing death or great bodily harm.

“It’s fair to say that what Derek Chauvin did contributed to George Floyd’s death, though even that isn’t a dead certainty given Floyd’s dire health condition.   But did Chauvin consciously take the chance of killing Floyd?  Was that on his mind?   The prosecution has established that?  Absolutely, it hasn’t.  Chauvin had no way of knowing about Floyd’s COVID and heart disease.  We’re talking about a police officer here, not a medical expert.  It’s commonly believed that if you can speak you can breathe.  Should Chauvin have just let Floyd lie there until medical help got there, where Floyd said he wanted to be (‘I want to lay on the ground, I want to lay on the ground.  I’m going down, I’m going down.  I’m going down’).   Arguably, yes.   Given that Mr. Floyd died, we can assume that with 20/20 hindsight Derek Chauvin would do things differently.  But that doesn’t justify putting him in prison for ten years.  He didn’t consciously—consciously, with intent—take the chance of causing Floyd’s death. There is no evidence that supports that speculation.”

More to be said, but you get the idea of how I would have come at the closing argument.  If nothing else, it provides an alternative to the approach taken by Chauvin’s defense attorney, Eric Nelson.   A New York Times article squared with what I saw Nelson doing, that is to say, pushing the reasonable-police-officer theme.

For nearly three hours, Mr. Nelson focused on Mr. Chauvin’s decision-making and on what factors may have caused Mr. Floyd’s death.  He emphasized that the jury instructions say that no crime has been committed if a police officer was justified in using reasonable force and that jurors should determine what is justified by considering what “a reasonable police officer in the same situation would believe to be necessary.”4

As far as I can see, in going this route, Nelson didn’t speak to what the charges against Chauvin actually were, and it was deadly bad for Chauvin.  I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be making the case that what Chauvin did was reasonable.

I keep thinking I have to be missing the point in all of this somehow.  I’ve recently begun reading the Powerline site online and finding it very informative.  It’s a group of attorneys commenting on the news.  One of them, Scott Johnson, wrote this with reference to federal charges against the four police officers involved in the Floyd case:

State convictions and stiff sentences against the former police officers in this case would easily satisfy federal concerns. The theory of the state prosecutions is that, even though George Floyd was lawfully arrested and detained, police exploited their detention authority, abusing his rights to (a) be subjected to only reasonable (not excessive) force, and (b) have police protect his right to life. Chauvin was found guilty of those abuses, and it is highly likely that the other three former officers will be, too.5

Exploited detention authority?  Used unreasonable force?  Didn’t protect Floyd’s right to life?  Chauvin was found guilty of those abuses?  I thought the charges were violating Minnesota statutes prohibiting assault, committing an eminently dangerous act, behaving from a depraved mind and having no regard for human life, and knowingly taking a chance on causing death or great bodily injury.  Scott Johnson is a Minneapolis attorney who for 25 years has written for major publications, including National Review and The New York Times, and he is a fellow at the prestigious Claremont Institute.  He’s got really strong legal credentials, and I’m following the NFL draft (Wilson has a history of shoulder surgery).   I don’t know.  I’ll leave it to you to sort this out.

*   *   *

I’ll close with three things I would have done if I had been defending Chauvin.

First, I would have done my best to get that mask off him.   Personalize him, make him an individual.  With the mask on, Chauvin comes off as a type, a symbol for racist cops everywhere.  If you throw the book at him, you are making a statement about police and their practices in general, not punishing a mortal, fallible-like-we-all-are, individual person, with parents and a sister and former stepchildren whom he may still be in contact with and a job that happens to be that of a police officer.   I’d try to humanize Chauvin, make the jury aware that whatever they do, for whatever reason, they are doing to him.

I would have had him testify.  Attorneys are really skittish about having defendants testify, something about them getting worked over by prosecution grilling.  I don’t get it.  I don’t care what instructions judges give juries—don’t read anything into the defendant’s choice not to testify, etc.  If I’m on a jury, I’m thinking he has something to hide or he’d be bursting at the seams eager to tell his side of the story.  Plus, I want to hear from him.  We’ve heard from everybody else.  Tell us, what were you doing and why?   Give us your side.

