‘You’re a Murderer!’ Driver Berates Cop as He Calmly Writes Ticket

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Rarely do we hear an individual so thoroughly disgrace themselves as a Los Angeles woman did following a traffic stop by a Latino L. A. County Sheriff’s deputy last month.

She had been pulled over for using her cell phone while driving her son to his therapy appointment. We immediately grasp why her son might be in serious need of therapy.

The deputy approaches the car and tells her, “I pulled you over today because — ”

“Because you’re a murderer,” she says, interrupting him. During their brief encounter, she calls him a murderer eight times. She insists that he call his supervisor because “you’re threatening to kill me and my son.”

The deputy is the model of restraint. He remains calm and polite as she spews her poison.

She concludes by informing him that he will never be white. “You’re always gonna be a Mexican, you’ll never be white, you know that? You’ll never be white which is what you really want to be.”

Her race is unclear, because her image has been blurred.

According to Fox News’ reporter Bill Melugin, who obtained the video, the deputy is a 14-year career officer. He told Melugin that he uses both a department-issued body camera as well as one he purchased privately to “protect himself from false allegations.”

Melugin spoke to L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva who said he was “appalled” by this woman’s behavior. He praised his deputy’s restraint.

Villanueva noted, “She claims to be a teacher. I’m not so sure where she is teaching … but if she represents her profession, is that an indictment on her profession and the caliber of people?”

“You have one incident like George Floyd … but some people want to label the entire profession as if everyone was a Derek Chauvin. It shows you that bigotry, racism comes in all, colors and all ages — that’s proof of that right there. If you want to call all of the deputies murderers, unfortunately, you are doing the exact same thing you’re accusing other people of doing against your own kind.”

Melugin learned that, following this encounter, the woman “called internal affairs and filed a harassment complaint against the deputy” and that she “has a history of making false claims against deputies.”

This is a “grade A example of the kind of animosity that some of the officers out there are encountering on the streets,” Melugin said.

Here are a few responses to Melugin’s Twitter thread about this story:

“Insanity on full display. The scary thing was, she claimed to be a teacher. Does anyone want their kids taught by this woman?”

“If she is a teacher than I feel where ever she teaches should see this video and decide if they want someone that is obviously racist towards Hispanic people and talks to police officer this way teaching children. If she were teaching my children I would be demanding her be axed.”

“She needs to be exposed. No hiding her face and name. She shouldn’t be teaching anyone.”

“If this was a white male cop and the person breaking the law was a drug abusing ex con, the cops name would be released and he would be fired and Lebron would have already put a hit out on him. Let’s return the favor. Release her name so we can call the school and terminate her.”

“They always seem to make it until the very end, and then their true side comes out. Such a piece of garbage. I bet she has a “hate has no home here” sign in her front yard.”

This is what the repeated vilification of police officers does. It gives this woman and countless others like her a license to treat cops as if they were sub-human.

I wrote yesterday about a video recorded by a police officer who had reached the height of his frustration over being painted with the same brush as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

It’s heartbreaking to watch. The officer is exhausted, heartbroken with the state of America. He, like many others, has to go to work every day and face the anti-cop rhetoric that has ripped through the US. Most cops are good. But the good ones have to face hatred every day.

I think most Americans were unanimous in their revulsion toward this woman. Demonizing all police officers because of Chauvin makes about as much sense as tarnishing all teachers because of this woman’s loathsome behavior.

But this is where the left’s campaign against police officers has brought us. It’s a dangerous state of affairs.

Report: Biden DOJ Considering Charges Against Chauvin for 2017 Incident That Was Remarkably Similar to Floyd Death

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Sources have told ABC News that the Biden DOJ is considering charging former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for an incident that occurred in 2017 involving excessive force. There are remarkable similarities between Chauvin’s arrest of a suspect in 2017 and the arrest of George Floyd which led to his death.

Bear in mind as you read this account that it was written by a Minnesota state prosecutor whose interest in the 2017 incident was to present it to the jury at the Chauvin murder trial.

Last fall, as they prepped for the Chauvin trial, prosecutors received a series of videos, recorded on the officer’s body cameras, of an arrest made (or attempted) by Chauvin on September 4, 2017.

According to an ABC News report, “the videos allegedly showed Chauvin striking a Black teenager in the head so hard that the boy needed stitches, then allegedly holding the boy down with his knee for nearly 17 minutes, and allegedly ignoring complaints from the boy that he couldn’t breathe.”

State prosecutor Matthew Frank wrote, “Those videos show far more violent and forceful treatment of this child than Chauvin describes in his report [of the incident]. …  [they] show Chauvin’s use of unreasonable force towards this child and complete disdain for his well-being.”

In February, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that federal prosecutors had convened a grand jury to interview witnesses to the 2017 incident. On Friday, ABC reported they had been informed that “the investigation is still underway, with the Justice Department still weighing whether to bring federal charges against Chauvin for both the 2017 incident and George Floyd’s death.”

ABC was told that state prosecutors had hoped to show the videos to the jury in the Chauvin trial, however, the judge would not allow it.

Frank’s account of the incident:

Chauvin and another Minneapolis police officer were dispatched to a home where a woman claimed she had been attacked by her 14-year-old son and young daughter.

After officers entered the home and spoke to the woman, they ordered the son to lie on the ground, but he refused. Within seconds, Chauvin hit the teenager with his flashlight, grabbed the teenager’s throat, hit him again with the flashlight, and then “applied a neck restraint, causing the child to lose consciousness and go to the ground.”

“Chauvin and [the other officer] placed [the teenager] in the prone position and handcuffed him behind his back while the teenager’s mother pleaded with them not to kill her son and told her son to stop resisting. … About a minute after going to the ground, the child began repeatedly telling the officers that he could not breathe, and his mother told Chauvin to take his knee off her son.”

About eight minutes in, Chauvin moved his knee to the teenager’s upper back and left it there for nine more minutes.

Eventually, Chauvin told the teenager he was under arrest for domestic assault and obstruction with force. The two officers then helped the teenager to an ambulance, which took him to a hospital to receive stitches.

Frank said Chauvin’s handling of the 14-year-old boy mirrored Chauvin’s actions with Floyd, when Chauvin pinned Floyd’s neck under his knee for more than eight minutes.

“As was true with the conduct with George Floyd, Chauvin rapidly escalated his use of force for a relatively minor offense. Just like with Floyd, Chauvin used an unreasonable amount of force without regard for the need for that level of force or the victim’s well-being. Just like with Floyd, when the child was slow to comply with Chauvin and [the other officer’s] instructions, Chauvin grabbed the child by the throat, forced him to the ground in the prone position, and placed his knee on the child’s neck with so much force that the child began to cry out in pain and tell Chauvin he could not breathe.”

The ABC report said that Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, filed an objection to the use of these videos in the trial. He wrote, “[T]here is no marked similarity between [the 2017 incident] and the George Floyd incident. … A mother had been physically assaulted by her children.”

Nelson also argued that the use of a neck restraint against an individual who was “actively resisting arrest” was allowed by the MPD at the time. “It was reasonable and authorized under the law as well as MPD policy.” Finally, Nelson pointed out that the incident had been “reported to supervisors” and it was “cleared.”

The judge sided with Nelson.

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department was launching a civil investigation — not a criminal probe — to determine if the Minneapolis Police Department “engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional or unlawful policing,” including whether Minneapolis police routinely use excessive force and engage in discriminatory conduct.

The wide-ranging civil investigation “is separate from and independent of the federal criminal investigation into the death of George Floyd that the Justice Department has previously announced,” Garland said.

At this point, I think the DOJ ‘s time would best be spent on other pursuits. Keeping this story in the news will only serve to inflame tensions. But perhaps that’s the Biden Administration’s objective.

Minneapolis Mayor Escalates the Already Tense Situation Ahead of the Chauvin Verdict (Watch)

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As America awaits the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s rhetoric during a Monday news conference exacerbated an already overwrought situation. He told reporters, “As we await the verdict, there are several inescapable truths. … Regardless of the outcome of this trial, regardless of the decision made by the jury, there is one true reality. which is that George Floyd was killed at the hands of police.”

He added, “Being black in America should not – cannot be a death sentence. … We understand that people will feel the need to express it. … What has become increasingly clear is that the foundation of anti-blackness and deep structural racism within our society is palpable.

The occasion was a public safety update ahead of the verdict. Frey was joined by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. The second video records the entire press conference.

In the first segment of the video, Gov. Walz slams the inherent racism he sees within the culture and he voices his commitment to respecting the right to protest.

On Saturday night, Rep. Maxine Waters expressed basically the same opinion. She told BLM supporters, “Oh no, not manslaughter,” as she raised a hand to show her opinion of the lesser possible charge of manslaughter. “No, no, no. Listen, listen, guilty for murder. I don’t know if it’s in the first degree, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s first degree murder.”

