Jury selection has begun in the (second degree) murder trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the May 25 death of George Floyd which sparked riots throughout the nation and around the world last summer.
Chauvin, as you may recall, is on video pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, as Floyd repeats “I can’t breathe.” Americans of all races had been horrified after seeing that recording.
A new USA Today/Ipsos poll has been released which shows only 36 percent of U.S. adults currently believe that Floyd was murdered, down from 60 percent in June 2020. That’s a significant shift in opinion.
It may be that people have since learned of the mitigating circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death which I will address.
Another notable difference was in the number of people who don’t know the reason for his death. Last summer, only 4 percent were unsure. That figure has quadrupled over the last nine months to 17 percent.
In June 2020, 28 percent presumed Floyd’s death was caused by negligence on the part of the police officer. That figure has increased only slightly to 30 percent.
Three percent assumed it had been an accident compared to eight percent today.
Two percent believed the police officer did nothing wrong last June while six percent think so today.
The poll also found a major difference between the number of blacks (64 percent) and the number of whites (28 percent) who view Floyd’s death as murder.
Similarly, 33 percent of whites believe it was Chauvin’s negligence that killed Floyd compared to only 16 percent of blacks.
“Americans who have heard at least something about Chauvin’s trial, say 4 to 1, or 60 percent – 15 percent, that they hope Chauvin is convicted. That included 54% of white Americans and 76% of Black Americans.”
In the hours and days following Floyd’s death, it’s not an exaggeration to say he achieved martyrdom status. In the photo of the mural of Floyd above, he is given wings and a halo.
The Spectator’s Roger Kimball asks, “How would you like to be a juror at that trial? How easy will it be to find impartial jurors in Minneapolis, where the city council, in the wake of Floyd’s death, actually voted to abolish its police department? If you were a juror, would you dare to return a ‘not guilty’ verdict?”
He cites former federal and state prosecutor George Parry who wrote, ‘there is no conceivable possibility that Derek Chauvin can receive a fair trial in Hennepin County, simply because it will be impossible to seat an unintimidated jury free from the threat of mob violence. Conducting a trial under these circumstances will serve only to put a thin veneer of pretend due process on what in reality will be a legalized lynching based on a verdict rendered by a properly and quite understandably terrorized jury.’
“In other words,” Kimball explains, “the trial of Derek Chauvin, which would be difficult to conduct fairly any place in the country, will be little more than left-wing theater in Minneapolis. It ought to be moved far away. Even then, should he be acquitted, look for an explosion of violence in Minneapolis and possibly around the country. What the mob wants is not justice but ‘social justice,’ which in this case means racial redress. Derek Chauvin, alas, is likely to be the scapegoat in this despicable farce.”
Kimball looks at the reality of the man v. the myth as jury selection begins. Rather than being St. George, Floyd was a “drug addict, a woman abuser and a career criminal.” He tells the real story of what happened to Floyd on that fateful day.
First, the video clip that horrified the world was heavily edited. We see Floyd, pinned to the ground by Chauvin, piteously crying ‘I can’t breathe.’ Conclusion? That he can’t breathe because Chauvin is pressing on his windpipe. But a look at the police bodycam footage shows that Floyd was complaining that he couldn’t breathe before he was restrained by the police. Why? Because, as the FBI’s interview with the local medical examiner on July 8, 2020 revealed, Floyd was suffering from pulmonary edema, i.e., his lungs were full of fluid. And why was that? Partly because of an underlying heart condition, partly because Floyd was full to the gills with fentanyl, a drug known to affect respiration and cause pulmonary edema.
By the way, I say that FBI report ‘revealed’ this extenuating evidence, but it was evidence that the prosecution withheld from public scrutiny until the end of October 2020, by which time Minneapolis and many other cities across the country had been torched by Black Lives Matter rioters demanding ‘justice’ for George Floyd.
Here’s something else. Although Chauvin’s restraint looks brutal, it was actually part of the standard Minneapolis police protocol for dealing with persons exhibiting ‘excited delirium,’ a dangerous, often fatal, condition brought about by too much fentanyl with one’s afternoon tea. According to the medical examiner, Chauvin did not appear to have obstructed Floyd’s airway — Floyd would not have been able to speak if he had — and Floyd did not die from strangulation. Bottom line, George Floyd died from the effects of a self-administered drug overdose, effects that might have been exacerbated by his interactions with the police, i.e., his exertions in resisting arrest. For their part, the police were trying to help Floyd. It was they who called the ambulance because they recognized that Floyd was in extremis.
Many people are afraid to speak frankly about this man. Some have. Tucker Carlson has. And so has Candace Owens. After one reads the autopsy reports and watches the police bodycam footage, suddenly a murder charge against Chauvin seems extraordinarily excessive.