I don’t see how Chauvin would be vulnerable on the stand.  All he has to do is hang in there with a simple story.  “We’ve got a guy who we can’t wrestle into a car and he’s ranting and thrashing around and kicking his legs.  I thought I was staying calm and restraining him until the ambulance got there, which turned out to be longer than I expected.   People were yelling at me and threatening me and I thought I might have to use mace to protect myself when in my mind I was doing the proper thing.  It was a dangerous situation, so bad that the emergency medical people wouldn’t attend to Floyd until they got him out of there.  Absolutely, I wasn’t assaulting Floyd.   I thought the knee restraint was safe and that since he was talking he could breathe.   I feel terrible that he died.   I’ll live with it for the rest of my life.  I wish I could have done better by George Floyd, but I know in my heart that I did the best I could to safely make the arrest within the intense pressure of that moment.”

And last, I would have ended my closing argument by referring to the elephant in the room: people were threatening to tear apart the city of Minneapolis, and other cities as well, if the jury didn’t convict Chauvin, and there were threats against the jurors themselves if they didn’t do the mob’s bidding.  The jurors weren’t sequestered, they knew this.  I don’t know how directly I could have addressed the threat that was looming over the trial.  Perhaps something like this: “There are times in our lives, not more than a few, when we are called upon to do the truly honorable thing and there is a very strong temptation not to.  Doing the honorable thing in that circumstance tests our character: our honesty, our integrity, our autonomy, our toughness, our courage.  This is a highly charged case, you knew that before you took your oath as a juror.  You’ll very likely never be tested like this again in your life.  You have the responsibility to assess thoroughly and impartially whether or not the prosecution has established beyond a reasonable doubt that Derek Chauvin violated three Minnesota laws.  You pledged to do that, and only that.  Now is your time to stand up and be counted, as a citizen and as a human being.  Thank you.”


Endnotes

  1. Both the transcript and a video of the defense closing argument are online.

https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/defense-closing-argument-transcript-derek-chauvin-trial-for-murder-of-george-floyd

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/5503824-full-video-defense-presents-closing-arguments-in-derek-chauvin-trial-part-1/

  1. From the transcript of the defense closing argument. Op. cit.
  2. The formal charges against Chauvin.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6935897/Derek-Chauvin-Second-degree-murder-charge.pdf

  1. “In His Closing Argument, Derek Chauvin’s Lawyer Urges Jurors to ‘Not Let Yourselves Be Misled.’” Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, The New York Times, April 19, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/19/us/derek-chauvin-defense-closing-argument.html
  2. “A Redundant Prosecution, Star Tribune Edition,” posted on Powerline by Scott Johnson on May 8 th, 2021. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/05/a-redundant-prosecution-star-tribune-edition.php

 

 

 

 

 

 

38 replies
  1. Will W. Williams
    Will W. Williams says:

    Very good, Dr. Griffin. You missed your calling to be a defense attorney. We hope Chauvin will win a second bite of the apple in a new trial with more competent counsel. You write:

    “This was a rigged proceeding from the get-go, right out of Stalin’s time or East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a show trial. Here’s an enemy of people, nail him good.”

    Not to make this about me, but you mention the racist cop’s show trial. As a racist leader, I just published a book _Pocahontas Show Trial – The Wrongful Conviction of an “Unpopular Figure” in West Virginia_. For my alleged “crime,” a misdemeanor, I was facing just one year in prison, not life like poor Derek Chauvin. I had a bench trial, not a tainted mixed race jury, nor lots of negative media attention, except from the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose hit pieces about my trials in Pocahontas County, WV, went out over the AP wire, picked up by mainstream media. Those in the pro-White cause may find my book instructive if they care to learn a little about the way the justice system is working these days when one of us finds our way into the defendant’s box: https://cosmotheistchurch.org/product/pocahontas-show-trial-by-william-w-williams/

  2. John
    John says:

    Tensions & conflicts in multiracial societies r the norm, this will continue(guaranteed). Diversity is a scam & anyone w/2 brain cells knows it. We need to reverse this perilous course, if not, say adios to America.