Shortly before a verdict is to be delivered in a case that has deeply divided the country, three elected officials, both Democrats, feel it’s wise to fan the flames of racism. The city of Minneapolis, ground zero for the riots sparked by the death of George Floyd last summer which quickly spread throughout the country, is on edge. Daunte Wright’s death has exacerbated the situation. It has already set off rioting in Brooklyn Center. The slightest provocation is all that’s required to set off more destruction and chaos.

The city is poised to erupt into violence and chaos once the verdict is handed down and instead of calling for calm, these three are publicly stating their opinions as facts. By expressing solidarity with BLM at this time, they are increasing the chances that destructive riots will break out.

If Chauvin is acquitted, all bets are off. Chaos will follow. A second-degree manslaughter verdict will also likely trigger riots. Although it would be reasonable to expect that BLM would be satisfied with a second or third degree murder conviction, they’ll probably still riot for the same reasons they did so last summer. In other words, the verdict itself won’t really make a difference. The city is a powder keg and it won’t take much to spark the flames.

Rep. Waters Scoffs at Chauvin Trial Judge Who Said Her Reckless Words Could ‘result in this whole trial being overturned’

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The backlash over Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) inflammatory remarks to a group of Black Lives Matter protestors in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Saturday night continues to grow.

On Monday, defense attorney Eric Nelson asked Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the Derek Chauvin murder trial, to declare a mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct and Waters’ comments. Nelson cited the fact that “an elected official, U.S. Congressperson” made public statements that “I think are reasonably interpreted to be threats against the sanctity of the jury process” which amounted to “threatening and intimidating the jury.”

Cahill declined. However, he told the court, “I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,”

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram reported that, when Waters was asked if her comments could result in Chauvin’s “eventual acquittal,” she replied that “The judge says my words don’t matter.” Pergram’s source was Fox’ Capitol Hill reporter Caroline McKee.

For those who may have missed it, Waters told protestors, “We’re looking for a guilty verdict.” And if Chauvin is acquitted, she said we need to take to the streets and “get more confrontational.” Below is a clip from the event. I posted about this story here.

The judge’s response can be heard in the video below.

“This goes back to what I’ve been saying from the beginning,” Cahill said. “I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function.”

“I think if they want to give their opinion they should do so in a respectful and in a manner that is consistent with their oath to the Constitution to respect a co-equal branch of government. Their failure to do so, I think, is abhorrent, but I don’t think it’s prejudiced us with additional material that would prejudice this jury.”

Cahill concludes that “a Congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a whole lot.”

If Chauvin is found guilty of any of the three charges against him, it’s highly likely he will appeal. Before Waters’ foolish, incendiary remarks, he had any number of reasons to appeal. First, his legal team would argue that it was impossible for Chauvin to have a fair trial in the city of Minneapolis. Given the notoriety of the George Floyd case, it would be impossible for him to have a fair trial anywhere. But that would have been only a starting point for an appeal.

Waters’ words have handed him a gift. She stepped way out of her lane on Saturday night. And some are already tying a drive-by shooting of the National Guard in Minneapolis that occurred several hours after Waters spoke to BLM protestors.

Waters may believe that because she has the support of party leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, this story will go away. She may be surprised to find that the fallout has just begun. Ironically, she may ultimately be responsible for producing the outcome she’d feared the most – the full exoneration of Derek Chauvin.

Is Maxine Waters Inciting a Riot? Tells BLM Protestors to ‘Get More Confrontational’ if Chauvin Is Acquitted

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Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters spoke to Black Lives Matter members at a march in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, to protest the city’s curfew enacted in the aftermath of the Daunte Wright shooting. In the video below, recorded on Saturday night, the congresswoman from California tells protestors to “stay in the streets … fight for justice … get more confrontational” if former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is acquitted. “We’re looking for a guilty verdict.” Sounds almost as if she’s inciting a riot.

As the clip begins, Waters is answering a question about the police reform bill. She tells the group she knows “the right wing, the racists, are opposed to it. … We’ve got to stay in the streets. We’ve got to demand justice.”

“We’re looking for a guilty verdict. … If nothing does not [sic] happen, then we know that we’ve got to not only stay in the streets, we’ve got to fight for justice. I am very hopeful and I hope that we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”

A protestor asks, “And not just manslaughter, right, I mean.”

“Oh no, not manslaughter,” as she raises a hand to show her opinion of the lesser possible charge. “No, no, no. Listen, listen, guilty for murder. I don’t know if it’s in the first degree, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s first degree murder.”

She is asked what protestors should do.

“Well, we’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know we mean business.”

Knowing that Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, Minnesota are literally powder kegs, which will explode if Chauvin is acquitted, a member of the U.S. Congress is telling Black Lives Matter members, who set cities on fire last summer, that not even a verdict of manslaughter will do. As far as she is concerned, Chauvin is guilty of first degree murder.

Is she implying that not even a verdict of second or third degree murder will do?

Chauvin is not even being charged with first degree murder. So, either he will be charged with second or third degree murder, second degree manslaughter or he will be acquitted.

Is Waters actually telling them to protest no matter what the verdict is?

Last week, I posted about a lawyer’s take on the charges against Chauvin. He cast doubt on the second-degree murder charges, even saying it’s possible the judge might throw it out when he instructs the jury. RedState’s Shipwreckedcrew wrote:

To convict Chauvin of “second degree” murder, the jury will be instructed that they must find that “Chauvin intended to kill Floyd”, in that he acted “with the purpose of causing death and believed the act would cause that result.”

There is simply no evidence presented anywhere in the prosecution’s case that would support such a finding, and I would not be surprised if the Judge dismissed this count when the prosecution rests its case.

To convict Chauvin of “third degree” murder, the jury will be instructed that they must find that Chauvin’s “intentional act was imminently dangerous to human beings and was performed without regard for human life.”

Third degree murder might also be a tough sell, when one considers that the technique Chauvin used is taught at the police academy.

If Chauvin is found guilty of second degree manslaughter or acquitted, we can probably expect riots, starting in Minneapolis to spread across the country.

Although toned down from her dangerous rhetoric of June 2018, when she called on supporters to confront Trump officials wherever they were, this was pretty incendiary language coming from a U.S. lawmaker. Waters is well aware of how volatile the situation is.

Didn’t House Democrats recently impeach former President Donald Trump for far less incendiary language?

National Use-of-Force Expert Testifies Officer Derek Chauvin DID NOT Use Deadly Force on George Floyd

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In an amazing turn of events, a national use-of-force expert testified in the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Tuesday that Chauvin DID NOT use deadly force on George Floyd.

Paul Blume, a journalist with FOX 9 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, reported on Tuesday that national use-of-force expert Barry Brodd, testified for the defense. Blume provided two clips from his testimony.

It’s pretty clear that Brodd blew two Grand Canyon-sized holes in the prosecution’s case against Chauvin. The prosecution is trying to prove that Chauvin and the other officers used excessive force against George Floyd. Additionally, they’re making the claim that putting Floyd into the prone position was unsafe and unreasonable and that it contributed to his death.

The prosecution’s case was bolstered by last Thursday’s testimony of Dr. Martin Tobin, “a pulmonologist who specializes in the mechanics of breathing.”

I posted about Dr. Tobin’s testimony on Monday. I also presented a lawyer’s analysis of his testimony. I wrote:

Asked what he believed was George Floyd’s cause of death, Dr. Tobin replied, “You’re seeing here fatal injury to the brain from a lack of oxygen.”

Dr. Tobin explained that it was difficult for Floyd to breathe with his rib cage flattened against the pavement, his hands cuffed behind his back and the “placement of Mr. Chauvin’s knees on his neck and back.”

In the first clip below, Chauvin’s Defense attorney, Eric Nelson, questions Brodd about the “three-pronged analysis” he uses to determine if an excessive degree of force was used in a case. Nelson noted the first prong was whether there was justification for the detention. The second prong was the level of resistance exhibited by the suspect. “What’s the third prong?”

Brodd replied: “What the officer did to overcome that resistance. So, if somebody pulls away from you and they’re actively resisting, does the officer pull out a baton and strike him in the head. That, to me, would be excessive. So, was the officer’s use of force proportionate to the level of resistance demonstrated by the suspect?”

“Objectively reasonable, correct,” asked Nelson.

“Yes,” answered Brodd.

“In terms of your three-part analysis, did you apply that analysis to this case?

“I did.”

“In your opinion, was this the use of deadly force?”

“It was not.”

Nelson asked Brodd to explain that.

Brodd replied, “So, I’ll give you an example that I used to teach my academy classes. So, officers respond to a domestic violence situation. And the suspect is still there, and he fights with the officers and the officers are justified in using a Taser to overcome this person’s noncompliance. They tase the individual and the individual falls to the ground, strikes their head and dies. So that isn’t an incident of deadly force. That’s an incident of an accidental death and in my review, I would look to see whether the suspect’s resistance justified the use of the Taser was objectively reasonable.”

In the second video, Nelson questions Brodd about the safety of Floyd’s position on the pavement.