  3. Some White Guy
    Some White Guy says:

    Dear author, what a fantasy world you still live in! The jury was programmed to find him guilty, guilty, guilty and off with his head, by the narrative drummed into virtually every person in the world by the nonstop lies peddled by the global media. We no longer live in a world of noble people on juries who will do the right thing. We live under a tyranny of anti-White hatred that was never, ever going to let something like FACTS get in the way of railroading Officer Chauvin’s conviction.

    It’s nice to think you might have had the perfect words to make for a different ending, but you are kidding yourself. We live in a post-modern world where facts are meaningless and irrational, emotional lies mean everything.

    • Kris
      Kris says:

      I completely agree, but it does seem like the author shares your perspective on this:

      “I’m not contending this would make any difference in the verdict, just that it would have been better than what Eric Nelson did. This was a rigged proceeding from the get-go, right out of Stalin’s time or East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a show trial. Here’s an enemy of people, nail him good (and, in this instance, if you don’t, it’s an apocalypse, and we know where you live). Clarence Darrow couldn’t have won this case. But even if a cause is futile, we still are obligated to do the right thing the best we can.”

    • bruno
      bruno says:

      The Bottom LIne: If the jury contains Bs your odds go way down. Everyone knows it should’ve also been held in a different city.

      Certainly most reasonable people know that there was no chance the police officer would not be convicted. This was more in a Stalinists trail. People were afraid that several cities would burn. Law in the USA is a complete farce, according to a sea of “legal” citizens.

  4. Tim Folke
    Tim Folke says:

    I do not quite understand why the USA in general, and the Left in particular, cannot come up with a Black person worthy of respect as a national hero. Dr. Ben Carson, or even Malcom X come to mind. But to canonize such degenerates as George Floyd or Michael King (dba the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., amen) can – in my mind – only be the work of a sick, emasculated society. As Dr. Pierce once said, “There are very few men left in America; just a lot of women of both sexes”.

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      Surely there is no need and no reason for white people to seek out a black person for consecration as a national hero. To do so undermines this country’s foundations and indeed those of Western civilization.

      During the course of their lives, most white people will encounter the occasional decent, respectable, responsible, and perhaps even admirable black person. Those who have had such an encounter might well thank heaven for their good fortune (and society’s), but having done that, they ought to consider the matter closed. Pedestals should be saved for those whose heroic virtues are explicitly white and Western.

  5. Heinrich Metelmann
    Heinrich Metelmann says:

    One thing comes to my mind:

    Chavin is the :

    Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the World

  6. Hillary Levin
    Hillary Levin says:

    Chauvin never had a chance. It was a witch trial.
    The decision was pre-programmed by the jew media.
    Chavin broke no laws of any kind. He did what he was trained to do.
    He didn’t kill Floyd. Floyd killed himself by eating a pocket full of drugs.
    Our country is lost, taken over by jewish supremacists who intend to destroy
    us.
    Until people stand up and fight back we are lost.

  7. Conrad Gaarder
    Conrad Gaarder says:

    I agree that Chauvin should have testified. It’s always a risk, but if you have an intelligent, sincere client, it can be the difference between losing and winning.
    Secondly, I would have done more to destroy that Irish bullshit artist the prosecution put on as an expert. He was ridiculous, but here’s the problem. Once he qualifies as a witness, he can say any damned thing he wants and it all becomes “a jury question.” And once the “fact finder” has returned a verdict, the court can always hide behind that.
    I would have somehow shown that a typical 115-125 pound woman can take her shoes off and step on her prone husband’s back to relieve the stress he feels after a long day at work, and we don’t call that “attempted murder.” It happens every day and no one is arrested.
    I don’t criticize the attorney, but here, perhaps a top medical malpractice attorney might have done a better job than a criminal defense attorney

  8. Dan Reardon
    Dan Reardon says:

    What you present is a sound argument but somehow I don’t believe those jurors had any intention of clearing Chauvin regardless of the evidence. This was another OJ trial and in my opinion the slickest lawyer in the country couldn’t help Chauvin beat the case.