Nelson is asking Brodd for his comment on the officers’ “keeping a suspect in the prone position who is potentially drug-impaired. Are there safety reasons to do that?

Brodd responds, “Again, so as I discussed earlier, potential erratic behavior, going from compliant to non-compliant, not feeling any pain, potentially having super-human strength, and it’s just safer for the officer and for the suspect to keep him in that prone control.”

“Why would it be safer for the suspect to keep him in that prone control?

“Because if they were to get up and run, handcuffed, trip and fall, sustain facial injuries, other injuries. On the ground, their mobility is reduced, their ability to move is reduced, and their ability to hurt themselves is reduced,” Brodd replied.

“What if they became sick for example?,” Nelson asked.

Brodd answers, “Prone control, instead of having somebody lying on their back where they could aspirate on vomit, prone control, their face is down, airway is clear. If they vomit, it’s not going to go down their trachea or their throat.”



A Lawyer Weighs in on the Derek Chauvin Murder Trial; Here’s What the Media Is Not Reporting

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If you read only the mainstream media’s coverage of the Derek Chauvin murder trial, you might think that the former police officer is on the verge of being convicted of second degree murder or at the very least, third degree murder.

After the prosecution’s star witness, Dr. Martin Tobin, “a pulmonologist who specializes in the mechanics of breathing,” testified last Thursday, The New York Times reported: “Expert Witness Pinpoints Floyd’s Final Breath and Dismisses Talk of Overdose: A pulmonologist told jurors that Derek Chauvin pressed 86.9 pounds onto the neck of George Floyd, who tried to push himself off the pavement with his fingertips.”

Asked what he believed was George Floyd’s cause of death, Dr. Tobin replied, “You’re seeing here fatal injury to the brain from a lack of oxygen.”

Dr. Tobin explained that it was difficult for Floyd to breathe with his rib cage flattened against the pavement, his hands cuffed behind his back and the “placement of Mr. Chauvin’s knees on his neck and back.”

The Times wrote that Dr. Tobin’s “testimony may help prosecutors overcome the fact that the official autopsy report did not use the word ‘asphyxia,'”

RedState’s Shipwreckedcrew, a lawyer, weighed in. He wrote that “during his [Dr. Tobin’s] testimony, he clearly stated that the positioning of Chavin’s knee had little or no effect on Floyd in connection with the mechanism which caused his death.” (Shipwreckedcrew’s take differs from that of the Times’ writer.)

His analysis follows:

They knew from the autopsy report leaked in the summer of 2020 that Floyd’s airway showed no signs and damage and his breathing was never impaired in that respect. They knew he had not suffered a loss of blood flow to the brain from Chauvin’s knee — rudimentary understanding of a carotid artery chokehold includes knowing that both arteries need to be constricted at the same time to induce someone to pass out and that such a result happens in a matter of seconds, not minutes as was the case on that street in Minneapolis.

As Dr. Tobin explained, Floyd died as a result of the position of his body on a hard surface, the fact he was handcuffed behind his back, and because the four officers at various points in time were using their body weight to pin him to the ground in order to keep him from moving. The combination of these factors caused a decrease in the ability of Floyd’s lungs to expand and contract to take in oxygen. The reduced intake of oxygen into his lungs led to a gradual reduction in brain activity over the few minutes he was kept in that position — as Dr. Tobin explained, brain function consumes 20% of all the oxygen taken in via the lungs. As Floyd’s oxygen intake decreased his brain function declined –including the brain’s signals through the nervous system to Floyd’s respiratory system to breathe. This problem grew gradually worse until he simply stopped breathing altogether. This respiratory arrest led to a heart attack which killed him while he was on the street.

Then he turns to the legal questions. Chauvin is facing three charges: Second degree murder, Third degree murder and Second degree manslaughter.

Shipwreckedcrew writes that Dr. Tobin’s testimony takes the pressure from Chauvin’s knee out of the story. (But again, there’s a conflict between his opinion and that of the Times’ writer.)

However, “the law provides that even if Chauvin’s conduct was a ‘substantial contributing factor’ in Floyd’s death, Chauvin is still not guilty of any crime unless the prosecution ALSO PROVES that Chauvin’s conduct was “wrongful”. For example, if an officer shoots someone he believes is trying to kill him, that is not “wrongful” conduct. “The same rationale holds true if Chauvin’s actions towards Floyd were not “wrongful” — a standard which is based on the “totality of circumstances” and based on what a “reasonable officer” in the same situation would have done.”

I posted a video last week that showed Floyd becoming quite agitated/hysterical when he was placed inside the police car. And, if you recall, he repeated “I can’t breathe” several times. He then asked to be put on the ground.

Finding Chauvin guilty is going to come down to a question of whether the specific acts that impaired Floyd’s breathing were “unreasonable” and thereby “wrongful” under a totality of the circumstances. Based on Dr. Tobin’s testimony, that is going to focus on three main issues — 1) that Floyd was on a hard surface in a face-down position, 2) that Floyd was handcuffed behind his back, and 3) that Chauvin and the other officers used their body weight at different times to keep Floyd pinned down to the ground while they waited for EMS to arrive.

To convict Chauvin of “second degree” murder, the jury will be instructed that they must find that “Chauvin intended to kill Floyd”, in that he acted “with the purpose of causing death and believed the act would cause that result.”

There is simply no evidence presented anywhere in the prosecution’s case that would support such a finding, and I would not be surprised if the Judge dismissed this count when the prosecution rests its case.

To convict Chauvin of “third degree” murder, the jury will be instructed that they must find that Chauvin’s “intentional act was imminently dangerous to human beings and was performed without regard for human life.”

Killing George Floyd was not Chauvin’s intention. The officers wanted him to remain in the car until the EMS arrived. When that didn’t work out, they subdued him on the ground, as per his request, and waited for EMS to arrive.

It was the other three factors that led to Floyd’s inability to breath — being handcuffed in a prone position with Chauvin using body weight to keep him from moving. How will the prosecution argue to the jury that it was “imminently dangerous” and “without regard for human life” when those three tactics are taught to officers as part of their training?  Was there a bad outcome in this particular episode — no question.  But an atypical bad outcome in this episode is NOT evidence that the actions of Chauvin were “imminently dangerous” or done “without regard for human life.”  I would not be surprised if the Judge dismissed this count as well based on the trial evidence.

That leaves the state with the manslaughter charge — a killing of another person by way of a culpably negligent act. To convict Chauvin of manslaughter, the jury will be instructed that they must find that Chauvin’s conduct created an unreasonable risk and that he took a chance of causing death or great bodily harm to Floyd.  Chauvin’s conduct must have been intentional, and he may not have intended harm to Floyd, but an ordinary and reasonably prudent officer in the same circumstances would have recognized the strong probability of causing harm to Floyd from the conduct.

Shipwrecked discussed that the media coverage has focused on the direct examination of the prosecution’s witnesses which, he says, is usually well-rehearsed. There are usually no surprises. He explains that “the prosecutor and the expert have carefully gone over the expert’s opinions, and the questions and answers are carefully scripted out so the jury hears exactly what the prosecutor wants the jury to hear.”

It is under cross-examination where “the medical experts” tend to fall down and hurt the prosecution’s case. According to Shipwreckedcrew, Chauvin’s attorney Eric Nelson did an excellent job.

He obtained admissions from all of them that there were circumstances present during the process of Floyd’s arrest and detention that altered the conclusion about what a “reasonable officer” would be expected to do in Chauvin’s position.

But an expert’s opinions are only as good as their ability to withstand scrutiny under cross-examination.  Every “use of force” expert called by the prosecution took multiple hits when the “unfriendly” questions began.

Here is an example of one of those “admissions” from a recent post. Last week, Nelson compared video recorded by a bystander from the sidewalk with footage taken from the bodycam of one of the officers. The bystander’s video made it appear as if Chauvin’s knee was pressing against Floyd’s neck. In the officer’s bodycam footage, taken from a different angle, Chauvin’s knee appeared to be placed on Floyd’s shoulder blade.

During the cross-examination of Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Nelson played the two videos. Nelson said, “From the perspective of Miss Frazier’s camera, it appears that Officer Chauvin’s knee is on the neck of Mr. Floyd.”

Arradondo replied, “Yes.”

Nelson asked, “Would you agree that from the perspective of Officer Keung’s body camera, it appears that Officer Chauvin’s knee was more on Floyd’s shoulder blade?”

Arradondo replied, “Yes.”

“I have no further questions,” said Nelson.


Note: Shipwreckedcrew recommended the analysis of Attorney Andrew Branco. He’s on Twitter under @LawSelfDefense, and posts daily blogs about the trial at Legal Insurrection.

Chauvin’s Attorney Plays Two Videos; In Officer’s Body-Cam Video, Chauvin’s Knee Appears to Be on Floyd’s Shoulder Blade

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, introduced the concept of “camera perspective bias” in court on Monday. Please bear with me for a moment because the images are quite compelling. In the video from former Officer Alexander Keung’s body-camera, Chauvin’s knee looks like it’s sitting on George Floyd’s shoulder blade. In the bystander video, taken from a completely different angle, Chauvin’s knee looks like it’s pressing on Floyd’s neck.

These images are especially important because of the discrepancies between the autopsy results from the Hennepin County medical examiner and those from “celebrity” medical examiner whom the family had hired to perform a second autopsy.

Nelson plays the two videos. The first video was recorded by teenager Darnella Frazier, a bystander, and the second is from Keung’s body-camera.

Nelson is questioning Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. Nelson said, “From the perspective of Miss Frazier’s camera, it appears that Officer Chauvin’s knee is on the neck of Mr. Floyd.”

Arradondo replies, “Yes.”

Nelson asks, “Would you agree that from the perspective of Officer Keung’s body camera, it appears that Officer Chauvin’s knee was more on Floyd’s shoulder blade?”

Arradondo replies, “Yes.”

“I have no further questions,” said Nelson.

Within days of former police officer Derek Chauvin’s arrest on charges of murder and manslaughter, the Hennepin County medical examiner presented prosecutors with the autopsy results. They showed that Floyd had three times the lethal amount of fentanyl in his system.

He told them that “this level of fentanyl can cause pulmonary edema. Mr. Floyd’s lungs were 2-3x their normal weight at autopsy. That’s a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances.”

Floyd also had methamphetamine in his system, a drug the medical examiner noted was “hard on the heart.”

Most significantly, the medical examiner said that “if Mr. Floyd had been found dead in his home (or anywhere else), and there were no other contributing factors, he would conclude that it was an overdose death.”

Following the second autopsy, The New York Times reported that Floyd’s death was caused “by compression of his neck and back by Minneapolis police officers.”

According to the Times:

The findings by the family’s private medical examiners directly contradict the report that there was no asphyxia, said Dr. Allecia M. Wilson, of the University of Michigan, one of the doctors who examined his body. The physical evidence showed that the pressure applied led to his death, she said. In an interview, Dr. Michael Baden, who also participated in the private autopsy, said there was also some hemorrhaging around the right carotid area.

Although she has not had access to the full medical examiner’s report, Dr. Wilson said: “We have seen accounts from the complaint and based on that, yes our findings do differ. Some of the information I read from that complaint states that there was no evidence of traumatic asphyxia. This is the point in which we do disagree. There is evidence in this case of mechanical or traumatic asphyxia.”

She noted that she did not have access to toxicology results, tissue samples or some organs. Those items are not likely to change the results, she said.

The private doctors also said that any underlying conditions Mr. Floyd had did not kill him or contribute to his death.

“He was in good health,” Dr. Baden said.

The private autopsy concluded that even without evidence of “traumatic” asphyxia, such as broken bones, the compression caused by the officers still led to Mr. Floyd’s death by depriving his brain of blood and oxygen and his lungs of air.

A couple of weeks ago, I published a a 24-minute video produced by former federal and state prosecutor and current conservative writer George Parry which shows the interaction between Floyd and the four Minneapolis police officers throughout the arrest.

I’m including part of the post and the video for anyone who may be interested. On March 24, I wrote:

“It might surprise you to learn that George Floyd uttered the now famous words, “I can’t breathe,” seven times before he was placed on the ground.

We also learn that it was Floyd’s idea to lay on the ground. As they tried to put him into the squad car, Floyd tells police. “I wanna lay on the ground, I wanna lay on the ground, I wanna lay on the ground, I wanna lay on the ground. I know, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

Moreover, there was foam around Floyd’s mouth at the time of his arrest. When one of the officers asked him about it, Floyd replied. “Yes, Yes, I was just hooping earlier.” I’ll leave it to the video to explain the meaning of “hooping” in this context.

Additionally, Parry explains the autopsy results and makes it clear that the fatal dose of fentanyl in Floyd’s system, combined with his severe coronary artery disease, his history of hypertension, his poor physical condition and the extremely agitated state he was in at the scene all fits into a classic pattern of excited delirium syndrome.”

The reason excited delirium syndrome is so serious, Parry tells us, “is that it leads to sudden onset cardiac arrhythmia. In fact, the finding by the Hennepin County medical examiner was that Mr. Floyd died as a result of cardiac arrest.”


Prominent Black Lives Matter Activist Warns Cities Will Be ‘On Fire’ If Derek Chauvin Is Not Convicted

Photo Credit: Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Disclose.tv put out a warning on TikTok on Tuesday from Maya Echols, who is a “prominent” Black Lives Matter activist. This woman “threatened that cities will be “on fire” if [former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin] is not convicted for the death of George Floyd.”

In the video below, Echols tells her followers, “If George Floyd’s murderer is not sentenced, just know that all hell is gonna break loose. Don’t be surprised when buildings are on fire. Just sayin.”

We don’t need Echols, who by the way is a model with IMG Worldwide, to tell us that.

Still, cities should be prepared in case there are people sitting on that jury who are able to wade through the emotional testimony that prosecutors have so carefully prepared, and see the truth. I don’t expect that to happen, but it’s a possibility.

Interestingly, last month, a Hennepin County, Minnesota judge reinstated the charge of 3rd-degree murder against Chauvin.

This was actually the initial charge in his case. However, following enormous public outrage, including that from the highly partisan Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, the charge was upgraded to 2nd-degree murder and a charge of 2nd-degree manslaughter was added.

Ellison issued a statement at that time which read: “The charge of 3rd-degree murder, in addition to manslaughter and felony murder, reflects the gravity of the allegations against Mr. Chauvin. We look forward to presenting all three charges to the jury.” [Emphasis mine.]

To the contrary, the addition, or more accurately the adding back of the original, lesser charge, at least as I see it, signals that prosecutors are less sure of their case than they let on.

If prosecutors added 1st degree murder or manslaughter charges, that would reflect the gravity of the situation.

Cities will probably burn even if Chauvin is convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter or 3rd degree murder. Maybe even if he’s convicted of 2nd degree murder.

Rioting appears to be sport for the folks at Black Lives Matter – just a big party where they even get to burn stuff and if they’re lucky, come away with some nice merchandise too.

The Introduction of Race as a Central Issue in American Politics Can Be Traced to an Aug 2019 Staff Meeting at The NY Times

Photo Credit: Image by UnratedStudio from Pixabay

Much ink has been spilled about the systemic racism that exists in America. This, of course, became front and center following the death of George Floyd last May. That event, which it turns out was grotesquely misreported, served as the green light for an all-out war against the evil white man who continues to oppress blacks to this day.

It gave license to domestic terrorist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa to burn and loot American cities without consequence. Contrast the anemic efforts by law enforcement to pursue those responsible for what became billions of dollars of property damage and injury to police officers and civilians, with the FBI’s robust campaign to chase down citizens who attended the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. We’ve heard reports of FBI SWAT teams conducting pre-dawn raids, similar to the Roger Stone raid, at the homes of these “dangerous criminals.”

Where the %&$# was the FBI when former President Donald Trump was being targeted for colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election? Oh yeah, they were in on it. They were busy preparing their fraudulent applications to the FISA Court for a warrant and three renewals to spy on members of the Trump campaign. And wracking their brains to find a way to set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn so they could turn his life into a living hell for the next four years.

The riots that spread like wildfire throughout the U.S. last summer thrust the issue of systemic racism to the fore. In the midst of a pandemic and a deep recession, systemic racism became the most pressing issue of the day. The country needed to find a way – and fast – to atone for the heinous behavior of nineteenth century southern plantation owners even though hundreds of thousands of Americans died fighting a war to abolish slavery.

The mainstream media has been moving away from the practice of journalism for years. With the arrival of candidate Donald Trump, it was abandoned altogether. The media collectively embraced activism. They operate as a unit.

Unlikely as it may sound, the adoption of “race” as a top issue in American discourse was actually a deliberate decision made by The New York Times, which is arguably the most influential newspaper in America.

It happened in August 2019, long before Americans ever heard of George Floyd. The manner of Floyd’s death, as it was represented in the viral video of then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, merely served as a catalyst.

The occasion was a “crisis employee town-hall,” a staff meeting held by The Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet. A recording of his remarks was leaked to and published by Slate. (The full transcript of the meeting, via Slate, is reprinted at the bottom of the page.)

At the time, Trump had just delivered a positive and widely praised speech on two mass shootings that had taken place nearly simultaneously in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The President had denounced racism in the strongest possible terms.

The headline in The Times read, ““TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM.” Following harsh criticism from the left for their positive take on the speech, the newspaper changed its headline to “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS.”

The Times’ title change became a huge story, as it should have.

Baquet opened the meeting with a discussion of the “significant missteps” they had made in handling the “crisis.” But, he told employees, “there’s something larger at play here and that was their coverage of Trump.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had given his disastrous testimony several weeks earlier which pretty much ended the Trump/Russia collusion story they had spent years covering. “We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

The story that would dominate the news over the next two years, he said, would be race.

He told his staff:

Race in the next year and I think, to be frank, what I hope you come away from this discussion with – race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration.