  9. Eric
    Eric says:

    Here is how I would analyze things as a juror (I’m not considering threats made against jurors and other such things):

    Count 1: Second degree murder — unintentional — while committing a felony.

    Two things have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt: 1) There was a murder, 2) It occurred during the commission of a felony.

    As to 1): There is more than a reasonable doubt Floyd was murdered. He had enough narcotics in his system to kill him, especially given his poor health. As to 2): There is more than a reasonable doubt Chauvin committed a felony. The alleged felony is “assault with substantial bodily harm”. There is no evidence Chauvin caused substantial bodily harm by putting his weight on Floyd’s back, with only his knee on Floyd’s neck.

    Count 1 fails.

    Count 2: Third degree murder — perpetrating an eminently dangerous act and evincing a depraved mind.

    Three things need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt: 1) Floyd was murdered, 2) Chauvin’s conduct was eminently dangerous, 3) Chauvin’s conduct evinced a depraved mind.

    1) There is more than a reasonable doubt that Floyd was murdered (see Count 1). 2) There is more than a reasonable doubt that restraining a man much bigger than yourself by kneeling mostly on his back with your knee on his neck is dangerous. 3) There is more than a reasonable doubt that such a form of restraint — which police are trained to carry out — evinces a depraved mind.

    Count 2 fails.

    Count 3: Second degree manslaughter — culpable negligence creating an unreasonable risk.

    Two things need to be proven: 1) What Chauvin did to Floyd was dangerous to Floyd, creating an unreasonable risk of great bodily harm or death, 2) Chauvin consciously took the risk of causing great bodily injury or killing Floyd. There is more than a reasonable doubt that what Chauvin did was dangerous to Floyd (see Count 2). There is more than a reasonable doubt that Chauvin believed he might seriously harm or kill Floyd.

    Count 3 fails.

    If I were on the jury, that’s how I would analyze the case.

    Beyond that, I would nullify the jury — even if I thought the prosecution had met its burden — because of the unjust piling on of redundant charges.

    Nullification means finding the defendant “not guilty” because either the law or manner of prosecution is unjust. Few jurors are aware that they have the right to nullify a jury.

    If this were a civil case, I would also side with Chauvin — not only because Chauvin’s culpability could not be established (even when using the much less rigorous civil standard of “the preponderance of the evidence”) but because of Floyd’s contributory negligence — his willful refusal to comply with the reasonable and lawful commands of the police.

  10. Kris
    Kris says:

    I think the defense attorney’s focus on ‘reasonableness’ was strategically understandable. Specifically, to determine if an office engages in ‘excessive force’, he is held to a standard of ‘objective reasonableness’. If the attorney could convince the trier-of-fact that the officer’s (force) actions, in isolation, were objectively reasonable, he would definitively show that the officer was not engaged in excessive force and therefore not guilty of any crime related to the use of that force. Again, it’s intelligible; at least on paper.

  11. Polistra
    Polistra says:

    Excellent work — Chauvin needed an attorney as smart as you. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have one.

    The famous video excerpt did a lot of ‘work’ for the enemies of civilized society. The MSM worked those ‘optics’ along with Social Media into a red-hot frenzy to destroy parts of about 60 cities, in the process just happening to further cement the power of the Wokistocracy. Forever more, they hope.

    So-called Antifa and BLM are doing the dirty work of the Establishment, whether they know it or not (I think most don’t know it). In this particular case the optics were tailor-made for tugging at the heartstrings of tens of millions of nitwit, media-saturated, brain-addled women along with tens of millions of negroes delighted at any excuse whatever to underpin their endless thirst for mayhem and criminal activity. Perfect storm.