Baquet offered his “vision” of what this meant for them.

I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.

So Baquet had two goals. The first was to paint President Trump as a racist. The second goal was to reshape American history putting slavery at the center of the story. This was the introduction of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ 1619 project, for which she has subsequently won a Pulitzer Prize.

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York wrote that The Times hopes to “reframe America’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

“The basic thrust of the 1619 project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race.”

York explains:

The essays go on to cover the economy (“If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.”), the food we eat (“The sugar that saturates the American diet has a barbaric history as the ‘white gold’ that fueled slavery.”), the nation’s physical health (“Why doesn’t the United States have universal healthcare? The answer begins with policies enacted after the Civil War.”), politics (“America holds onto an undemocratic assumption from its founding: that some people deserve more power than others.”), daily life (“What does a traffic jam in Atlanta have to do with segregation? Quite a lot.”), and much more.

Newt Gingrich appeared on “Fox and Friends” to weigh in on this travesty. He told viewers:

The whole project is a lie. Look, I think slavery is a terrible thing. I think putting slavery in context is important. We still have slavery in places around the world today, so we need to recognize this is an ongoing story. I think certainly if you’re an African-American, slavery is at the center of what you see as the American experience. But for most Americans, most of the time, there were a lot of other things going on. There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves.

I saw one reference that the New York Times claims that the American Revolution was caused, in part, to defend slavery. That is such historically, factually false nonsense that it is embarrassing the New York Times is doing this.

But, if you saw the recent leaked interview town hall meeting with the New York Times editor, he basically said, look, “We blew it on Russian collusion, now we’re going to go to racism, that’s our new model, the next two years will be Trump and racism.” This is a tragic decline of the New York Times into a propaganda paper worthy of Pravda.

Baquet, in his wildest dreams, couldn’t have envisioned how perfectly his vision would be executed. This is an illustration of the enormous power the major media outlets wield over us. They not only influence events, they shape events.

Just as they perpetuated the Russian collusion hoax, they’ve methodically worked to create the systemic racism hoax.

Of course, the death of George Floyd handed them an extraordinary opportunity which they seized upon and ran with. Additionally, they worked in tandem with the like-minded leaders of Big Tech and the Democratic Party.

Their efforts have inflicted deep wounds upon our once great country.

Liberals writers and politicians will continue to rail against the systemic racism inherent in America.

But it’s not really about race. It’s about power.


Full transcript of Dean Baquet’s staff meeting: (Via Slate)

Dean Baquet: If we’re really going to be a transparent newsroom that debates these issues among ourselves and not on Twitter, I figured I should talk to the whole newsroom, and hear from the whole newsroom. We had a couple of significant missteps, and I know you’re concerned about them, and I am, too. But there’s something larger at play here. This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s. It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character. We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story. I’d love your help with that. As Audra Burch said when I talked to her this weekend, this one is a story about what it means to be an American in 2019. It is a story that requires deep investigation into people who peddle hatred, but it is also a story that requires imaginative use of all our muscles to write about race and class in a deeper way than we have in years. In the coming weeks, we’ll be assigning some new people to politics who can offer different ways of looking at the world. We’ll also ask reporters to write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions. I really want your help in navigating this story.

But I also want to [inaudible] this as a forum to say something about who we are and what we stand for. We are an independent news organization, one of the few remaining. And that means there will be stories and journalism of all kinds that will upset our readers and even some of you. I’m not talking about true errors. In those cases, we should listen, own up to them, admit them, show some humility—but not wallow in them—and move on. What I’m saying is that our readers and some of our staff cheer us when we take on Donald Trump, but they jeer at us when we take on Joe Biden. They sometimes want us to pretend that he was not elected president, but he was elected president. And our job is to figure out why, and how, and to hold the administration to account. If you’re independent, that’s what you do. The same newspaper that this week will publish the 1619 Project, the most ambitious examination of the legacy of slavery ever undertaken in [inaudible] newspaper, to try to understand the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump. And that means trying to understand the segment of America that probably does not read us. The same newspaper that can publish a major story on Fox News, and how some of its commentators purvey anti-immigrant conspiracies, also has to talk to people who think immigration may cost them jobs and who oppose abortion on religious grounds. Being independent also means not editing the New York Times for Twitter, which can be unforgiving and toxic. And actually, as Amanda Cox reminds me, doesn’t really represent the left or the right. [inaudible] who care deeply about the Times and who want us to do better, we should listen to those people. But it is also filled with people who flat out don’t like us or who, as Jack Shafer put it, want us to be something we are not going to be.

By the way, let’s catch our breath before tweeting stupid stuff or stuff that hurts the paper—or treats our own colleagues in a way that we would never treat them in person. It is painful to me personally, and it destabilizes the newsroom when our own staff tweets things they could never write in our own pages or when we attack each other on Twitter. But let me end where I began: This is hard stuff. We’re covering a president who lies and says outlandish things. It should summon all of our resources and call upon all of our efforts to build a newsroom where diversity and open discussion is valued. We will make mistakes, and we will talk about them openly. We’ll do things that cause us to disagree with each other, but hopefully we’ll talk about them openly and wrestle with them. I want your help figuring out how to cover this world. I want the input—I need it. So now I’m going to open the floor to questions.

Staffer: Could you explain your decision not to more regularly use the word racist in reference to the president’s actions?

Baquet: Yeah, I’m actually almost practiced at this one now. Look, my own view is that the best way to capture a remark, like the kinds of remarks the president makes, is to use them, to lay it out in perspective. That is much more powerful than the use of a word.

The weekend when some news organizations used the word racist, and I chose not to, we ran what I think is the most powerful story anybody ran that weekend. [inaudible] [chief White House correspondent] Peter Baker, who stepped back and took Trump’s remarks, looked at his whole history of using remarks like that, and I think it was more powerful than any one word. My own view? You quote the remarks. I’m not saying we would never use the word racist. I’m talking about that weekend. You quote the remarks. The most powerful journalism I have ever read, and that I’ve ever witnessed, was when writers actually just described what they heard and put them in some perspective. I just think that’s more powerful.

Staffer: But what is [inaudible] the use of a very clear word most people [inaudible]?

Baquet: I think that that word it loses its power by the second or third time. I do. I think that these words—can I talk about the use of the word lie for one second?

Staffer: As long as you come back to my original question.

Baquet: I will, I will. I’m not running away from you, you know me.

I used the word lie once during the presidential campaign, used it a couple times after that. And it was pretty clear it was a lie, and we were the first ones to use it. But I fear that if we used it 20 times, 10 times, first, it would lose its power. And secondly, I thought we would find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of deciding which comment by which politician fit the word lie. I feel the same way about the word racist.

I think that a bizarre sort of litmus test has been created: If you don’t use the word racist, you’re not quite capturing what the president said. I’m going to argue that, first off, if you go back and look at what Peter Baker wrote that weekend, it was more powerful than the news organizations that just tossed the word out lightly as the first thing. Secondly, I’m going to ask you to go back and read the most powerful journalism of the civil rights movement. The most powerful journalism of the civil rights movement—for instance Joe Lelyveld’s portrait of Philadelphia, Mississippi, after the murders of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman—were vivid descriptions of what people in Philadelphia, Mississippi, said and how they behaved. The lead of the story described an old white man sitting on his front porch, saying that the town wasn’t racist, saying that everybody lived peacefully in the town. And as he was saying that, a much older black man walked by, and the guy called him “boy.” That is 20 times more powerful, by my lights, than to use the word racist. If the lead of that story had been “Philadelphia, Mississippi, is a racist town,” it would have been true, but it wouldn’t have been as powerful. I don’t expect everybody to agree with me. In fact, some of the people who were in the discussion that weekend don’t agree with me, but that’s how I feel, strongly.

Staffer: Hi. Thank you so much for doing this. I guess I have a two-part question. The first part is: Would it be fair to say that, if [contributing op-ed writer] Roxane Gay hadn’t tweeted out what she tweeted out, that we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now? And if that is true—or, regardless of whether it’s true—I think that something that some people have been wondering is: Do you feel that there is a person in a high position of power who can be as explicitly self-critical of this organization as Roxane Gay has, and is in a position to be, because she’s on the outside? Do you think that we would benefit from that?

Baquet: I know what you’re getting at—this is a roundabout public editor question, right?

Staffer: No, it’s not. It’s just true. I mean, I don’t know if Roxane hadn’t shared those tweets or those emails, whether we’d be having this conversation.

Baquet: Well, all I can say is, long before that happened I was out in the world meeting with groups of people, having one on one discussions with people. Meeting with, like, large groups of people who wanted to talk about using the words. I gave three interviews in one day. I mean, it’s possible, but I guess I think that—maybe I’m kidding myself, and tell me if I am—I guess I think that we have been having self-critical discussions before that. Do you all think we haven’t had enough of them? Let me turn it to you all, to the room.

Staffer: I mean, it doesn’t seem like there’s that much comfort with having certain kinds of discussions. And I think understanding that certain people’s jobs weren’t at risk, and that it was explicitly their job to be critical, is something that some people might relish or appreciate.

Baquet: Well, let me say something I would relish and appreciate. I would relish and appreciate anybody who wants to come to my office. And some of you have—a lot of people have—to tell me when there are things you don’t like about the New York Times. I get the question about having an outside critic, and it’s an interesting one. But to be frank, the best thing we can do is have a newsroom where, if you don’t like something the newsroom is doing, you can come to me and talk about it. I hope some people feel that way. Some people don’t, but I think that’s more important. And I promise you, if anybody wants to come talk to me or members of the masthead about anything involving coverage—and I’ve had 20 conversations in the last two weeks with people who disagree with me about coverage, or disagree with me about using the word racist, who disagree with me about a lot of stuff—we only get through this if we get to the point where we can have those kind of conversations.

Staffer: Hi. You mentioned that there could be situations when we would use the word racist. What is that standard?

Baquet: You know, we actually should have a written standard. I wasn’t expecting two weeks ago—and [associate managing editor for standards] Phil [Corbett] is working with me and the masthead to come up with it. I can think of examples, like, you know, the governor—was it the governor of Virginia with the costume? I mean, it’s hard for me to answer, but yes, I do think there are instances when we would use it. It’s hard for me to articulate an example of it.

A.G. Sulzberger: So I’m no longer in the newsroom, but Dean tends to bring me in on some of these conversations. And I think it’s useful sometimes to show the journey a little bit of how we reach these decisions. Because otherwise it can feel a little bit like this is a single case in which we’re deciding whether something is or is not racist. The conversation that I heard was really a conversation about labels and about whether we’re going to use labels as shorthand for something that we can convey through words and actions and with greater color and detail. And the moment that, for me, really hammered home the risk of some of these labels was actually when someone passed along to me a headline that we had run six months before the “Trump Makes Comments Condemned as Racist” headline. And the headline we had used six months before was, “Omar Makes Comments Condemned as Anti-Semitic.” And the amount of pushback that that I and others received in that moment from leaders in the Jewish community was really considerable. People wanted us to call this phrase, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,” an anti-Semitic phrase. They pointed out that this is actually an historically anti-Semitic trope. Though that it was an anti-Semitic trope was actually referred to in the body of the story, which I pointed out.

But we’re really cautious with labels, because labels tend to slip. They tend to stick to each other. And I think that the conversation I heard Dean and other members of the leadership have was about whether or not those types of shortcuts actually end up doing the exact thing that we don’t want, which is keep people from reading, would keep people from actually understanding, by giving folks who are inclined to be skeptical that that label is fairly applied—whether it’s anti-Semitic or racist or anything else—to keep those people from having an easy out not to look at what actually just occurred, and what happened, and what the implications are, and what the effects are on the community. And I think this is a really tricky moment right now. You know, someone did a study of Twitter shares that showed that 70 percent of all stories shared on Twitter were never opened. And to me, that’s just a reminder that so much of the world is judging before they’re actually engaging. And I don’t think any of us would defend the headline from last week. Not only would you not defend it, we changed it. But I do think that if you take a step further back, and you look at the entire front page, or the entire body of coverage, I actually think that you saw in unmistakable clarity all the themes that we rightfully should be addressing. I just wanted to say that.

Staffer: I wanted to ask about the Atlantic interview from last week, where you were talking about how the headline happened, and you said that the copy editors had written [inaudible] I believe that was a slip of the tongue. I do. But I think it raises important issues, because the copy desk was in fact [inaudible] frequently flagged things like this. It was the place that wrote a lot of headlines. I can recall, personally, numerous times on the copy desk when I and my fellow copy editors flagged and got changed problematic headlines or phrasings before they went into print. And I’m just wondering if there has been any discussion of the extent to which streamlined editing system increases the risk of errors like this.

Baquet: I don’t think this one was the streamlined editing system. I mean we are having conversations about the streamlined editing system and whether some desks need more help, but I don’t think that’s what happened here.

Staffer: I’m not talking specifically about, you know, was this headline attributable to it. I’m talking about, in general, there are fewer eyes on stories and the copy editors would normally have been—

Baquet: I know. I honestly don’t think there are fewer eyes on that kind of story. There were a lot of eyes on that particular story. The eyes didn’t come in all at the right time. I know. I get what you’re saying. I don’t think this was a copy desk issue. I really don’t.

Staffer: To come back to the discussion of the word racist for a second, I’m sensitive to how charged a word it is. I’m sensitive to not using labels. But I was struck a couple of years ago. I went to Little Rock for the 60th anniversary of Central High School. And I went back and I reread Homer Bigart’s story, you know, the day it happened, and it was a triple banner headline across the front page. And Homer Bigart, who was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, his lead was, “An impressive array of federal force cowed racist agitators outside Central High School.” And I was thinking, wow, that’s blunt, it’s powerful, it’s simple, it’s direct. And I was thinking, I wonder if that would ever be the way we would do it today.

Baquet: Oh, sure. The scene he described is—I mean, I’ve actually read this, I’ve gone back and looked at those stories. I don’t think anybody would avoid using the “racist” in a scene like that. It was only Charlottesville times 100, in a historic moment. I think that headline would appear in the New York Times. And I can say, because—.

Staffer: The flipside that I worked out—

Baquet: But I think you’d also… In a weird way, I would argue that proves my point. That was such a powerful moment in American history. It still resonates in American history. It was such a powerful scene of the American South at that moment, that in that instance, to have not used the word would have been weak. And I think, to me, I would argue that that proves my point.

Staffer: But the part that got me a little bit worried about is, if you compare it to how we would cover Charlottesville, which is different, sometimes we use these other words that sound like euphemisms or like—

Baquet: Agree.

Staffer: —you know, “white nationalists who are racially tinged” or we use things that seem to normalize and clean up and sanitize an ugly reality.

Baquet: Yeah, I hate racially tinged, racially charged, too. I think those are worse. If you’re going to do what I said, if you’re gonna put your money where your mouth is and actually just describe it, you shouldn’t use sort of half-assed words like racially charged or racially tinged either. You should either say it when the moment comes or you should describe the scene. I agree with that.

Staffer: Hello, I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country. And I think particularly as we are launching a 1619 Project, I feel like that’s going to open us up to even more criticism from people who are like, “OK, well you’re saying this, and you’re producing this big project about this. But are you guys actually considering this in your daily reporting?”

Baquet: You know, it’s interesting, the argument you just made, to go back to the use of the word racist. I didn’t agree with all of this from Keith Woods, who I know from New Orleans and who’s the ombudsman for NPR. He wrote a piece about why he wouldn’t have used the word racist, and his argument, which is pretty provocative, boils down to this: Pretty much everything is racist. His view is that a huge percentage of American conversation is racist, so why isolate this one comment from Donald Trump? His argument is that he could cite things that people say in their everyday lives that we don’t characterize that way, which is always interesting. You know, I don’t know how to answer that, other than I do think that that race has always played a huge part in the American story.

And I do think that race and understanding of race should be a part of how we cover the American story. Sometimes news organizations sort of forget that in the moment. But of course it should be. I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that. Race in the next year—and I think this is, to be frank, what I would hope you come away from this discussion with—race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only African Americans and their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration. And I think that one of the things I would love to come out of this with is for people to feel very comfortable coming to me and saying, here’s how I would like you to consider telling that story. Because the reason you have a diverse newsroom, to be frank, is so that you can have people pull together to try to tell that story. I think that’s the closest answer I can come.

Staffer: Yeah, I want to follow up and disentangle a couple of things that I’ve often seen conflated in these meetings. You have questions like “should we call Donald Trump a racist” and these broader discussions of our coverage getting flattened with the reason that I think we’re here today, which is really narrowly the question of how we present the work that we do and the headlines that end up on our work. Because this is sort of the thing that a lot of us who are, in some capacity, public representatives of the Times feel ourselves called to answer for. Because there are these patterns of getting headlines wrong in a very specific way that recur repeatedly and in a way that makes me think that it’s a process issue. And to me, the question of whether you put a phrase like “racial fires” in a headline is not actually about whether we think it’s OK to call Donald Trump racist. It’s whether we think it’s OK to use euphemisms instead of direct, clear speech in a headline. Which I think is a question you would ask of any administration.

And the issue with last week’s headline was not really about Trump per se. It was really more broadly about what kind of credulousness we want to reflect in terms of an administration—any administration. Or about other cases where we’re sort of shying away from the real content of the story to put a milder spin on it in the headline, which is sometimes actively misleading. And the process by which these headlines end up on stories is often kind of opaque, and it’s not always clear whether we’re taking on board the criticism that I think is very valid of a lot of these headlines. It is a real storyline about the Times out there now, that we are kind of repeatedly making mistakes that other people aren’t making so much. And it is something that’s kind of baffling to me from where I sit, and I guess I’m curious what is our process? How are we thinking about it? Do we perceive ourselves making the same errors repeatedly, or do we see these as sort of isolated episodes?