    Not a one ever stopped to think: if Chauvin had even the slightest idea that the guy under his knee was in danger of dying (remember Chauvin had no idea of the potent drug cocktail at work) would he really have permitted himself to be filmed smirking for the cameras?

    Obviously not, but tens of millions are more than primed to believe it just happened to be a bit of pernicious white supremacy caught in the act, just like those fraternity boys at Duke and Virginia, not to mention the hellish Jussie Smollett episode which has just been swept under the rug.

    Mass-media indoctrination will do this to people. That’s its purpose.

  12. Alex Lund
    Alex Lund says:

    I agree with your comments regarding the neck kneeling restraint.
    When I watched news about this trial I asked myself (and this is more into specific data than your comment):
    -When was this technique first used (how long has it been used)
    -How many people have been subjected to it
    -How many fatalities are known
    -Was there a study done, you know two people demonstrate this technique while under medical surveillance / MRT / CT radiology equipment

    So, if this technique has been used for say 10 years, with 100.000 people subjected to it and we have three fatalities – so what?
    But if we have 50.000 fatalities – then its an entire other matter.

    I once heard that this technique was developed by Israeli intelligence / military. You can bet, if this technique would be as deadly as it is described and the Israelis use it on Palestinians then you can bet that the Palestinians would be screaming bloody murder on an international stage, with the UN involved.

  13. 9593
    9593 says:

    The Chauvin Affair

    There are a number of factors indicating that the Derek Chauvin trial was mishandled by the Attorney General of Minnesota.

    1.) Unreasonable delay to bring the case to trial. From May 25 to March 8. This case was so controversial that the Attorney General should have gotten the matter to trial by August. He should have recognized that delay would expose any jury pool to bias against the defendant as the yellow press, even ordinary media, and others would create the “murder” of George Floyd as the public perception of fact. Until after the trial, the law requires that the event can only be characterized as a death, while confined. Innocent until proven guilty. It was predictable, in the prevailing national state of mind, that George Floyd would become a “martyr”, with almost permanent monuments.

    2.) The delay allowed the wider setting up of the threat of riots and worse. The required security measures, plywood windows, chain link fence, military dispositions – created an intimidating atmosphere in the courts. We had the situation where prospective jurors may well declare no fear of public disorders, but harbor a dread on the unconscious level, under the influence of the public bias. Indeed, two prospective jurors were disqualified after expressing dread of riots. Others, may simply have believed that they were immune to bias, notwithstanding the word on the street and the media, combined with discomfort at the prospect of renewed riots, looting and arson. It was in the news that a mob had advanced on the homes of Derek Chauvin, the home guarded by a dozen police officers.

    It would not have affected the jury, but it is important to note that the home, in California, of a law enforcement person that testified for the Defense, was spattered with pig blood by persons unknown. A prospect of mob rule exists where the Authorities have to take account the lawless disposition of our Society when they consider enforcement actions. As to riot and looting, it goes on, uncontrolled recently in America.

    3.) The Attorney General failed to manage the civil side of the case, when the Minneapolis City Council, its insurance company, very prematurely, awarded a sensational amount of money to George Floyd’s relatives. $27 million. It could have been a business decision based on relative probabilities, before or after the trial. Two appointed jurors withdrew as a result of the City Council action, declaring that the City Council action was for them, determinative about the guilt of the defendant.

    4.) Judicial error. The Defense moved for a change of venue because of the mood in Minneapolis. The Judge simply refused, as far as I know. Thus avoiding the question of, where on earth, could there be a fair trial when prejudicial publicity is everywhere. Here is a limiting case, where a fair trial is unobtainable; must the case be dismissed?

    About jury bias:

    https://theconversation.com/chauvin-conviction-2-things-to-know-about-jury-bias-and-2-ways-to-reduce-it-159330

    5.) Trial errors:

    The knee-on-neck restraint was untruthfully presented by the Prosecution.