Baquet: I’m going to be really honest. I actually don’t think we make a whole lot more mistakes. I think I’ve made clear I’m going to own up to my mistakes. I don’t think we make a whole lot more mistakes than the Washington Post or anywhere else. After the headline issue came up, I think I heard from 10 executive editors, pretty much every major news organization. My favorite one was from somebody—I guess I shouldn’t use their names—was somebody who said, “I wish people cared about my headlines as much as they care about yours.”

Look, we are scrutinized. I ran another newspaper. I’ve never seen anything like this. We are scrutinized more than any other news organization in the country, in the world probably. To be frank, some of that comes with being the biggest and, I would argue, the best. And as hard as it is to do this, I think we have to accept it. We have to accept that maybe what goes along with being the New York Times is that we get scrutinized more. Maybe we should even say we deserve it more. You know? That’s the position I’m going to take. I mean, it’s almost funny when I read all of the attacks on the New York Times for not having a public editor. Nobody has a public editor! We’re not the only ones that made the decision to not have a public editor.

My main point is, yeah, we do get beat up more. And I think we just have to own up to [inaudible] in the process. Should I, do you want me to walk through what happened in this headline again, or is that—

Staffer: I would like to know. I mean I think in this specific case that’s now been made public. But in general, kind of, how does this happen?

Baquet: I mean, I think that if I had to (and I will) engage in a little bit of self-criticism, I made a decision. So we’re talking about print headlines here for a second. I made a decision that I still think was the right decision for the New York Times. We’re not just a print newspaper anymore. We have a television show. We have a podcast. We have a daily website that reaches tens of millions people. I thought that the days when the executive editor sat and sort of picked the stories, fly spec-ed the headlines … I just thought that that was sending the wrong signal to the room. What does that say to our video team if executive editor only cares about the print front page? I also, by the way, assembled a remarkable group of people who worry over the print front page. I’m going to also say that nobody puts out a print front page like the New York Times. Don’t let getting whacked the last couple of weeks make you forget that. But I think I should probably spend a little more time thinking about it. You know, again, I’ve said half of the big decisions I’ve had to make as executive editor I’ve made in my bathrobe at home.

You know, I didn’t look closely enough at it. I should make sure that the front page of the New York Times, which is still our glory, gets more scrutiny than it does, and we should all look at it. In this case, I’ve said it before, I think the layout boxed in the print hub in a way that probably made it impossible to put a great headline on it. But I think I should probably spend a little more stewing on the front page. Does that answer your question?

Staffer: Kind of. I mean, I think—

Baquet: Push! Push, man. They’ve never been shy.

Staffer: I do think, I mean, I guess I see it as not a matter of like getting beat up over the past couple weeks. I feel like there’s a sort of weariness with the share of the criticism directed towards us that is about the headlines that detracts from the discussion that we’d like to be having about the actual [inaudible].

Baquet: I agree, but I’m going to say one thing. And then [associate managing editor and Metro editor] Cliff [Levy] wants to say something. We let it distract us, if you don’t mind my saying. You know, there’s a little bit of … there are HR people in the room? There’s a little bit of a wallowing gene in the New York Times. Look, I don’t think any executive editor has owned up to more mistakes than I have. I don’t know if that means I’ve made more mistakes. Maybe it does. Or if it means I just believe in transparently owning up to your mistakes. But the last few months of the New York Times, we have produced some remarkable reports. Before I came in here, somebody from the national desk sent me a note pointing out just how amazing our coverage of El Paso was and how much it happened to have been driven by Latino reporters who felt powerfully about that story and wanted to surface it. We’ve got to move away from the position where we want to just beat ourselves up and not think about that stuff a little bit, too.

Cliff wanted to say something.

Cliff Levy: I just want to kind of delicately push back a little bit on this question of headlines. Headlines are very, very hard, as you well know. I spent a lot of time thinking about headlines. My colleagues on Metro might tell you that I’m kind of obsessed with them in an unhealthy way. A lot of the pushback that we often receive about headlines, particularly on social media is from people who have never written a headline, don’t have an understanding of how hard it is, the burdens on a headline. Particularly the burdens on a headline in print space where you are really limited. But the burden’s in digital, as well. We are limited by length and SEO and all these other factors. People who criticize our headlines—particularly people who are not in this newsroom—you’ll say to them, “Well, what would you want this headline to be?” And they repeat back something to you that’s like 15 lines or 15 words. You know, people want headlines that blitz out any nuance. They want headlines that say, “Donald Trump Is a Racist,” or “Donald Trump Is a Liar” or things that really take out all the texture and fabric of the article itself. And I will just say, you know, they’re extremely hard to do well, and I think in general we do them extremely well. And I think Phil would probably want to add something to that.

Philip Corbett: I did want to push back just a little bit more. Sorry, we’re all pushing back on you. This might not be a widely held view, but I would dispute the idea that when we have made mistakes about headlines in the last months or couple of years that they have always been in the same direction, which I think is how you put it. In other words, that the mistakes you’re seeing are when we’re going, shall we say, too easy on Donald Trump. There certainly have been headlines where I feel like that has been a failing. But I will say, honestly, there have been headlines that many of us have been concerned about or asked to have changed or have had discussion about where I felt the problem was the opposite. Where we were showing what could be read as bias against Trump, and were perhaps going too far in the opposite direction. So this goes to Cliff’s point that headlines are hard to write anyway, and we’re going to get them wrong sometimes. But I would not accept the criticism that the ones we get wrong necessarily show that we’re bending over backwards in one direction, because I’ve definitely seen headlines that I’ve been uncomfortable with that have fallen too far on both sides of the line.

Staffer: So I share the concerns about how coverage can be done aggressively, but not from a default point of view, which can feed into outcomes that repeatedly read to a number of people across the newsroom—and then outside as well—being too cautious or winding up in a zone that fails to accurately represent the situation to the readers. Which is, of course, the mission that we all do believe in. And I have had conversations and exchanges with a number of colleagues in different roles, from different backgrounds across the newsroom in the past week. And one of the things that I’ve brought up—and I know, Dean, you and I have talked about this a bit, too, is that some people, despite your welcoming stance as far as bringing feedback to you, are hesitant to speak up. Or don’t necessarily feel like they can do that safely, or have the standing to do that. Or some may not even have the access to do that. I wondered if it would be OK for me to share some of the feedback that I got that people asked for to be anonymous, but that I thought was thoughtful and could be useful.

Baquet: Sure.

Staffer: OK, so here’s just a selection that I thought was thoughtful.

“Saying something like divisive or racially charged is so euphemistic. Our stylebook would never allow it in other circumstances. I am concerned that the Times is failing to rise to the challenge of a historical moment. What I have heard from top leadership is a conservative approach that I don’t think honors the Times’ powerful history of adversarial journalism. I think that the NYT’s leadership, perhaps in an effort to preserve the institution of the Times, is allowing itself to be boxed in and hamstrung. This obviously applies to the race coverage. The headline represented utter denial, unawareness of what we can all observe with our eyes and ears. It was pure face value. I think this actually ends up doing the opposite of what the leadership claims it does. A headline like that simply amplifies without critique the desired narrative of the most powerful figure in the country. If the Times’ mission is now to take at face value and simply repeat the claims of the powerful, that’s news to me. I’m not sure the Times’ leadership appreciates the damage it does to our reputation and standing when we fail to call things like they are.”

And then this is a question that is more specifically about the process that you are also addressing: “Why are we passing off the biggest, most important part of the stories that we know very well”—this is from a writer—“that we know very well to this strangely anonymized print hub I am often completely unaware of who is even writing the headlines for my stories. Why can’t I or one of the editors who actually worked on the story just write it?”

Staffer: You know, I hurt the print hub in this case because I didn’t think sufficiently about. … We had created a front page, because we had two big stories, one of which had a two-column headline. One had a single line, four-column headline. It was designed with the print hub, but I don’t think I sat and thought about, what can you really say in four words. Right? Now, I do not scrutinize the print hub headlines before it goes to press. I happen to think that many of the people on the print hub are some of our best editors and are extremely talented. The second I saw that headline—I always get the front page that night—I kind of put my head in the hands. And I called in before I knew there was a Twitter storm and said, you know, this is off. We’ve really got to fix this. But I think in some ways, you know, those of us involved that day did a disservice to our colleagues, because it was a very hard thing to write. They were writing it on deadline. And because the headline had seemed fine on the web all day, it didn’t occur to me it would be problematic. But on the web they had a very large banner, and I think one of the things we’ve learned is that, if we’re going to do something that’s a banner, more of us should be involved. But I think I should’ve thought more about, if you have just four words, what can you write? I had been envisioning something like “A Day of Reckoning.”

Staffer: Hi, I actually wanted to raise a different issue, not to stop the discussion about language. About the push for social media and audience engagement, it’s very clear that the direction of the paper and of management is to incentivize and reward more engagement on social media. But then you have the things that get the most traffic on social media or something like people’s Twitter accounts, where it might push them to write inflammatory or stupid or ill-thought-out things. So we’re kind of incentivizing people to get eyes, but that also incentivizes people to say stupid things on social media.

Baquet: You know, other people can jump in here, I’m sort of unconvinced that the tweets that have made me uncomfortable happened because people wanted to get eyes. I mean, I don’t think the tweet that sparked part of this discussion, from an editor in the Washington bureau, was because he wanted to get eyes. I think he just. … We somehow have convinced ourselves that Twitter is not the real world, and that you can say things on Twitter that you wouldn’t be able to say in a newspaper story. And we need to just convince ourselves that that is not true. I mean, others should jump in, but I’m not sure that the tweets that have made me uncomfortable are tweets that were just done to attract attention. But others?

Staffer: I’m wondering what is the overall strategy here for getting us through this administration and the way we cover it. Because I think one of the reasons people have such a problem with a headline like this—or some things that the New York Times reports on—is because they care so much. And they depend on the New York Times. They are depending on us to keep kicking down the doors and getting through, because they need that right now. It’s a very scary time. And when something like this happens, or we have opinion columnists—because people really can’t tell the difference between op-eds and news anymore—but when we have people who post and tweet incendiary things, like Bret Stephens, people don’t understand. I think they get confused as to what we’re trying to do.

Baquet: Yeah.

Staffer: And I’m just wondering, how can we tighten that up?

Baquet: Are you talking about coverage, or are you talking about social media?

Staffer: I’m talking about all of it.

Baquet: OK. I mean, let me go back a little bit for one second to just repeat what I said in my in my short preamble about coverage. Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.

The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?

I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.

This is no longer a story where the Washington bureau every week nails some giant story by [Washington correspondent] Mike Schmidt that says that Donald Trump or Don McGahn did this. That will remain part of the story, but this is a different story now. This is a story that’s going to call on different muscles for us. The next few weeks, we’re gonna have to figure out what those muscles are.

In terms of how to keep people from having these discussions on social media, I’m not 100 percent sure. I think we should tighten the rules a little, which always upsets people a little bit. I mean, there were tweets that people at the New York Times retweeted or liked last week that were really painful for this newsroom and for me personally. So I’m gonna keep saying that, and maybe we should talk about the rules, too.

Staffer: It appears to be that the public narrative around the headline is different from the internal narrative that I’ve been hearing. So for example, I know that the copy desk thing was a slip. But I have also heard that someone actually raised concerns about the headline and was overruled. So, I’m just trying to reconcile what I’m hearing from my co-workers internally and what I’m hearing from my other co-workers in the public.

Baquet: I reached out to the person who raised questions about the coverage that day, who works on the print hub, and it’s a little more complicated than that. She was leaving town, and I was leaving town. She thought it was a bad headline, but mainly she thought that particular story shouldn’t led the paper. Her complaint was different than the narrative that has developed, which is that one person on the print hub threw their body in front of the headline. In my exchanges with her, that wasn’t the case. She thought that that story should not have led the paper. And she thought the headline was bad, but mainly she thought the whole package, the whole architecture—but mainly the story—is what was wrong. And I told her frankly, in my exchange with her, which was good and helpful, I said look I disagree with you on this one. I’m happy to sit down and talk to you in person. I thought that was the right lead of the paper. I would not have minded, by the way, if she’d wandered into my office, knocked on the door, which I told her and which I will keep telling her when I talk to her in person. If she had come in and said, I think you picked the wrong lead of the paper, that’s a little bit of a different narrative from the headline narratives. That make sense?

Staffer: Hi. I just kind of wanted to return to the internal debate before the headline went to print. Do you think there was a breakdown there other than space pressure or time pressure? And if so, I wonder what you think that that breakdown was?

Baquet: Again, I had this exchange with an editor as she was going away and I was going away. I’m not sure that was a breakdown. I think the breakdown was that we drew a page that was really, really, really hard to put a thoughtful headline on. This was a really complicated story. It was not a story that said, Trump said X. In fact, what was wrong with the story is that the “Trump said X” headline wasn’t enough to capture the hypocrisy and all the kind of nuance we’re talking about. So I think we built a page on deadline that made it really hard to put a headline on it. So we set it up for a bad headline, and the people who were in a position to judge it quickly and change it, like me, did not look at it until too late. So I guess this is a system breakdown. We didn’t have a system in place where the people who would recognize it and then change it—And maybe, by the way, the right change—if you want me to tell you—the perfect scenario for this headline would have been like this: The print hub—I’m not blaming the print hub, I’m blaming me, because I set up this system—the print hub comes in and says, “We tried, we cannot put a headline on that story with this layout. You need to redraw the page.” We would have redrawn the page in a way that allowed us to put a more nuanced headline on it. That would have been, in retrospect, the ideal situation.

Staffer: But the editors were looking at it, do you have the impression that they felt that that was necessary, or there was a recognition that there was a problem?

Baquet: I should ask [associate masthead editor] Tom [Jolly] and others on the print hub. I mean, there was a recognition among the masthead when it got sent around. As soon as the mockup of the front page got passed around, I looked at it. Matt looked at it. Everybody looked at and said, “Oh shit.” The first edition had already closed, so that was a system breakdown. Does that answer it? I’m trying to walk you through the process a little bit. Go ahead.

Staffer: It just seems like the people who could have recognized that, perhaps, did not or were not on the team to look at the first edition.

Baquet: Tom, do you have a thought about that? Tom runs the print hub.

Tom Jolly: Well, I think, a) the problem was that the editor felt like that difficult headline had to tie directly into the lead story. If we had made it a broader headline that addressed the package of four different stories, “the day of reckoning” or something along those lines, it would have solved it. In terms of a system problem, print hub had a meeting Thursday, and one of the things that we’ve realized is, we need to be looking at the front page. First of all, we need to be talking to the editors who are going to be writing the headlines that come in in late afternoon. They’re not a part of the discussion during the day. We need to talk to them, give them a sense of what the storyline is. And then we need to review the page before it comes out. One of the problems here was that the page was already published, and that page goes to half of our print readers. So at that point, there was no bringing it back. Right? So yes we’ve addressed system issues that we’ve identified, and I’ve also talked with the editor from the stories going around. And she doesn’t feel that she was rebuffed. Obviously, we would never want that to happen. And I think as Dean explained that was a little bit of a bigger issue. But I think the biggest thing is discussing the storyline at a time in the late afternoon or early evening when the editors who are just coming in have an opportunity to think it out one more time.

Baquet: Can I say something in support of the print hub? Because just for the record, I’m not sure I love this narrative of these sort of anonymous editors you know sitting on another floor fucking up the New York Times. The print hub builds the front page of the New York Times every day. Pick up today’s front page. It is it is a thing of beauty. They do it every day. They’re not some anonymous nobodies. They’re fine journalists, assembled from across the newsroom, assembled from other news organizations. The original sin, I can say since I’m a Catholic and a former altar boy, the original sin was ours. Was setting up a front page that was really, really difficult to build a headline around. But don’t, do not… Go visit the print hub. I mean these are journalists just like us. I talked to the editor who wrote the headline. He’s sick, you know. I mean he feels terrible. He feels more terrible than he should, to be frank. But it feels terrible, and I don’t want to walk away from this with all of us thinking that they’re a group of fumble fingers on another floor of the New York Times secretly fucking up the New York Times. They’re not.

One more.

Staffer: When it came to actually changing that headline, how much influence did the reader input have? I mean, OK, all you guys didn’t like it. You were unhappy. But was a change in the works, or was it the response?

Baquet: We were all—it was a fucking mess—we were all over the headline. Me. Matt. The print hub. Probably [assistant managing editor] Alison [Mitchell]. We were all over it, and then in the middle of it, [deputy managing editor] Rebecca Blumenstein sent an email—but we were already messing with it —saying, “You should know, there’s a social media firestorm over the headline.” My reaction [inaudible] was not polite. My reaction was to essentially say, “Fuck ’em, we’re already working on it.” And we were working on it, on deadline. We had already lost half of the papers, and it was too late to redraw the whole page. We would’ve lost the whole thing.

Baquet: Can I just say one thing? This is a hard story. This is larger than the headline. This is larger than the other stuff. This is a really hard story. This is a story that’s going to call on like all of our muscles, all of our resources, all of our creativity, all of our empathy. Including all of our empathy for each other. It’s going to call on us to be maybe a little less harsh with each other, because we’re gonna make other mistakes. It’s going to call on us to listen to each other more, including me listening to you all more. If you ask me how we end up getting through this with the best coverage, it’s by having honest conversations. It’s by inviting people into the Trump story who ordinarily might not have played on stories like this and making sure they get to participate in the coverage. But I hope this is a start, and I hope people take me at my word when I say you may come into me and tell me something you don’t like. I may not agree with you. I will be direct, and I will say I don’t agree with you. But I promise you I will listen and I promise you that in the end all of this influences the coverage. So thank you. Thank you.