    The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) training materials show knee-to-neck restraint similar to the one used on George Floyd.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WvWDH5EQcE

    Perhaps the Minneapolis Police training manual was revised between the Floyd incident and the trial:

    https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/george-floyd/minneapolis-police-training-materials-show-knee-to-neck-restraint-similar-to-used-on-george-floyd/89-9f002e3f-972a-4410-86cb-50a1237fc496

    https://www.npr.org/sections/trial-over-killing-of-george-floyd/2021/04/06/984717386/watch-live-minneapolis-police-crisis-intervention-trainer-testifies-in-chauvin-t

    Knee on Neck restraint reportedly used in Minneapolis:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minneapolis-police-rendered-44-people-unconscious-neck-restraints-five-years-n1220416

    New York City Police training manual:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8aF8WBRsCY

    6.) The Prosecution expert witness pulmonologist was not cross-examined effectively by the Defense attorney.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/live-blog/derek-chauvin-trial-2021-04-08-n1263412/ncrd1263471

    The Prosecution pulmonologist dismissed the effects of fentanyl, a speculation outside of his expertise, and was not challenged about his absolute certainty about the case of death of a person appearing to have one foot in the grave as to heart condition and drug addiction. The Defense attempted to counter with the testimony of the Medical Examiner. The jury was given conflicting expert testimony, with Defense witnesses testifying that neck restraint was not a significant element.

    https://www.startribune.com/floyd-s-autopsy-makes-medical-examiner-a-rare-target-of-anger/571343522/

    One can imagine that a jury would choose public tranquility under the circumstances. The news media did not report it all, but it is widely known that there were riots with arson and looting, assaults on police in many, many cities.

    It is interesting that, last summer, the lawyers for the other three policemen had planned to rely on the record of the Minneapolis police training manual to demonstrate that the officers were following their training, knee-on-neck restraint, and that Officer Chauvin ignored suggestions by the two young officers to turn George Floyd to the “relief position” on his side.

    Why did the Chauvin defense attorney NOT make reference to the MPD training manual. I don’t understand that omission.

    Meanwhile, the Attorney General of Minnesota is turning victory laps on 60 Minutes, CNN, MSNBC. – while an appeal is surely pending after the sentencing of Derek Chauvin in August.

    I can’t imagine how this story will end, except to create more public anger all around.

  14. Pierre de Craon
    Pierre de Craon says:

    Is Doctor Griffin’s a better defense than Eric Nelson’s was? Or does it simply suffer from different inadequacies?

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      Methinks very much the latter. Of course all of us here are Mondaymorningquarterbacking.

  15. Ned J. Casper
    Ned J. Casper says:

    Catch-22. What Juror is going to risk admitting that personal fear affected their verdict – which is likely to be a requirement for an appeal/mistrial application?

    Chauvin’s clumsiness has been “elevated” into a deliberate racist murder with global consequences which, in the UK, has resulted in constant media nagging about “systemic racism” plus an extraordinary and statistically quite UNrepresentative number of TV adverts featuring not south or east Asians (let alone any Whites) but Blacks exclusively, plus others with Blacks as central characters or predominant, and still others with Black men combined with White women. The “Church of England” has gone quite mad over “racial guilt”.

    The full video of Floyd’s utterances and problematic behaviour, and full details of the coroner autopsy, are virtually unknown, not that they would make much difference to the Mob.

  16. charles frey
    charles frey says:

    01 God himself couldn’t have gotten Chauvin off: and certainly not you.
    02 Already in your second sentence of your second paragraph, you demonstrate your lack of interconnected, uninterrupted, videoed facts. You write, that ” They handcuffed him but were unable to get him to go into the back seat of a police car “.
    03 The body cam of one of the three other officers present, quite clearly showed, that they successfully manhandled him into the back of an SUV, slightly bigger than a car; relevant, given the porn star’s [ George the Landlord ] 6 + ft and corpulence.
    04 Said cam also replayed that officer’s reply to Floyd’s early complaint about his inability to breathe. The officer clearly stated, that he would roll the window down and turn on the AC for him.
    05 The porn star ended up on his back in the rear of the SUV and managed to catapult himself into Chauvin at the open door on the other side with sufficient velocity and mass to dislodge Chauvin’s body cam and badge.
    06 ONLY THEN WAS HE PLACED, FACE DOWN, ON THE ROAD.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    A Your critique of Stalin’s and East Germany’s judicial system is subjective, at best. What about Waco, Grenada, the three AIPAC traitors, Milchan, Epstein the first time ’round, Dexter Weiss, Adler the editor of the Atlanta Jewish Daily who called for the assassination of Obama by US-embedded Mossad agents, and Iraq ? What about the so-called Sedition Trials in the mid 40s, against Lindbergh’s adherents ? Lead by a super-swine of the Washington Post, who, as journalist, asked mid-Westerners for their opinions, which they promptly mailed to Washington, only to find out, that having done so, they committed a federal crime, opening them up for federal prosecution, egged on by the WAPO.

    One retired, impecunious, ex-carpenter took his warrant to Washington seriously and went there, to room in a flop house during these proceedings in the national interest. He died in said flop house and was sent home to Iowa in a cardboard box. Socialite supporters, well educated in the JQ, were not subpeonaed.

    B Even you could have done nothing during jury selection, to diminish the number of ” CHEST-FEEDING BIRTHING PERSONS”, who, despite their asinine nomenclature could not suppress their motherhood feelings for this-criminal-record-laden, Mercedes SUV driving, porn artist and drug abusing victim; solely persecuted for his color.

    Son of a historically racially abused minority, whose family garnered a 25 million settlement from the State, itself admitting liability prior to his trial and ” 13.7 million, by June 2020, and going strong ” from two go-fund-me drives, supported by Obama.

    C You omitted, in your article, that the Black juror Brandon Mitchell, had been photographed at a BLM anti-Police demonstration before the trial, to which he had worn a BLM shirt with GF’s face and ” get your knee off our backs ” stenciled on it. . Obviously, this then unknown would not have affected the verdict of guilty, but certainly will reduce the sentence and chances of an Appeal. As will his perjury in connection to his predisposition towards race, which he misrepresented on his 14 pp jury questionnaire.

    D Since trials by jury have to be staged where no one is familiar with the case, I recommend a tiny village at the mouth of the Amazon. I predict the case against the other three will be dropped, unless the US judiciary absolutely insists on looking worse than East Germany and the former USSR combined. But with Biden and Kabala Harris – Imhoff, and Company to the Left, you never know !

    • Pierre de Craon
      Pierre de Craon says:

      Even with reference to the high standard of Charles’s comments, the one above is truly exceptional. But will it persuade Doctor Griffin that he ought to think twice before writing something equally clueless in future?

      Further to the utter juridical guiltlessness (aka innocence) of Derek Chauvin—not, Lord help the poor guy, that it will do him any good—there is this.

      • Charles Frey
        Charles Frey says:

        @ Birthing Person Barkingmad and Domestic Terrorist Monsieur de Crayon.

        Has either or both of you ever noticed, that frequently we three are drawn to certain topics and reply similarly and simultaneously ? And often while the reply of one is still in the pipeline; not yet published.

        Unquestionably, Greenblatt already has all of us commenting here listed as independent Domestic Terrorists. If the three of us continue to bike through the political landscape, in unison, on a bicycle built for three, he will reclassify us as a Mechanized Cell of Domestic Terrorists. Oh well !

        • Pierre de Craon
          Pierre de Craon says:

          Unless your heart and leg strength are a lot better than mine, Charles, I hope the bicycle you refer to has a supplementary motor to be activated on any terrain sloping more than 3 degrees above the horizontal. Better such a mechanical aid than ungallantly leaving all the pedaling to Barkingmad!

          • charles frey
            charles frey says:

            I agree. But then already overworked Greenblatt, who undoubtedly uses IDF designations, would be obliged to once more reclassify the three of us as a Motorized Domestic Terror Cell.

            Probably already accomplished !

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      In C above, at line 4, I meant, that it would ” increase ” chances of an Appeal.

  17. Hadding
    Hadding says:

    I also found Nelson’s rhetoric inconcise and weak, although I only heard bits of it.

    I know nothing about the law, but in demonstrating that Chauvin should not be convicted I have argued this way:

    KEY FACT ONE: George Floyd was complaining that he could not breathe before anybody laid a hand on him.
    KEY FACT TWO: George Floyd had a lethal dose of fentanyl in his bloodstream, which has breathing-difficulty as one of its known effects.

    Those two key facts suffice to explain the death of George Floyd. The pathos of George Floyd complaining that he cannot breathe while he is being restrained leads us to IMAGINE that the restraint, the presence of Derek Chauvin’s knee IN THE VICINTY of George Floyd’s neck, was the reason why George Floyd could not breathe, but THAT IS A REDUNDANT EXPLANATION.

    Some people, acknowledging facts but being apparently unable to let go of their initial rash judgment, will try to affirm fentanyl AND Derek Chauvin’s restraint together as the cause of death, but there was no tissue-damage in George Floyd’s neck to indicate that Chauvin harmed him at all. This attempt to have it both ways simply reflects an emotional attachment to the first impression.

    Reasonable doubt says that Derek Chauvin did not murder George Floyd.

    • Hadding
      Hadding says:

      The way that I analyze the case against Chauvin, the logic of the case is so obviously deficient that it is hard to understand how a conviction could be possible. To convict Derek Chauvin of killing George Floyd requires an incompetent defender, or a completely biased jury, or (perhaps what we had in this case) both.

    • Polar Bear
      Polar Bear says:

      Even more infuriating is that useless monkey capitol cop shooting Ashlii Babbitt for breaking a window.
      No problem there. No indictment. Wouldn’t even name the cop.

  18. Forever Guilty
    Forever Guilty says:

    Well actually defense was strangely weak , so there is suspicion that his defense lawyer was compromised.

    My understanding that Mr. Floyd had high concentration of illegal drugs in his body

    Second his heart, lungs and blood vessels were in bad shape.

    So yes putting the knee to his neck could give him that final small push to other side.

    But so what. Mr Chauvin is police officer. His job requiring him among others tasks arrest people on regular basis. To do so he uses standard operation procedures and training given him in the police force. In the arrest of Mr Floyd he used such standard operation procedures. He is arresting very big, muscular black man obviously heavily drugged and not rational . So to decrease danger to bystanders, himself and Mr Floyd he took him down and put knee to his neck. Following standard training received in the police force. He is not a M.D. He did what he was trained to do

    If technique he used was dangerous it was not his fault, but people who teach police that unsafe procedure.

    And we know who they are… Every single time..

  19. 9593
    9593 says:

    More about the Chauvin Affair. A post-script is required to call attention to an article from “the collective black physicians”, of America presumably, that reminds us that we are, in our newly awoken condition, not simply Americans, but Americans of distinct factions based on race and ethnicity. The melting pot has congealed!

    Further remarkable that this group appeared to have been focused a conviction, evidence not withstanding.

    https://pfcjreform.org/collective-black-physicians-statement/

  20. Walter L
    Walter L says:

    Looking at George Floyd, a massive man, who in a street fight Floyd would have beat the tar out of Derek Chauvin and any two of Chauvin’s cop buddies one at a time or all at once.
    The problem is that George Floyd was not in the fighting good shape that he appeared to be in.
    But the cops didn’t know that.
    So instead of getting back to the station and getting high fives for bringing in a grizzly bear alive, they got turned over to the anti-White savages for human sacrifice.
    The bottom line is that if Black cops would have subdued a White criminal thug George Floyd, the White population would have day thanking and celebrating the Black cops, and pinning medals of honor on them for ridding society of the gangster.

  21. Polar Bear
    Polar Bear says:

    None of the deliberations mattered. It’s a kike system.
    (((They))) are eliminating YT. YT is their only true adversary.
    This time I think they will succeed. This country is done.
    A widespread awakening to the jooish problem is our only hope. With widespread pogroms.

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